Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapters 7 and 9 of the course text and review the following:
This Is Why Everyday Racial Profiling Is So Dangerous (Links to an external site.)
Police Shootings Reflect Structural Racism (Links to an external site.)
For Black Motorists, a Never-Ending Fear of Being Stopped (Links to an external site.)
And listen to the following podcast:
Police Shootings: How A Culture of Racism Can Infect Us All (Links to an external site.)
If you would like additional materials to help you in this week’s discussion, you may also review the following website: Race, Trust and Police Legitimacy (Links to an external site.)
Over the past few years, racial profiling has been in the news because of high profile cases involving deadly force used against unarmed African Americans, particularly African American men. Data consistently shows that African American and Latino men are more likely to be stopped and searched by police than white men, even though they are unlikely to be possessing anything illegal. Critics argue that the increased rates of stops and searches is due to racial profiling and implicit biases. Based on reviewing the required resources, please address the following:
Define racial profiling. What is the connection between stereotypes and racial profiling? What are some of the consequences of racial profiling discussed in the resources?
According to the podcast Police Shootings: How A Culture of Racism Can Infect Us All (Links to an external site.) what role does implicit bias play in the police shootings of unarmed African Americans? Explain how this exemplifies structural racism.
The article Police Shootings Reflect Structural Racism (Links to an external site.) presents research that shows an association between levels of structural racism and the number of shootings of unarmed people of color by police in a state. Explain this finding in additional detail.
Chapter 7 in the text presents several sociological theories of race, crime, and deviance. Choose the one that most closely fits your own beliefs about how race, crime, and deviance are interrelated and describe it in your own words.
One way to effect transformative change is through social movements and political activism. Are you aware of any current collective efforts (such as protest movements, boycotts, and educational campaigns) to address racial profiling in the criminal justice system? If yes, please describe it. If no, please propose your own idea of a collective effort that citizens can join to effect change in this area.
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