Argument Criteria and Analysis: Race Profiling

Free Analysis Essay Sample

The article “What's Race Got to Do with It” written by John Cloud, Marguerite Michaels, and Sarah Sturmon Dale is a reflection on a controversial issue – racial profiling. Racial profiling has linked people mostly of the African American community to law enforcement agencies regarding different issues for decades. A confirmation of existence of racial profiling and the viability of true/false claims is relevant to the derivation of a lasting solution to the issue. Law enforcement agents are quite confused about how to do their jobs well without being classified as racial profilers. African American folks have been enduring discrimination since the past until now. They believe that they are automatically categorized as criminals and specifically targeted by law enforcement agents and agencies. The information presented in the article “What’s Race Got to Do with It” shows that both White and Hispanic folks are also “victims” of racial profiling. These claims and the evidence supporting them provide an insight into one of the unethical practice of some law enforcement agencies and/or its agents. This is also probably why the title of the article demotes the assumption that it is a racial issue, but does not incline to stressing the discussing the matter as an ethical problem. The accounts of incidents narrated in the article insinuate that there is a possibility of racial profiling going on in the United States of America.

The term “racial profiling” engages one into the reasoning on the discriminatory practices towards African Americans used by policemen on duty. However, that thought seems to be a myth because reports show that racial profiling, discrimination from the police, affects Hispanics and Whites too. Further discussions will be based on analyzing the article “What’s Race Got to Do with It.” It investigates how police officers get caught up in the uncertainty of how to react to crimes during their duty, fear of being accused wrongly, alternative solutions and evidences supporting racial profiling claims.

Criteria/Analysis of the Article “What’s Race Got to Do with It”

An argument can be regarded as a conclusive discussion based on evidence. Arguments are usually based on two points of views, the supporting point of view and the opposing one. Therefore, it is safe to conclude that every argument is based on an individual opinion. However, an opinion can be biased, prejudicial, irrational, and rational. The tone and the evidence provided to support the claim of a verbal or written argument will provide the reader or listener with an ability to discern if the argument is "strong” or "weak." Evaluation of an argument does not necessarily mean criticism. An evaluation should express particular criteria. The criteria observed for the analysis of the argument are claim, fairness, evidence, logic, and tone.

The Claim

The claim in the article is racial profiling, how it affects law enforcement agents, and the American population. Claims like that of a columnist Roberto Rodriguez, who wrote about having his car “ripped apart” by federal agents in New Mexico two years earlier because he was travelling “a suspicious route,” indicates public reaction towards police racial discrimination in arrests and traffic stop checks, which has resulted in police officers being accused of racial profiling and may cause job loss for guilty officers. In the article “What’s Race Got to Do with It,” Keith Fangman, the President of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.) said "Our officers are very frustrated at the rise in crimes, but they are afraid of being labeled a racial profile every time they arrest someone."

The Fairness

The fairness of the argument depicts the rationality and sincerity of the authors that is in line with the evidence provided. There should be no trace of bias information whatsoever in the argument. In this article, the authors were able to balance both the views of the public and the police agencies/officers on the possible effects.

The Evidence

The evidence provided in the argument proves the point being made by the authors. An example in the article recollects how the American Civil Liberties Union got the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to repay $7,000 to officers seized from a black business man in Omaha. The issue was based on a false theory, stating that it was money from selling it. All other evidence provided seems to be in accordance with the point the authors were trying to prove in their argument. The evidence provided was relevant and reliable and did not contradict the points of the authors.

The Logic

The logic behind the argument shows the level of connection between the evidence provided in the article and the point the authors intended to prove. The logic of the argument is enough to help a reader better understand the proven points. There is a logical movement from the premise to conclusion and the discussed alternatives.

The Tone

The tone of the authors exhibits an appropriate attitude for the content. It also expresses a good and interesting narration of the point and evidence. The tone also reflects a mild sensation, which does not indicate urgency in the argument regarding the provision of a solution to racial profiling.


In conclusion, a major part of the article was based on generalization, in parts where the article addressed the incidents that occurred with black people. African Americans are and were common victims of discrimination, and this was also reflected in the article. The argument was also analogical with respect to the evidence provided. The claims of the American Civil Liberties Union about the case a black businessman whose money was seized by law enforcement agents based on a false theory that he had drug affiliated money. In case with the Hispanic columnist who had his car ripped apart for travelling a suspicious route—as presented were not biased, and the evidences were substantial, relevant, and consistent enough to back up the claims. It was a well and fairly argued article without any form of over dramatization. The article “What’s Race Got to Do with It” by Cloud, Michaels, and Dale should be rated as a strongly argued.

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