Mar 25, 2010

Harvard Law

Going to Harvard was an exceptional experience. As the racial profiling group, we visited a law professor whohelped us answer the questions necessary for a more descriptive answer to thisdifficult topic. Our group went into this venue not exactly knowing what toexpect. To our surprise, this experience was incredibly informative. Theprocess began with the Harvard Law professor explaining to the group recentcases, with the past few decades, on racial profiling. These cases intriguedthe group’s interests to a point it was quite difficult to quiet us down. As anindividual would make a valid point, another person would follow promptly withanother, and another, and another. It was clear by this point that ourconversations as a group were coming full circle. These complex cases includedsituations where individuals were judged or incriminated based on little morethan race. For example, in one case two Mexican men were pulled over at aborder solely because the officers profiled them as Mexicans. The case went tothe Supreme Court and was seen as discriminatory and was throw out. Anothercase was presented where at an official checkpoint at the Canadian border itbecame legal for officers to either let individuals pass through or pull aside“suspectful” characters. Many questions then arose, is it right for officers toracial profile at an official checkpoint? Can racial profiling be justified asa means of protection? Do some situations such as plane rides require a greaterdegree of racial profiling? These were only a few of the questions that beganto predominately arise as our conversation progressed. Our group discoveredthat there is no concrete answer to racial profiling. Though it may be helpfulin certain situations, it is not a practical means of finding criminals.Meeting with this Harvard Law Professor was a great experience and he helped usdiscover that finding an answer to such a harsh topic is virtually impossible.

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