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Racial Profiling

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M Valdez

on 17 February 2014

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Transcript of Racial Profiling

What is Racial Profiling?
It is the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime
3 Ethical Theories:
Act Utilitarianism
Virtue Ethics
Kant Deontological Ethics
Act Utilitarianism
Virtues are specific character traits that have moral values in themselves
(loyalty, compassion)

A person's motivation for moral actions are attributed to his character, not following a duty or moral principle

A virtuous person will make the best decisions in any predicament, no matter the situation

What is Racial Profiling?
It is the use of race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime
Golden Mean:

The proper balance between two vices
(bad character traits)
(between recklessness & cowardliness)

Follows duties & moral obligations and rejects consequences as a basis for determining ethical choices
Under Act Utilitarianism, Virtue Ethics and Kant Ethics, the store clerk despite his/her's intention of stopping a crime did not make the right ethical choice
Would your point of view change if the credit-card had been stolen/fake?

Is Racial Profiling ok during times of war or national security?

Purchased a $350 Salvatore Ferragamo belt and suspected of credit-card fraud
Directly affects:
Store (employees & management)
Trayon Christian & his family

Indirectly affects:
African-American Community
Citizens throughout U.S. due to social media

Scope of store clerk is minimal compared to Trayon

Length of Time of each effect

Degree of strength or force from an act

The likelihood of particular effects actually taking place.
The morally right act for any situation that produces the greatest overall utility for the greatest amount of people
Includes all affected by the act, either directly or indirectly.
Duration of store clerk is minimal, since he/she may have received instant notoriety, but have since gained negative criticism.
Duration affects Trayon longer since he vowed to never shop at Barney's again (last his entire life)
which not only affects his shopping habits at future retail stores but also how he feels going anywhere
Trayon has experienced greater emotional suffering, due to his arrest and questioning of credit-card fraud.

Store Clerk's decision has created more disutility
Store Clerk's probable consequences
Stopped a potential criminal
Get a promotion
Hailed as a hero

Probable consequences on Trayon Christian
Arrested & Questioned
Public backlash (boycott of Barney's retail store and call for celebrities such as Jay-Z
to withdraw their p
rticipation in selling their
clothing line at Barney's
Since the store clerk's decision has created more disutility than utility, by calculating scope, duration, intensity and probability, he/she did not make the r
ethical choice
Virtue Ethics can be classified by purpose:
Focuses on developing a virtuous person
Applying Virtue Ethics:
The store clerk's choice is based off a prejudice view (a vice), while a virtuous person would be able to show temperance and control their feelings by being professional and courteous
Limiting Virtues -
control or manage our inclinations & feelings
Obligation Virtues
- Serve to fulfill our moral obligation to act in certain ways
Good-promoting Virtues
- Serve to promote specific values or goods
The golden mean would be to have a helpful and courteous manner between not caring/helping and being overly concerned and wondering how customers are going to pay for items in the store
s reason to determine moral duty, and
e Kant is an absolutist that means the
rality of an
tion can't be changed
Principle of Universal Law
Act with a maxim (rule of conduct or behavior) that you can rationally will to be universal for all people to follow
Good Will
Freely choosing to do something precisely because it is one's moral duty and determined by reason
Applying Kant Ethics
The store clerk didn't make a reasoned ethical choice since their act and intention was based on consequences

It is not the clerk's duty or moral obligation to think the worst of the store's customer's or their financial situation

If racial profiling was universalized at all Barney's stores, then business profits at the majority of stores would fall which could lead to potential store shutdowns and boycotts from the outraged public

Trayon was seen as a means only and not as an end (valued person). Since the act diminished Trayon's autonomy, it fails to respect him as a person
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