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Teacher Lesson Return to "No More Sympathy"
No More Sympathy
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Racial Profiling: Discussion and Writing

Objectives: Discuss racial profiling.

Discussion Activity: Note: The writing activity suggested below should be done right after the reading and discussion so arguments about racial profiling are fresh in people’s minds.

Hand out copies of New Youth Connections. Tell them they are going to read a story about the writer’s views on racial profiling by New York City police. Explain briefly what that is: when the police stop, frisk and collect information from people—mostly black males—who the police say fit the profile of someone who has committed a crime.

Read the story yourself. Ask for volunteers to read sections aloud and read some yourself. Some of your students may not know the meanings of certain word or phrases. You might want to list the following on the board and go over them as they come up:

The norm
Politically correct
More prone
Snap judgments

Here are some discussion prompts for you to choose from.

• What did Chantal think about racial profiling before the incident in the park?
• What arguments does she present about the benefits of racial profiling?
• Does she offer any arguments about the possible negative effects of racial profiling?
• What do you think about her change of mind? Do you think you would have changed your mind?
• Have you seen police officers stopping people in your neighborhood? If so, why do you think the police stopped those people?
• Go back and read the last sentence of the story. Do you agree or disagree with Chantal’s statement? Why?

Writing exercise: Tell your group that New Youth Connections publishes letters from readers. Assign them to write a letter to Chantal in which begins, “I agree/disagree with your views on racial profiling.” If they have been stopped or have seen others being stopped, encourage them to describe that in the letter.
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