Since Black Like Me, a book which gives the true account of a white man who experiences the life of a black man in the deep south during the 1960s, was written, the role than an individual’s race plays in society has changed drastically (Griffin, 1996). Though restrooms no longer bare signs reading “white” and “negro”, discrimination and racial issues still exist throughout society, and they exist across all races, not just blacks (Griffin 1996). African Americans, Mexican and Mexican Americans, and people of middle eastern decent are still bombarded daily by racial profiling, racial gaps, and white supremacy, despite society’s apparent leap towards racial equality since the 1960s.
As America transitioned from the Civil War era to the 20th century and even into the early 21st century, past prejudices and stereotypes associated with different racial groups became integrated into every-day occurrences and even modern legislature. Similarly to in Black Like Me when Griffin (1996) was accused of being a thief and unintelligent simply because he was black, people today are still often assumed to have certain traits and characteristics simply because of the color of their skin. Racial profiling occurs among police, civilians, and even in airports (“Racial,” 2018). In a study of the stop-and-frisk procedures done by police, researchers found that most of the people stopped were people of color, over 90 percent of which had not even committed a crime (“Racial,” 2018). However, police are not the only ones guilty of racial profiling, as average citizens are often the worst offenders (“Racial,” 2018). The most popular example of this occurred in 2012, when George Zimmerman, a white man on patrol for his neighborhood watch, shot and killed Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black teenager, with the main cause of the attack suspected to be racial profiling (“Racial,” 2018). Even in airports, the stereotypical belief that all Muslims and people of middle eastern descent are terrorists is startlingly obvious, as the people selected for “random” security checks were overwhelmingly Arab (“Racial,” 2018).
This racial profiling can be accredited to events as far back as the conquering of the native peoples of the Americas, as well as a recent rise in illegal immigration among Latinos and Syrians, and the tragic events of September 11, 2001(“Racial,” 2018; Salaita, 2006). Racial profiling has even infiltrated into American legislature and the Oval Office (Korte & Gomez, 2018). As a result of the strong prejudices against Arabs and Latinos, as well as 9/11 and illegal immigration, these racial groups in particular, have been the target of recent backlash and immigration laws (Korte & Gomez, 2018; Lind, 2018). Since 2001, and since Donald Trump took office in 2016, immigration has been particularly strict, especially among the thousands Syrians who are trying to flee war-torn Syria (Lind, 2018). Racial profiling against Arabs is at least partially to blame for the immigration ban against Syria, as well as the dramatic drop in number of Syrian refugees accepted into the United States (Lind,
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