But including race as a factor in the profiling process does not necessarily convert the entire process into an exercise in racism. Race or ethnicity, as a factor, has been and can still be a legitimate consideration in criminal profiling. For example, the “drug courier profile” – based on years of experience of narcotics officers – combines the recurring characteristics seen in most narcotic smugglers to aid in apprehending and investigating possible suspects, and these characteristics also included racial/ethnic origin of most smugglers. It is only when race becomes the most important – if not the only – factor in this process of elimination that the entire process is rendered inefficient and develops racist overtones. (D’Angelo & Douglas, 2006)
Unfortunately, educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, have also been noted to have used race as a criteria to grant and/or deny admission to their applicants. This once again contradicts the quintessential American quest for equal educational opportunities for all members of the society, irrespective of their social or economic background.
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