March 15, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
My name is Ruthie, and I am a student at Parkway West Middle School. I am writing you today to share my thoughts about racial profiling.
If I ever came across a genie in a magical lamp, my first wish would be for a time machine. I would jump inside that time machine and go back to the year 2004, back to when I was just five years old, back to kindergarten. Remember kindergarten? Well, I certainly can't recall every precious detail, but what I do remember is this: People didn't judge. It didn't matter if you were tall, short, fat, skinny, poor, rich, white, black, yellow, or purple with red and green polka dots. All that mattered in the world was which crayon's we'd use and how many stickers we'd get that day. However, as I grew older, I began to notice a change. At first, the change was miniscule, barely noticeable, but recently, the change has gradually grown into something I could no longer ignore. People began to infer things, often rather horrible things, based on looks, class, religion, and, of course, race. I started to look into it, and I happened across a couple of articles online on racial profiling, in which law enforcers use race as a primary basis to detain suspects. This immediately sparked my interest. I strongly oppose this degrading, ineffective, and unsuccessful practice.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Well, Dr. King would be quite disappointed. Racial profiling may be one of the most degrading practices in law enforcement. To illustrate, a group of Asian-Americans in Seattle, Washington was detained for jaywalking. However, another group, consisting of whites, that was crossing the street in the same manner was not stopped. Now, is this really fair? This practice targets African Americans, Latinos, Arabs, and South Asians, sending the message that these groups are inferior to others. This is simply not right. Stating that one race is greater than another is like stating one piece of a jigsaw puzzle is better than another. We can not allow our friends to undergo this injustice. We must unite together to complete the puzzle.
In addition to being degrading, racial profiling is also extremely ineffective. One example is President McKinley's assassination. President McKinley's assassin, a white man, was able to conceal the murder weapon and pass through security while the secret service agents were instead focusing on "a dark man with a mustache." Not only is this a terrible stereotype, it also proves how unsuccessful racial profiling is. Racial profiling distracts law officials from focusing on the actual threat at hand. How many others must be falsely accused before we realize how wrong this is?
Mr. President, I must urge you to enforce stricter laws prohibiting the use of racial profiling in order to form a more united nation. Law enforcers must realize that not all terrorists are Arabs, and African Americans and Latinos aren't any more likely to commit a crime than whites. You, as the first African American president, are one of the greatest examples of how people of different races can accomplish amazing things.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and taking this issue into consideration.
Wish You Well,
Parkway West Middle School
St. Louis, MO
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