Racial Bias and Civil Rights
Racial profiling is one of the contemporary world’s worst forms of discrimination against people. The people affected the most are mainly minority groups such as blacks, and Arab origin people. In the US, the government and civil rights groups have achieved tremendous progress in reducing and curbing racial profiling on people through activism, legal channels, and public sensitization efforts. For instance, during the 1960s, civil rights activism headed by one of the black pioneers, Martin Luther, managed to ensure that legal and society discrimination of the black community were curbed by legal and societal sensitization.
Use of affirmative action is one of the methodologies employed to curb cases of discrimination based on one’s demographical background. Myriads of cases have been brought to the Supreme Court where racial bias was the primary issue, and in at least 85% of the cases presented, the Supreme Court has upheld decisions geared towards equal protection of human rights regardless of one’s inhibitions or demographical backgrounds. For instance, a firefighter’s suit filed due to poor recruitment procedures by the New York firefighting department revealed that candidates were chosen in a manner that was racially biased towards black and Hispanic minority groups. The Supreme Court decision upheld that these firefighters was prejudicial and recommended an amendment to the recruitment procedures to advocate for equal rights for all people, regardless of race.
In Saudi Arabia, the situation is different, albeit with fewer court cases. According to Saudi Arabia laws, the government has enacted a law that advocates for emiratization. This is a system where companies and institutions in the country are encouraged to employees that are Saudi nationals, and replace foreign workers with these nationals regardless of their experience or education. This is prejudicial since it is biased towards ethnic and racial workers in the country that represent at least 65% of the total work force. Therefore, in this country, human rights activism against racial bias is important since, there is also a large income gap between minority and foreign groups working in the country. Cases of discrimination and maltreatment of migrant workers in the country are on the rise, with little to no intervention by the government due to the poor labor laws protecting foreign or migrant workers.
This situation is balanced out in the US where cases of racial profiling on people of Arab origin have become a common occurrence. Following the adverse terrorist attacks in the US and other countries, Arabs and Muslims have become targets for racial bias. In airports, for instance, these people are constantly selected for random screening of their bodies and luggage’s due to the suspicions of involvement in terror activities. In spite of this blatant and open racial bias of these people, cases against areas where the profiling has occurred have become irrelevant. This is because the government has enacted laws that allows for searches and seizures such as Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (USA PATRIOT Act, or USAPA) (Gary, 2012). Therefore, improvements and developments in human rights activism for equality have been successful in bringing about change due to discrimination of people based on their demographical backgrounds. However, impediments remain to cause these changes to become irrelevant as governments are enacting and passing laws that seem to advocate and encourage discrimination and prejudice on people’s rights.
Gary, M. J. (2012). Predicting Malicious Behavior: Tools and Techniques for Ensuring Global Security. New York: John Wiley & Sons