Being an African-American male who deals with what the W.E.B. Dubois labels “double consciousness”, 2020 has been intellectually draining and spiritually tiresome — to say the least. In this year alone, police brutality has been perpetuated by bias and prejudice. One reality subsisting in the life of America and white supremacy is racial profiling. It has permeated the identity of our society and should end immediately.
Racial Profiling: The Relative of the ‘New Jim Crow’
In her riveting book titled The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, attorney and professor, Michelle Alexander posits that the War on Drugs — originated by the Nixon administration — initiated a war against black and brown people. Even so, the War on Drugs sustained by the Reagan administration further institutionalized racism in multiple arenas. For example, more black and brown people succumbed into the school-to-prison pipeline. It was deeply exasperated by American government in decades to come.
A conversation with another educator contained revelation of the brand of racial profiling in public education. During that conversation, we discussed the declining consistency of a scholar’s delinquent attendance while in eLearning — on Zoom and via Canvas. She then openly and subconsciously revealed her contribution to the system of racial profiling. As a family liaison where I currently serve at local charter school, the thought of potential homelessness was under question in my mind. She stated that she had clandestinely completed a residential history search, which rendered housing challenges for that family. Immediately, I began to process main implications and was highly bothered by that occurrence.
Constitutionality, Definition & Remedy of Racial Profiling
By definition, racial profiling happens when a particular ethnicity or race is essentially targeted for criminal offenses. Racial profiling is inherently illegal, according to the U.S. Constitution. In the 4th Amendment, police cannot predicate searches and seizures upon the basis of racial appearance as to justify reasonable suspicion. This trend has been operative for several centuries. However, I propose a “radical resolution” in transit to 2021 eradicate racial profiling altogether. The prescribed steps toward uprooting racial profiling are outlined in the following:
- Check your privilege.
Yes, privilege does exist; privilege is a socio-economic barrier and the cruise-ship of classism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia. Privilege is an advantage of power over and not power with. Power can be the difference between someone’s liberation and the limitation created by a whitewashed system.
2. Seek opportunities for dialogue regarding prejudice and implicit bias.
Now more than ever, more opportunities are available to evaluate and investigate prejudice and implicit bias. Start with completing the Harvard Implicit Bias Test and notice any patterns that may cause your hidden bias and prejudice.
3. Be open to learn more about cultures different than your own.
The only way to eradicate prejudice toward your own culture and others is to understand that your culture is not superior and neither another inferior to yours. Try food from different cuisines. Learn to speak, listen to music, and read other literature — poetry and prose — in another cultural language.
4. Uphold “the accountability factor”.
Oftentimes, a few recognize their own privilege but are not comfortable in holding friends or peers accountable for their progress — or lack thereof. (Note: White folk, PLEASE help check your own people concerning white privilege.) We will never become a post-racial society until the dominant, Eurocentric culture holds their own people accountable, in every facet.
5. Encourage others to enroll in diversity, equity and inclusion training.
Like never before, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) training is generally accessible and cost-efficient for many executive and working-class professionals. Institutions such as Cornell University offer fully accredited DEI certification programs with concentrated tracks. If you are a corporate or HR executive and have not enrolled in the training courses, the completion of DEI training will greatly benefit the growth in your business or organization.
6. Advocate for intergenerational education in cultural competence.
The work will not be completed immediately. As a whole, there are phases of evaluation and undoing that must take shape. Becoming more culturally competent will resolve and eventually eradicate racial profiling. Education integrally produces expansion and reformation. We must instill within and teach the importance of cultural diversity to our children. We do that by diversifying curriculum and establishing the “worth-consciousness” of all people.