During the initial search for the culprits of the Boston Marathon bombings, there were many racist assumptions concerning who they were. As Alex and others mentioned, I think a majority of reasonable, level-headed people were hoping that the criminals were not Middle Eastern or Muslim. Before the two brothers were caught, however, the negative stereotypes and racial profiling surrounding people of Islam and/or Middle Eastern descent disrupted the life of a twenty-year old Saudi Arabian man. He was initially a victim of the blast, but quickly became a suspect. Police questioned him as to why he was running away after the first blast and the man replied that he thought "there would be a second bomb—as there was, and often is, to target responders." If a white man had used common sense to run away from bomb, it would have been accepted without further questioning. Instead, this man was broadcasted over social media sites and national news networks labeling him as a suspect. His apartment was torn apart by police in front of his neighbors. Racial profiling causes assumptions which lead to rash actions, as seen in the case of this innocent Saudi Arabian man. Even though he has been cleared, his neighbors and friends are sure to look at him differently now. He cannot regain the respect and dignity that this racism took away from him.
As seen in the article “The Good, Racist People,” Forest Whitaker was also a victim of racial profiling. He was accused of stealing in a local Manhattan Deli and subsequently frisked by an employee. This humiliating act is another example of the rash actions people take in response to racial profiling. While Whitaker was also proved innocent of the crime, that does not erase the disrespect he received. If he had not been famous, I think Whitaker would have left the store still being thought of as a criminal despite proving his innocence.
Actions speak louder than words. If you treat someone in a manner that is in response to racial profiling then simply stating you made a mistake will not undo the actions that you made. It stays with that person and others that witnessed the injustice, and if the latter is closed-minded, then they will continue to treat the victim in the same negative way. Do you think simply apologizing for an error in judgment is enough? Or must something else be done, and if so, what could that be?