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Policing Policies in Race and Ethnicity: Progress and Challenges

May 23, 2023 | 0 comments

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May 23, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

The issues of policing in race and ethnicity have changed so much in the past decade. Where people of different races were not tolerated and in fact were treated as insignificant, today race tolerance has increased. The world at large, being led by the great superpowers top among them, the United States has begun looking beyond the skin. Racial tolerance has increased so much, so that an African-American has been elected to serve as the leader and president of the United States of America. The government, international organizations and even international bodies have stood up together to demolish the issue of racism as well as ethnicity. However, this is not to mean that racism is completely gone, in fact it still continues to thrive in some situations. This is why it continues to generate even more interest than other issues. Renowned personalities, celebrities and great world leaders are constantly speaking about and against the issues of racism.


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Progress in policies  of policing in race and ethnicity

The journey towards a complete policy protecting individuals against racism and ethnicity has not been easy but has essentially made great strides. The current policies for policing in race and ethnicity have come a long way from the Scott decision and Policy, more than a century ago which justified the rights of African Americans to be treated as an inferior race. Once slavery was abolished, the attitude towards people of different races began changing, however, the policies at the time made little and insignificant difference. The civil war of the 1960’s can be considered as the first time that serious changes were considered and made in policy, accommodating the needs, desires and rights of all races and ethnic groups.
However, even with these strong policies for policing in race and ethnicity, the patterns of addressing the various social and economic needs of the African Americans and other races have remained wanting. The media has often highlighted the various issues that particular minority races and ethnic groups are still facing, even when policies are directed towards equality.
Change in Statistics

The statistics with regard to racism have seen many changes, with positive influence being noted in ever y sector. Before the 1960 civil wars, less than 10% of the African-American and minority race population had attended and completed high school. During the civil unrest, enrollment in high schools increased, in an attempt to drive and bring changes to the education system. By the end of 1969, 30% of the population had at least completed high school. This population then went ahead to acquire unique skills in college education. Begining of 2014, more than 80%, specifically 82.4% of the minority populations had completed High school and moved on to college. College attendance has in fact improved by more than 300%, with notable awards and academic achievements going to people of minority races, (Gabbidon and Greene 2013).

With increase in education, the level of employment has also seen much change. In the 1950’s, minority races were only considered for domestic work, and manual labor. The trend still continues, but significant changes have been seen with work places being forced into more equitable employment. Statistics indicate that 56.7% of the minority population has gained high ranks in places of employment. Furthermore, equality in wages is no longer a matter of just policy but active practice in all employment companies and agencies. After many cases, in fact thousands of cases where the issue of wages based on race and ethnicity has been discussed and decided upon the law indicates that it is actually illegal companies to pay workers differently based on anything other than their skills.

The college educated, well paid minority individual is no longer a phenomenon to be admired in the community. More and more individuals are becoming successful and steering away from the stereotype that race determines talent, skills and intelligence. More than 64% of the minority races have moved to major cities where they are engaged in gainful employment. It should be noted that before 1960, the population of minorities living in the major cities was less than 10%. The bureau of statistics indicates that whereas there exists a gap in the employment of the minority races, the gap is slowly closing in. companies and industries are striving towards creating an equality recruitment policy as a way of policing in race and ethnicity to create a strong and diverse work force. Furthermore, organisations endeavour to ensure that the work environment is directed towards ensuring equality in the work place.

Challenges of policing in race and ethnicity

Even with good policies, the issue of racism has proved difficult to deal with. The government and other stakeholders face many challenges when addressing the issue of racism and ethnicity.
            Tradition: one of the main challenges is that racism has been part of the norm for a long while. Racism as a behavior has been ingrained within the people, making progress slow and difficult. In attempting to resolve the issues, and change attitudes and behavior; new sources of tension have been created. In some areas, racism has become worse as attempts towards equality are encouraged. Traditionalists, those fighting against equality have become even more vocal making the possibility of success much slower.
            Socio-economic welfare: whether it’s an inherited tradition or a remnant of past practices, minority races and ethnic groups have lower socio-economic status. Lack of access to resources, means that access to education, proper training and the ability to further education such as access to college is limited. The effects of racism before the 1960’s are still being felt. To deal with the issue completely, policies addressing the inequality of access to resources need to be put in place.
            Affirmative action: the positive effects of affirmative action cannot be denied. Through affirmative action, minority races got the chance to fight for equal treatment as well as access to resources. However, affirmative action also had a negative impact which continues to exist till today. This is the fact that it awoke sensitivity to discrimination, so much so that even cases where discrimination may not increased; they are sensationalized as racism and ethnicity. Sensationalized by the media and other outlets, has made racism difficult to deal with and even address without raising negative emotions.


Though various policies used in policing in race and ethnicity have been put in place to address the issue of racism; specific factor such as access to residential homes and different treatment in the criminal and justice system still remain prevalent. It seems that the policies are superficial, and do not deal with the root causes of racism that continue to prevail. Whereas racism is no longer open, there are hidden tendencies of intolerance and discrimination. Each particular race faces some unique cases and challenges which need to be addressed specifically. The issue of race and ethnicity has often been addressed as a political matter, in campaign trails rather than being embedded and implemented fully in policies. Segregation based on race though not as widespread continues to exist, even when it’s the most addressed, spoken about and written about issue.


Gabbidon, S. L., & Greene, H. T. (2013). Race and crime. Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE Publications.

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