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Yes, racial profiling is still a thing in society

April 19, 2018

 

In Our Opinion

 

There is no denying the United States has come a long way from Civil Rights Movement racial divide. Gone are the days of separate schools, restrooms and restaurants, and the “separate but equal” laws are a thing of the past.

 

Yes, the country has made vast improvements of civil rights among the races, but one of the internet’s latest viral videos is proof there is still much progress to be made in the pursuit of equality.

 

The video shows two black men being escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks in handcuffs by at least six police officers. The coffee shop’s staff claimed the men had been asked to leave after attempting to use the restroom without making any purchases; the men said they were waiting for a friend.

 

Other customers were appalled the men were forced to leave, but despite their arguments that the men had done nothing wrong, they were taken into custody and released eight hours later because no evidence of a crime was found.

 

The video, which first surfaced on Twitter, has been viewed more than 8 million times on social media sites and has garnered a variety of responses. While some say the manager was justified in calling the police, others believe the men were victims of racial profiling and had as much right to stay in the coffee shop as anyone else.

 

Since the day of the arrest, protestors have surrounded the Starbucks, demanding action be taken against the company and the officers who made the arrests.

 

Those defending the actions of the Starbucks staff argue the men should have left when asked, even though there were others who were sitting in the coffee shop and had not ordered yet.

 

Unfortunately, incidents like this one are no rarity, and members of America’s non-white community are stereotyped and treated unfairly each day.

 

These instances of racial profiling come from misplaced and unjustified fear, as danger is seen in a face or skin color. In the Starbucks incident, the men were most likely assumed to be dangerous simply because of their skin color, even though they never did anything aggressive or resisted arrest.

 

We believe social justice cannot happen until there is a change of heart.

 

We as Americans can no longer let fear of what is different dictate how we treat others. Rather than running from those who are different than us, we must embrace them. The United States is a melting pot of numerous cultures, races and ethnicities, and each person deserves to be treated with respect and judged based on his character and intentions rather than the color of his skin.

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