Racial Profiling In Claudia Rankine's Citizen

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Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen” focuses on race through different stories and experiences. Racial profiling in particular is detailed on page 107 of the book. Many people have been and continue to be racially profiled by the police, with minority groups being the most profiled. Racial profiling does not take into consideration that a person might be innocent but instead focuses on skin color as a way of trying to catch criminals. Racial profiling of innocent individuals takes a toll on their psyche and makes them believe that no matter what they do, they will be deemed guilty until they can prove they are innocent.
“Each time it begins in the same way, it doesn’t begin the same way, each time it begins it’s the same.” is written at the beginning and then again near the end of the page (107). The reason this phrase is repeated like this is to show the repetition of the events that come with racial profiling. Every time a person fits the description of a criminal they
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Because the people being profiled are thought to be up to no good, excessive force and unreasonable tactics somehow become justified and necessary. When Rankine writes, “the officer’s knee pressing into my collarbone…” one would think that this officer had a reason for being so rough on this person (107). We see that in the end, “…no reason was needed…”, to forcibly pull someone out of a car and handcuff them (107). The officer is still using force unnecessarily on someone who is already handcuffed and not fighting back. This scenario continues to be a common theme with racial profiling incidents and Rankine knowing this, shows that this process is only causing more violence. In this depiction of real incidents of racial profiling the police officer is smiling as if he has a “private joke.” He is the one in control that feels he is doing justice by arresting someone that he never bothers to check is innocent and this is a
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