Nov 15, 2018 in Analysis

Racial Profiling Essay

Racial Profiling In America


Today, the majority of the world’s population still leaves on less than 2 dollars a day despite the adoption of capitalism. The most critical issues that still exist are racism, unemployment, and poverty. According to Dowd (2000), economics is not value-free. While capitalism aims at expanding new products, developing technologies, and establishing new markets, it has resulted to adverse negative effects. To achieve this, there has been constant exploitation of resources, which with the help of technologies and other strategies has resulted in the destruction of environment and people. Economists at that time believed in the normality of using exploitation to fuel the expansion of capitalism. This paper looks into racial profiling in the American context and its significant effect on capitalism and economics. With racial profiling, all other sectors that promote the economic development of America are also affected. 


Racial Profiling in the US

For most African-American communities, racial profiling is known to date back to the past policing of slave patrols. Today, this is mostly associated with traffic stops as well as retails shoppers and illegal immigrants. This resulted to the launch of campaigns and other civil rights movements on the fight against racial discrimination. The idea of targeting individuals based on their ethnicity and race existed from the time of slavery in the US. This issue is no longer a myth but a reality, which is happening in the contemporary police and administrative practices. As much as the media reports are overestimating the actual number of racial profiling incidents, the practice is still rampant. Most police officers rely on selective enforcement based on the ethnicity and race as the main criminal indicators. As a complex issue, racial profiling is beyond understanding or measuring through analysis and collection of police and public traffic contacts. Its future is still uncertain despites the assurance that this will continue to happen in future.

For anyone who has such an experience, racial profiling has direct and real consequences. The price paid is of the emotional, mental, social, and physical, as well as financial segment. Such effects include stress-related disorders, lack of adequate resources, and race-related threats. Because of this, the victims have developed a lack of cooperation with the state and other law enforcement agencies as they begin to question the legal system of the country. Other consequences of racial profiling are increased criminalization of children in the society and the consequent promotion of anti-social behavior. Profiling tends to occur in almost all segments of American community. This begins with learning institutions, corporate environment, and other social settings (Dowd, 2000). 

Racial Profiling and Capitalism

Racial profiling has always been a longstanding problem for most nations like the US despite the constant claims that today is the post-racial era. This illegal act violates promises of the constitution on the equality in treatment and protection. In most cases, it promotes alienation of communities from the law enforcements, prevents efforts of community policing and results in the loss of credibility for the law enforcement towards citizens. Racial profiling in the countries like the US has forced individuals to live in fear. Such countries profile citizens based on their color (blacks), religion (Muslims, Arabs, and Asians). This is done not only by the police but also by the airline personnel, social amenities, such as health centers, and learning institutions. For most economists, there is a great link between capitalism and racism. This kind of relation becomes evident with the dependence of capitalism on racism for profiteering and ensuring the concept of ‘divide and rule’. Most capitalists invested in racism as a way of organizing individuals thus giving them a reason to support and work together while benefiting those in support of it. 

In the years before, racism, which was directed to African-Americans and other communities like Muslim society, had become a continuing and central feature in the US. This is evident with the high mortality rates, life expectancies, poverty and unemployment rates, low income and stereotyping, which are still rampant in the US media. Ever since it is a historic beginning, racism has been a core issue in the US and other countries’ economic systems worldwide. When it comes to economics and capitalism, racism tends to serve the interests of all capitalists or capitalist nations by ensuring a division between the white and black workers thus reducing the concept of unity that in turn increases the bargaining power of most individuals (Dowd, 2000).

Capitalism as an economic system has two major classes. While the capitalistic class controls and owns all means of production, profits and capital, the working class spends their lives selling labor and capacities to work in return for wages. Exploitation in this case occurs with employees being paid less compared to the value of their production. This results in the constant conflicts between the two classes. While workers strive to improve their wages and working conditions, employers, on the other hand, limit wages with the aim of generating more profits. The only thing holding back workers from resigning is fear of losing their jobs. To eliminate exploitation, most workers form organizations and other unions that help to fight and promote their rights and equality. In the context of racism, capitalism always aims at dividing the whites and blacks. This calls for unity in the racial classes in the form of unions and organizations that promote equality (Harison, 2012).

 In the US, racism turns out to be a systematic oppression of African-Americans and other individuals by different races while looking upon black inferiority and white supremacy. These two racism topics have helped in shaping of US society in the political, social, and economic context from the beginning of 16th century to the present. Racism in the US dates back to the conquest of the Americas by Europeans. This resulted to the rapid expansion of capitalism in the Western European regions as well as British colonies that later became seekers of cheap labor and growing food supplies (Johnson, 2010). The production systems grew from land seizing of the inhabitants, such as American Indians, and Africans who were kidnapped and brought in as slaves. Racism came in after there was an increased oppression of African-American individuals and great class divide between the blacks and whites. To date, there has been a change in the direction from capital accumulation and profit maximization to the oppression of black people and, as a consequent, racist ideology, which justifies racism. Racism in this context ends up supporting capitalism in many ways.

When analyzing racism in the US, there is a tendency for working class fragmentation and racial division based on the ideologies and other material conditions. With accumulation, capitalism reduces, and there would be an erosion of ethnic, gender, and racial differences. There is a great focus on the selfish interests of all employers as a way of promoting racism. In the years, where racism was rampant, there was the spread of racist murders. Most capitalist bosses shift their economic problems to the racial groups by cutting down jobs, social services, and wages to increase capital and ensuring suppression of rebellion against racial group attacks by the use of police. Additionally, they mislead most white workers, such that they blamed their fellow workers instead of their greedy employers. It proves that some of white people also suffer from racism (Harison, 2012).

In the US capitalism, the latest examples of racism are stop-and-frisk activities by the police. It is clear that the US and its associated economic growth developed a result of racism. It started with the genocide that resulted to the murder of Native Americans as well as enslavement of black people who were forced to work on the plantations. There was also the existence of laws that exploited and killed the majority of workers months after the end of the civil war. Most laws are enacted to ensure protection of not the workers but all profit systems and specific exploitations they face (Dowd, 2000). 

There has been an increased criminalization of Latin-Americans and blacks with the constant sinking of the US capitalists. The imprisonment rates affect mostly men of color and other religions, such as Muslim and Arabs. A large percentage of the inmates in most U.S prisons are Latinos and blacks. Compared to the years before 1850, more blacks are on parole, in prisons, or probation due to several reasons. It proves that racism has no connection with crime and punishment. The times have changed when the US used to control 60 percent of the world economic systems to the current 20 percent. For this reason, police officers take part in the frisking, jailing, stopping, and killing, since the US economy cannot provide adequate jobs for its large population (Harison, 2012).  

The U.S rulers promote most of the racism issues. The verdicts created, such as the Zimmerman’s case, tend to encourage white employees to blame the capitalistic problems to the black workers. It only confirms lies of crime bosses that joblessness and dependence are caused by black people, which tend to drain taxes paid by white people. There have been constant attacks on black workers as well as murders thus reducing the level of patriotism. It resulted to the anti-racist anger that threatened the evolution of bigger movements against racism issues in the US and other nations worldwide. According to most analysts, racism can only end when capitalism is smashed through the help of unions and other organizations like Progressive Labor Party, which has communist politics that can give the workers the courage to challenge their employers. The belief here is that only communist revolutions can mobilize against racism in the police sector and production points resulting to the gradual elimination of capitalism. It has been noticed that most U.S rulers had the fear of being overthrown by working class or racial groups hence the attempts of using racism to cause division among employees.

How Racism Supports Capitalism

It gives employers the mandate to pay black workers lower wages compared to the white workers. The difference measures the concept of super exploitation of black employees and super profits of the available capital. Additionally, the majority of white personnel have accepted the racist ideology in various degrees. The situation being a false consciousness, tends to decrease the unity between workers when it comes to racial lines thus preventing the fight for better wages and working conditions. With racism, employers find it easy to start conflicts between racial groups thus reducing the average wages and maximizing the control of profits and markets. Lower wages to the employees like blacks aggravate division on the racial basis. In the US, most blacks are unemployed. The ideology of racism makes the issue acceptable as compared to the unemployment of the whites. It makes it easy for capitalists to maintain high unemployment rates as compared to when the blacks and the whites shared the employment equally. The approach aims at reducing the bargaining power of workers, which results to the constant high unemployment that lowers the employee wages while increasing profit rates. 


In most nations like the US, discrimination and racism have always been used as weapons for encouraging hatred and fear in all sectors of life. The US harbors individuals from many nations and different cultural backgrounds who have engaged in many conflicts encompassing trade, leadership and resources. However, national identities and other culture-related issues have fueled all these. In the region, racism is used in the justification of exploitation. It has been proved that racism evolved at the time of European explorations and conquest of the rest of the continent and specific groups. Racism developed with the encountering of new nationalities hence the racial categorization. At some point, racial profiling became normal in most communities in the US as racial communities embraced the situation. Apart from racial profiling, there have been other issues, such as police brutality, affirmative action, and ever-rising resentment towards immigrants. There is evidence on how most ideas in the government, culture, and science shaped the idea of racism in the American world today.

Now, there has been a change in racism and racial profiling with election of president Barack Obama, the first black president. However, most of his policies and ideas, such as the establishment of new health systems, have been met with great opposition. He is one of the black individuals to have received discriminatory or racial sentiments. Despite the reports and statistics indicating a reduced level of racial profiling, this is still the issue in America. It is clear that with increase of racial profiling, capitalism and economics in general are affected negatively as this tends to deny most individuals an opportunity to be productive.


Related essays