Research Position Paper – darnell18

Discrimination still plays an incredibly large role in society today. Varying throughout many groups, races, genders, etc., people are currently continuing to live through the struggle of being judged based off of physical appearance. The dictionary defines the word discrimination as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Much like any other definition of most words, digging a little bit deeper than a textbook interpretation to fully comprehend the word is a necessity. In relation to the researched topic at hand, discrimination is heavily incorporated in the enforcing of laws, and routine traffic stops in particular. It is inexcusable to think that as far as we have come as a nation, that members of society are still heavily discriminated against.

The concept of discrimination is morally wrong and unjust however it is looked at. What is even worse is that this group of minorities being discriminated against are now potentially getting into trouble with the law based on how they look. In Christopher Ingraham’s article, “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show,” proclaims, “Perhaps most troubling from a civil liberties perspective, nearly five percent of blacks weren’t given any reason for why they were stopped, compared with 2.6 percent of whites and 3.3 percent of Hispanics.” This quote speaks volumes toward the issue at hand. Astoundingly, nearly double the amount of African Americans as compared to caucasians are not even informed as to why they are pulled over. This is where the line must be drawn. There is already no room for racism and discrimination, and now it has been blown so far out of proportion that these people being discriminated against have to pay money for it and possibly have a tainted record.

On the other hand, while discrimination is real and potentially harmful in today’s society, it is also interesting to take into consideration what race the police officers happen to be in the same situation. For example, the statistics show that roughly five percent of African Americans are not given a reason for why they are stopped, but would these traffic stops be considered equally as discriminatory if the police officer making the stop was a minority as well? It is most certainly a very intriguing factor in all of this, because if a black police officer pulls over a black man, very few people’s initial reaction is that the cop is racist. Whereas if it were a white cop in the same situation, the very first thought that comes across most everyone’s mind in society today is that it was for discriminatory purposes. This does not automatically make it acceptable for a black police officer to pull over another black man without a reason, but in the big picture, it simply raises suspicion about an officer’s motive.

One of the worst parts about this issue is that the discrimination does not begin and end with simple traffic stops. From illegal searches of a vehicle to license suspensions and tickets, how an officer chooses to discipline a man or woman that they went out of their way to pull over because of their appearance can be equally discriminatory. Recently, it has even been escalated to these citizens having their lives taken away from them in what could have just been a routine traffic stop. Just recently this past July, a Minnesota police officer shot and killed a black man after pulling him over for a broken tail light. In this instance, it is not clear that he was pulled over because he was black, given that there was a tail light out. Nevertheless, this is something that is rarely ever heard about with a white man on the fatal end of gunpoint. It has gotten so bad that in many places, whenever a police officer even approaches a minority, people take their phones out to record what happens in anticipation of it going awry. When it becomes expected that these stops will go wrong to this extent, something must be done about it.

If our country chooses to turn a blind eye to this, we have seen that a revolt is not unrealistic. In her article, “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers,” Kim Soften asserted that following the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, snipers in Dallas killed five police officers and injured more. This country is not far from potentially going into a civil war between police and African Americans, and the root of it all is none other than the negative power of discrimination.

Needless to say, so many different problems stem from judging and disciplining somebody based off of their race and appearance. Racism and discrimination have been around for hundreds of years in this country and it would be nice to be able to say that we have come such a long way as a country, but the fact that this is still an issue in 2016 is proof that laws may have changed, but many people’s mindsets have not. It is that toxic belief in discrimination that has set the progress of this nation back.

When it comes to police officers pulling over minorities for discriminatory reasons, the causal chain that follows has proven to be extremely controversial and sometimes even fatal. These looming problems could be non existent if officers used their authority properly on a consistent basis. The specific issue at hand exists in the first place because police officers in today’s society do not always use their discretion to pull drivers over simply for issues relating to the law, but rather because of their discriminatory mentality. Christopher Ingraham claims that “approximately a two percent higher amount of blacks than whites are actually not even given a reason for why they have been pulled over when they get stopped,” in his article, “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show.” Two percent may not sound extremely high, but when the percentage of whites not given a reason is only at 2.6, then it is almost double the amount of blacks that go through the same thing.

The causal chain that tends to occur in this situation is that discriminating police officers pulling over a higher number of minorities than any other group, then leads to these minorities resenting police officers because they abuse their authority. In addition to that, whether the driver or officer are being particularly way too difficult at the time, things have taken an abrupt, violent turn for the worst.

The Constitution begins by stating that “all men are equal”, yet the society we live in has proven that although it is in The Constitution, it is still far from true. In relation to discrimination by officers potentially turning violent, it is important to understand that the discrimination does not just stop when the car is pulled over. Much like how The Constitution states that all men are equal but still are not treated equally, the 14th Amendment provides equal protection and not allowing discrimination while driving, but that is also not applied consistently. As a nation, we cannot be oblivious and neglect the fact that regardless of what The Constitution may say, law enforcement does not faithfully abide to it. Minorities are referred to as such because there are less of them in our country than whites. Nevertheless, more blacks are pulled over than whites. Minorities making up the majority of people pulled over is a staggering statistic that should not be overlooked.
Just a few months ago, an African-American man named Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in his car in Minnesota. The car was pulled over for a broken taillight, which is understandable. Nevertheless, the man had a 5 year old girl in the back seat when the officer shot him. There was a woman in the passenger seat that started recording the situation on her phone after shots were fired, and her statement explaining the killing was that, ”he let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” Elliot McLaughlin reports in his article, “Woman Streams Aftermath of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting.” He had a permit for the gun and went out of his way to make the officer aware he had it. It may not be known how this would have unfolded had the driver been white, but taking into consideration that the society we live in today is full of discrimination and hate, most people would believe that this officer was slightly more on-edge and trigger-happy due to the color of the man on the opposite end of the barrel.

The issue does not just begin and end with a simple traffic stop, either. “The racial disparity isn’t just limited to stops. Other police-driver contact — searches, tickets, arrests and license suspensions — show similar racial skews,” Kim Soften states in “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers.” This is what leads to the majority of these minorities resenting and not respecting the authority. Many of them may have to deal with ensuing legal issues after getting pulled over, that would not have happened had this epidemic been a thing of the past.

As far as the anticipated rebuttals to this argument go, it is clear that not everybody shares a similar viewpoint on this topic. If everybody had the same mindset about it, it probably would not be a problem. Some rebuttals are indisputably true as well, such as the fact that African American police officers pull over black people as well, so it is unlikely a man would discriminate against someone the same color as him. Nevertheless, with that being said, that does not account for every single traffic stop. It is an exception to the discriminatory pattern of white against black, but yet it cannot be ignored that the percentage of those occurrences is minuscule in relation to the typical white cop, black driver scenario.

As much as our nation would probably like to say that discrimination was a thing of the past, it is not. These are real issues and racism is still alive. Just because it does not come in the visual form of segregation in the early 1900s, does not mean it is gone and over with. It is clearly unknown what it will take to change the discriminatory mindset of the people in our society today, but at this rate it looks like we are on pace to set our country back 100 years and something must be done about it. Yes, we have had a black president, but it is as if we took one step forward and two steps back by now electing a man who openly makes racist and discriminatory remarks in many of his debates and press conferences. There were actually riots when Obama was elected. This shows that a good amount of this country was not ready for a black president. If racial profiling still happened under a black president, they certainly will not improve or just go away under the government of a man who sustains a discriminatory mentality.

Although there are many different statistics supporting the fact that discrimination on the road is a legitimate issue, there are many rebuttals that arise from this hot topic. To name a few, some may argue that many traffic stops including black drivers are just a coincidence that they are minorities and actually did something illegal to get pulled over. Others say that a large contributing factor into this issue is what race the officer is that is making the stop. For example, it could be considered to have less discriminatory intent if a black officer pulls over a black man. With all of this being said, both of these are legitimate points and do occur, but yet, they do not nearly account for the majority of stops with an African American in the car.

As far as the color of the police officer goes, it affects how society and the driver view the situation in a way that can seem less discriminatory, but still it is not that way one-hundred percent of the time. An African American officer can still discriminate against a man or woman of the same race. It may seem less suspicious seeing it, but it can not be overlooked. The color of a person’s skin does not always go hand in hand with their mindset and outlook on life. There is no saying that a black man and white man cannot share the same stereotypical mindset towards black people. To build off of this thought to an extent, Kia Makareche, in his article “What The Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias,” stated that “a 2010 governor’s task force examining police-on-police shootings found even black and Latino police officers face a greater risk of being killed by police. In cases of mistaken identity, 9 out of the 10 off-duty officers killed by other officers in the United States since 1982 were black or Latino.” So it may be assumed that being a police officer may grant them safety from other officers regardless of skin color, but even then, there are officers so blinded by hate and stereotypes that they forget what they know and act on what they see in certain situations.

In addition to the rebuttal of same-race officers and drivers, people who disagree with the claim that racial profiling while driving is a real issue may counter the argument by saying any one of the stops that happen daily could be a coincidence. The Office of Justice Programs, in their informative article “Traffic Stops,” claimed that “stopped drivers reported speeding as the most common reason for being pulled over in 2011.” Speeding is a very common and easy excuse to use, but without jumping to conclusions, this does support the fact that a large amount of stops could be for justified reasons. The thought is that these black drivers could be pulled over simply because they are breaking the law. While this may hold true for a fair amount of instances, it does not explain why nearly 2 percent more blacks (4.7%) are pulled over without a reason than whites (2.6%), according to Christopher Ingraham in his article titled “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show.” That statistic is unsettling because if somebody deserves to be pulled over for their driving, regardless of race, then so be it. But with that being said, minorities should not double the amount of whites in a category like this. They are called minorities for a reason, and that is because there are less of them in this country. Therefore, to lead substantially in that category leads to a much worse ratio than whites also getting pulled over without a reason.

Another example of the skewed ratios that were reported by Kim Soften in her article, “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers,” is that “a study of Connecticut traffic stops in 2014 and 2015 — among the states with the most recent data — found that 14 percent of traffic stops targeted black drivers, despite them making up only 9 percent of the state’s population.” Yet again, this supports the claim that these stops are not all simply coincidental. This is also a very recent study, so as we think we made tremendous progress with an African American president over the last 8 years, which we did to an extent, many people still continued to turn a blind eye to racism and discrimination in its various different forms.

Furthermore, there are logical and understandable rebuttals to this issue in society. Nevertheless, they can be refuted as well. People who pretend it is not real and deny certain statistics may be part of the problem. If more people in this country were open-minded and socially aware we would have a better opportunity to push for change, justice, and equality. To conclude, the great and wise Mahatma Gandhi once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” This quote is still relevant today and to this situation in particular, because collectively, we as a nation hold the power to make any change we wish if and when we come together to achieve a common goal.

Works Cited

Ingraham, Christopher. “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post, 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Soften, Kim. “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post, 08 July 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

McLaughlin, Elliot. “Woman Streams Aftermath of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting” CNN. 08 July, 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016

Office of Justice Programs. “Traffic Stops” Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Makarechi, Kia. “What The Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias” Hive, 14 July 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Reflective – darnell18

Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

I know that I could have done a more thorough job on this core value throughout the semester, even though my work may not depict a firm grasp of this concept. Nevertheless, gathering copious amounts of knowledge and information for my research paper helped me to be much more open-minded about my topic of discrimination by police officers on the road. I was set on strictly supporting the side of the frequently targeted African Americans in this argument when starting this assignment, and while I still remain on the same side, I am now more open to hearing out opposing views, such as the theory that police officers only seek people violating the law, and consistently serve without discriminating against African Americans. In my Rebuttal Rewrite, my research led me to remember that traffic stops can simply be due to a law being broken, and not to just assume that the intent in all stops are derived from the driver’s race. Research is important because I could not write a successful paper without understanding both opposing viewpoints of the issue being discussed.

Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities.

On the assignments that required me to do so, I was able to see that close and critical reading/analysis allows me to understand how and why texts create meaning. The first assignment that comes to mind is my work on Safer Saws. I synthesized ideas from multiple articles into the same assignment effectively. I assessed multiple claims from different people on the same saw, from various readings, and did it in a cohesive, comprehendible way. Also, this was not from a text, but my writing on the Visual Rewrite assignment showed that I am capable of critically analyzing a piece of work and understand the meaning it creates. Breaking down the specifics of what people did every second helped me to get a better understanding of why they did it. Regardless of the fact that it was a video rather than text, I feel the same concept can be applied in the fact that I was able to take complex material and make it mesh together.

Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

I would like to believe that I was able to analyze the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments rather well. Most specifically, I think that I took the purpose and audience into consideration when it comes to my research paper on discrimination by police while driving. My opinions may have gotten in my way when trying to write a non-biased paper, but nevertheless, my purpose was to make whoever may read the paper socially aware of my topic. Also, taking my audience’s opinions into consideration is what made me look deeper in research to understand and respect both sides of the argument. In the end of my Rebuttal Rewrite, I actually addressed the audience by saying that regardless of what side they may take, this is really happening and to neglect that fact will only make the problem worse.

Core Value IV: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

Throughout the process of writing my definition, causal, and rebuttal essays on discrimination by police while driving, I did not necessarily incorporate many different sources within those texts. Not to say that I did not have them, but I probably could have done more to involve a wider variety of resources in those arguments. Furthermore, I will still utilize many more articles, facts, and statistics in my final paper. I found that the papers leading up to my final copy were somewhat of a trial and error process of seeing how to tie it all together. Referencing back to my Bibliography, I have an abundance of sources supporting both different viewpoints of whether this discrimination exists, or traffic stops are solely based on the violation of laws. With that being said, my prior work may not reflect meeting the expectations to support my own ideas, but I am certain that my finished research paper will fulfill these requirements and contain evidence to support my interpretations, as a final paper of any variety should.

Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation.

As far as I am concerned, I did a good job of respecting my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. More so, in my Rebuttal Rewrite, I believe I was able to cover both sides of the argument fairly; whether discrimination by police exists, or rather it is solely based on violating the law. I did so while also being able to logically refute the opposing viewpoint with statistics. The topic I chose of discrimination by police while driving is extremely complex without a doubt, so it is difficult, but I tried to stay openminded to the best of my ability even though I firmly stand on one side of the topic. When it comes to appropriate citations, I did not learn how to properly do so until a few weeks into this course so there are still things that may need to be edited and corrected. Nevertheless, I now firmly understand how to do so, even though the current state of some of my work may not reflect that.

Bibliography – darnell18

1. Ingraham, Christopher. You Really Can Get Pulled Over for Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post, 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: Much like some of my other sources, this article contained facts and analysis on the racial disparity of traffic stops. It provided plenty of graphs and charts to give an easily comprehendible visual of this issue.

How I Used It: I used this article to get a better understanding of both sides of the argument via statistics, but just came to realize the disparity holds true in favor of whites like the majority of my other sources. Much of the content is similar among varying sources, but that just helps to verify that the shocking statistics that I continue to see are actually accurate.

2. Soften, Kim. “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post, 08 July 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article asked the question of why more black drivers get pulled over than any other race, and dug deep to find out the reason. It provided statistics and feedback on them to provide the reader with a better understanding of each aspect.

How I Used It: I used this material to support the majority of my side of the argument. The statistics are constant with the other sources I have used so the accuracy of these statistics is supported as well. Therefore, I was able to use these facts with confidence in my writing.

3. Harris, David. “Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation’s Highways” American Civil Liberties Union, June 1999. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article broke down individual aspects that contribute to discrimination on the roads. From roughly 20 years back, this literature was informative on the background of racial profiling while driving prior to society deeming it a legitimate issue that needed to be addressed.

How I Used It: I used this historical background in coordination with what I know about the topic now. Regardless of the time difference, many of the specifics on these issues remain the same, which informs me that it has been a big problem and disparity for years now, just not acknowledged as much until recently.

4. American Civil Liberties Union. “”Driving While Black” in Maryland” American Civil Liberties Union, 2 Feb. 2010. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article specifically breaks down profiling on the road in the state of Maryland. Certain parts of the article are not necessarily from recent studies, but are still relevant in relation to the things that happen in today’s America.

How I Used It: Again, I used this background knowledge to better inform me of the history of this epidemic. There are recent instances provided, but overall this showed me how long this has actually been an issue in society and why organizations fought the Maryland Police about racial profiling at the time.

5. Office of Justice Programs. “Traffic Stops” Bureau of Justice Statistics, Dec. 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article got into the specifics of what actually happens after the traffic stops. From search and seizures to reasons given (or not given), these statistics also explain why drivers are pulled over.

How I Used It: A portion of this article stated something about speeding being the top reason given for stops. This could refute the side of the issue I am arguing. I used it to show that the other side has a point in that, speeding is speeding whether you are black or white, so not every single stop is provoked by the race of the driver. Sometimes, the driver can actually just be doing something wrong.

6. Langton, Lynn. Durose, Matthew. “Police Behavior During Traffic And Street Stops, 2011” Bureau of Justice Statistics, 24 Sep. 2013. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article simply provides statistics in relation to police behavior during stops and whether or not they provided an actual reason for pulling people over in these instances. Although there is a noticeable difference among traffic stops, it was stated that racially, there is no notable difference in street stops.

How I Used It: I used this information to support the fact that there is a true noteworthy difference in traffic stops among different races. From searches to tickets, whites are targeted less according to these consistent statistics.

7. Makarechi, Kia. “What The Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias” Hive, 14 July 2016. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article goes into the killing of unarmed americans, why police pull people over, and also the use of nonlethal force among other subtopics.

How I Used It: Part of this article went into how police determine who to stop on the road. I used that newfound knowledge in accordance with what I already knew about these traffic stops. Also, off-duty police officers have been killed by on duty police officers in the past, with an astounding ratio of the victims being black or latino, so that was valuable knowledge discovered.

8. Dove, Travis. “The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black” The New York Times, 24 Oct. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article is an examination of traffic stops and arrests in Greensboro, North Carolina. Wide racial differences in various measures of police conduct are uncovered through analysis of particular instances and also the use of statistical charts and tables.

How I Used It: I used this background information and quotes from police officers to better understand where the officers are coming from as well. It is also interesting and very beneficial to individually analyze statistics in certain parts of the country rather than the country as a whole.

9. Lee, Jaeah. “We Crunched the Numbers on Race and Traffic Stops in the County Where Sandra Bland Died” Mother Jones, 24 July 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: This article provides statistics and analysis on police stops in the exact area where Sandra Bland was arrested. Bland was a black woman who died in custody after being pulled over in a traffic stop that violently escalated rapidly.

How I Used It: I used certain knowledge gained from this to support the opposition’s rebuttal of my argument. Many numbers point towards more blacks being pulled over in most areas, but when researching, areas that have a higher amount of whites being pulled over cannot simply be looked past.

10. Jantzi, Amanda. Brown, Charlie. “Driving While Black” Cornell University Law School, 2010. Web. 1 Dec. 2016

Background: Cornell students compiled information on driving as a minority in this country and related case studies. They cover profiling, classic cases of “driving while black” and new developments with this issue.

How I Used It: I used background information from specific case studies to support the fact that this is a common occurrence that defendants often take to court. They do so because black or white, more often than not drivers know when they are doing something illegal, and when they know they are not, suspicion of racism by police officers comes into play.

Rebuttal Rewrite – darnell18

Racial profiling still exists on the roads in today’s society. Nevertheless, there are many rebuttals that arise from this hot topic. To name a few, some may argue that many traffic stops including black drivers are just a coincidence that they are minorities and actually did something illegal to get pulled over. Others say that a large contributing factor into this issue is what race the officer is that is making the stop. For example, it could be considered to have less discriminatory intent if a black officer pulls over a black man. With all of this being said, both of these are legitimate points and do occur, but yet, they do not nearly account for the majority of stops with an African American in the car.

As far as the color of the police officer goes, it affects how society and the driver view the situation in a way that can seem less discriminatory, but still it is not that way one-hundred percent of the time. An African American officer can still discriminate against a man or woman of the same race. It may seem less suspicious seeing it, but it can not be overlooked. The color of a person’s skin does not always go hand in hand with their mindset and outlook on life. There is no saying that a black man and white man cannot share the same stereotypical mindset towards black people.

In addition to the rebuttal of same-race officers and drivers, people who disagree with the claim that racial profiling while driving is a real issue may counter the argument by saying any one of the stops that happen daily could be a coincidence. The thought is that these black drivers could be pulled over simply because they are breaking the law. While this may hold true for a fair amount of instances, it does not explain why nearly 2 percent more blacks (4.7%) are pulled over without a reason than whites (2.6%), according to Christopher Ingraham in his article titled “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show.” That statistic is unsettling because if somebody deserves to be pulled over for their driving, regardless of race, then so be it. But with that being said, minorities should not double the amount of whites in a category like this. They are called minorities for a reason, and that is because there are less of them in this country. Therefore, to lead substantially in that category leads to a much worse ratio than whites also getting pulled over without a reason.

Another example of the skewed ratios reported by Kim Soften in her article, “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers,” is that “a study of Connecticut traffic stops in 2014 and 2015 — among the states with the most recent data — found that 14 percent of traffic stops targeted black drivers, despite them making up only 9 percent of the state’s population.” Yet again, this supports the claim that these stops are not all simply coincidental. This is also a very recent study, so as we think we made tremendous progress with an African American president over the last 8 years, which we did to an extent, many people still continued to turn a blind eye to racism and discrimination in its various different forms.

In conclusion, there are logical and understandable rebuttals to this issue in society. Nevertheless, they can be refuted as well. People who pretend it is not real and deny certain statistics may be part of the problem. If more people in this country were open-minded and socially aware we would have a better opportunity to push for change, justice, and equality.

Works Cited

Ingraham, Christopher. “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post. 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Soften, Kim. “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post. 08 July 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Rebuttal Argument – darnell18

Racial profiling still exists on the roads in today’s society. Nevertheless, there are many rebuttals that arise from this hot topic. To name a few, some may argue that many traffic stops including black drivers are just a coincidence that they are minorities and actually did something illegal to get pulled over. Others say that a large contributing factor into this issue is what race the officer is that is making the stop. For example, it could be considered to have less discriminatory intent if a black officer pulls over a black man. With all of this being said, both of these are legitimate points and do occur, but yet, they do not nearly account for the majority of stops with an African American in the car.

As far as the color of the police officer goes, it affects how society and the driver view the situation in a way that can seem less discriminatory, but still it is not that way one-hundred percent of the time. An African American officer can still discriminate against a man or woman of the same race. It may seem less suspicious seeing it, but it can not be overlooked. The color of a person’s skin does not always go hand in hand with their mindset and outlook on life. There is no saying that a black man and white man cannot share the same stereotypical mindset towards black people.

In addition to the rebuttal of same-race officers and drivers, people who disagree with the claim that racial profiling while driving is a real issue may counter the argument by saying any one of the stops that happen daily could be a coincidence. The thought is that these black drivers could be pulled over simply because they are breaking the law. While this may hold true for a fair amount of instances, it does not explain why nearly 2 percent more blacks (4.7%) are pulled over without a reason than whites (2.6%), according to Christopher Ingraham in his article titled “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show.” That statistic is unsettling because if somebody deserves to be pulled over for their driving, regardless of race, then so be it. But with that being said, minorities should not double the amount of whites in a category like this. They are called minorities for a reason, and that is because there are less of them in this country. Therefore, to lead substantially in that category leads to a much worse ratio than whites also getting pulled over without a reason.

Another example of the skewed ratios reported by Kim Soften in her article, “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers,” is that “a study of Connecticut traffic stops in 2014 and 2015 — among the states with the most recent data — found that 14 percent of traffic stops targeted black drivers, despite them making up only 9 percent of the state’s population.” Yet again, this supports the claim that these stops are not all simply coincidental. This is also a very recent study, so as we think we made tremendous progress with an African American president over the last 8 years, which we did to an extent, many people still continued to turn a blind eye to racism and discrimination in its various different forms.

In conclusion, there are logical and understandable rebuttals to this issue in society. Nevertheless, they can be refuted as well. People who pretend it is not real and deny certain statistics may be part of the problem. If more people in this country were open-minded and socially aware we would have a better opportunity to push for change, justice, and equality.

Works Cited

Ingraham, Christopher. “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post. 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Soften, Kim. “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post. 08 July 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Definition Rewrite – darnell18

Discrimination still plays an incredibly large role in society today. Varying throughout many groups, races, genders, etc., people are currently continuing to live through the struggle of being judged based off of physical appearance. The dictionary defines the word discrimination as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” Much like any other definition of most words, digging a little bit deeper than a textbook interpretation to fully comprehend the word is a necessity. In relation to the researched topic at hand, discrimination is heavily incorporated in the enforcing of laws, and routine traffic stops in particular.

The concept of discrimination is morally wrong and unjust however it is looked at. What is even worse is that this group of minorities being discriminated against are now potentially getting into trouble with the law based on how they look. In Christopher Ingraham’s article, “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show,” proclaims, “Perhaps most troubling from a civil liberties perspective, nearly five percent of blacks weren’t given any reason for why they were stopped, compared with 2.6 percent of whites and 3.3 percent of Hispanics.” This quote speaks volumes toward the issue at hand. Astoundingly, nearly double the amount of African Americans as compared to caucasians are not even informed as to why they are pulled over. This is where the line must be drawn. There is already no room for racism and discrimination, and now it has been blown so far out of proportion that these people being discriminated against have to pay money for it and possibly have a tainted record.

On the other hand, while discrimination is real and potentially harmful in today’s society, it is also interesting to take into consideration what race the police officers happen to be in the same situation. For example, the statistics show that roughly five percent of African Americans are not given a reason for why they are stopped, but would these traffic stops be considered equally as discriminatory if the police officer making the stop was a minority as well? It is most certainly a very intriguing factor in all of this, because if a black police officer pulls over a black man, very few people’s initial reaction is that the cop is racist. Whereas if it were a white cop in the same situation, the very first thought that comes across most everyone’s mind in society today is that it was for discriminatory purposes. This does not automatically make it acceptable for a black police officer to pull over another black man without a reason, but in the big picture, it simply raises suspicion about an officer’s motive.

One of the worst parts about this issue is that the discrimination does not begin and end with simple traffic stops. From illegal searches of a vehicle to license suspensions and tickets, how an officer chooses to discipline a man or woman that they went out of their way to pull over because of their appearance can be equally discriminatory. Recently, it has even been escalated to these citizens having their lives taken away from them in what could have just been a routine traffic stop. Just recently this past July, a Minnesota police officer shot and killed a black man after pulling him over for a broken tail light. In this instance, it is not clear that he was pulled over because he was black, given that there was a tail light out. Nevertheless, this is something that is rarely ever heard about with a white man on the fatal end of gunpoint. It has gotten so bad that in many places, whenever a police officer even approaches a minority, people take their phones out to record what happens in anticipation of it going awry. When it becomes expected that these stops will go wrong to this extent, something must be done about it.

If our country chooses to turn a blind eye to this, we have seen that a revolt is not unrealistic. In her article, “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers,” Kim Soften asserted that following the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, snipers in Dallas killed five police officers and injured more. This country is not far from potentially going into a civil war between police and African Americans, and the root of it all is none other than the negative power of discrimination.

In conclusion, many different problems stem from judging and disciplining somebody based off of their race and appearance. Racism and discrimination have been around for hundreds of years in this country and it would be nice to be able to say that we have come such a long way as a country, but the fact that this is still an issue in 2016 is proof that laws may have changed, but many people’s mindsets have not. It is that toxic belief in discrimination that has set the progress of this nation back.

Works Cited
Ingraham, Christopher. “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post. 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Soften, Kim. The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post. 08 July 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

Causal Rewrite – darnell18

The Dark Truth About Driving

When it comes to police officers pulling over minorities for discriminatory reasons, the causal chain that follows has proven to be extremely controversial and sometimes even fatal. These looming problems could be non existent if officers used their authority properly on a consistent basis. The specific issue at hand exists in the first place because police officers in today’s society do not always use their discretion to pull drivers over simply for issues relating to the law, but rather because of their discriminatory mentality. Christopher Ingraham claims that “approximately a two percent higher amount of blacks than whites are actually not even given a reason for why they have been pulled over when they get stopped,” in his article, “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show.” Two percent may not sound extremely high, but when the percentage of whites not given a reason is only at 2.6, then it is almost double the amount of blacks that go through the same thing.

The causal chain that tends to occur in this situation is that discriminating police officers pulling over a higher number of minorities than any other group, then leads to these minorities resenting police officers because they abuse their authority. In addition to that, whether the driver or officer are being particularly way too difficult at the time, things have taken an abrupt, violent turn for the worst.

The Constitution begins by stating that “all men are equal”, yet the society we live in has proven that although it is in The Constitution, it is still far from true. In relation to discrimination by officers potentially turning violent, it is important to understand that the discrimination does not just stop when the car is pulled over. Much like how The Constitution states that all men are equal but still are not treated equally, the 14th Amendment provides equal protection and not allowing discrimination while driving, but that is also not applied consistently. As a nation, we cannot be oblivious and neglect the fact that regardless of what The Constitution may say, law enforcement does not faithfully abide to it. Minorities are referred to as such because there are less of them in our country than whites. Nevertheless, more blacks are pulled over than whites. Minorities making up the majority of people pulled over is a staggering statistic that should not be overlooked.
Just a few months ago, an African-American man named Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in his car in Minnesota. The car was pulled over for a broken taillight, which is understandable. Nevertheless, the man had a 5 year old girl in the back seat when the officer shot him. There was a woman in the passenger seat that started recording the situation on her phone after shots were fired, and her statement explaining the killing was that, ”he let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him in his arm,” Elliot McLaughlin reports in his article, “Woman Streams Aftermath of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting.” He had a permit for the gun and went out of his way to make the officer aware he had it. It may not be known how this would have unfolded had the driver been white, but taking into consideration that the society we live in today is full of discrimination and hate, most people would believe that this officer was slightly more on-edge and trigger-happy due to the color of the man on the opposite end of the barrel.

The issue does not just begin and end with a simple traffic stop, either. “The racial disparity isn’t just limited to stops. Other police-driver contact — searches, tickets, arrests and license suspensions — show similar racial skews,” according to Kim Soften in “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers.” This is what leads to the majority of these minorities resenting and not respecting the authority. Many of them may have to deal with ensuing legal issues after getting pulled over, that would not have happened had this epidemic been a thing of the past.

As far as the anticipated rebuttals to this argument go, it is clear that not everybody shares a similar viewpoint on this topic. If everybody had the same mindset about it, it probably would not be a problem. Some rebuttals are indisputably true as well, such as the fact that African American police officers pull over black people as well, so it is unlikely a man would discriminate against someone the same color as him. Nevertheless, with that being said, that does not account for every single traffic stop. It is an exception to the discriminatory pattern of white against black, but yet it cannot be ignored that the percentage of those occurrences is minuscule in relation to the typical white cop, black driver scenario.

In conclusion, as much as our nation would probably like to say that discrimination was a thing of the past, it is not. These are real issues and racism is still alive. Just because it does not come in the visual form of segregation in the early 1900s, does not mean it is gone and over with. It is clearly unknown what it will take to change the discriminatory mindset of the people in our society today, but at this rate it looks like we are on pace to set our country back 100 years and something must be done about it. Yes, we have had a black president, but it is as if we took one step forward and two steps back by now electing a man who openly makes racist and discriminatory remarks in many of his debates and press conferences. There were actually riots when Obama was elected. This shows that a good amount of this country was not ready for a black president. If racial profiling still happened under a black president, they certainly will not improve or just go away under the government of a man who sustains a discriminatory mentality.

Works Cited

Soften, Kim. “The Big Question About Why Police Pull Over So Many Black Drivers” The Washington Post. 08 July 2016. Web. 30 Oct. 2016<

Ingraham, Christopher. “You Really Can Get Pulled Over For Driving While Black, Federal Statistics Show” The Washington Post. 09 Sept. 2014. Web. 30 Oct. 2016

McLaughlin, Elliot. “Woman Streams Aftermath of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting” CNN. 08 July, 2016. Web. 06 Nov. 2016