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Race And Racialization In Canada Research Assignment (Essay Sample)


An Essay on race and racialization in canada

Race (and Racialization) in Canada
The term race may refer to a group of people who have common physical characteristics, which are genetically transferred from parent to child. Race can also mean the classification of individuals based on observable physical traits, and as a result, some people assume that these physical traits have a direct relationship with academic, ethical, and other mental skills. The above assumptions may lead to racialization, which involves treating certain groups of people differently from other groups based on abstract or actual physical qualities. A stereotype is a prejudiced view regarding a community. Racial profiling is a consequence of the stereotyping people of other races. This paper examines race profiling in Canada. Furthermore, it discusses how race profiling is evident in the process of carding by law enforcement authorities.
Racial profiling involves suspecting certain individuals of law breaking due to their faith, background, race, or nationality. It originates from racialization of ethnic groups since it occurs because of stereotyping the racialized people by law enforcement officials. An example of racial profiling is the halting of drivers for inconsequential traffic infringements based on race. For instance, in Cole’s account, the police pursue his father and eventually stop him just because his cousin threw out a piece of Kleenex through the car window. Racial profiling leads to sidelining of certain racial groups as well as hostility towards them, which come as a result of increased surveillance of the minority groups by the police. In the end, the people would lose faith in the police and view them as unreliable.
Racial profiling plays a significant role in the marginalization of communities that are prone to it. Abasement and negative typecasting, which are supported by government procedures, raise suspicion against the minority community. Accordingly, they marginalize the targeted community into a minority that is alienated from the country. For instance, in Australia, the people of Middle Eastern descent encompass barely 1.5 percent of the population, yet 28 percent of them are unemployed (Patterson). Notably, this rate surpasses the national average by far, and it is as a result of continued defamation of Islamic people in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States of America, which rendered them untrustworthy to potential employers (Patterson). On the other hand, Nelson writes about Boudreau, who argues that the criminalization of racial minorities and the underprivileged communities in Halifax enhanced their segregation from the public (134). Consequently, the seclusion turned the minority communities into objects of excessive distrust, policing, and viciousness from white populations and the police.
As mentioned above, hostility and violence are effects of racial profiling. The hostility mainly results from heightened levels of suspicion against members of minority communities. The suspicion is reinforced by stereotypes, which label individuals from a particular race as malevolent, thus leading to fear that is counteracted by excessive use of force against people perceived as threats. For instance, Boudreau depicts racial unrests in which white people attack the business premises of Chinese individuals assuming that they are facades for criminal activity (Nelson 134). Adverse stereotyping together with bad associations of Muslim communities to terrorism and violence in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. have had similar effects in Canada (“Woman's Hijab Pulling”). For example, in the Kadri incident, a Muslim woman was victimized when going about her business at a Mississauga mall.
Furthermore, another repercussion of racial profiling is increased surveillance of racialized communities. The authorities use the perception that some groups pose a threat to the system or public security due to negative stereotypes, which is a justification for persistent surveillance. According to Nelson, the police spy on African Nova Scotians in various locations, such as nightclubs and university campuses, simply because they were worried about an infiltration by the Black Panther Organization (135). They conduct surveillance even though little proof is available to support their suspicions of a mounting rebellion and the fact that Halifax had very few black residents to support the organization’s radical agenda. The needless surveillance, therefore, points to racial profiling as the real reason for scrutiny and not the supposed Black Panther Party conspiracy. The surveillance lasted long after the Black Panther Party activists had visited the country, and the information collected was more concerned about the behavior of the black families, which has little to do with the planning of an insurrection. The fact that the surveillance made little effort to achieve its initial objective leads to the conclusion that the whole operation served a different agenda, which was the scrutiny of a group of people due to prejudiced notions of criminality.
Other than overt scrutiny of people of particular races, another consequence of racial profiling is the mistrust of authorities by affected people. For instance, Nichols reveals that he starts to perceive uniformed police officers as a menace. He loses faith in the police because they always seem to stop him because of his skin color and on one occasion, an officer humiliates him in front of a female friend. The police are always suspicious of the Nichols’ intentions because of his skin color,...
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