Editors' Introduction 1

AuthorLorne Foster, Lesley Jacobs, Bobby Siu, & Shaheen Azmi
Editors’ Introduction
LornE FostEr, LEsLEy Jacobs,
bobby siu, & shahEEn azmi*
Racial prof‌iling is an uncomfortable topic of conversation for many Can-
adians. For starters, those who are racial minorities (in its sociological sense),
and bear the brunt of prof‌iling, report al ienating or traumatic experiences.
Not only are they angry and fr ustrated, but they also recognize that they
do not have the same rights and freedoms as other people. These are the
feelings that can resurface whenever the topic of racial prof‌iling is raised.
And then there are those who strongly deny that racial prof‌iling is
anything ex traordinary. They claim that it is normal to pay more atten-
tion to certain segments of the population because it is their job to set a
priority on what needs to be done and focus on yielding tangible results.
Shopkeepers, educators, marketers, salespeople, service providers, and
law enforcement of‌f‌icers are often trained to target segments of the
population (consumers, residents, students, patients, or children) for spe-
cial services or treatment. They see themselves as professionals and pro-
f‌iling as nothing more than a competency that ma kes other people’s lives
better and is for the public good.
Prof‌iling and being prof‌iled yield two dif‌ferent sets of experiences
and, incidentally, produce two dif‌ferent sets of results. People who do
the prof‌iling do not have the negative interpretations and experiences of
* Lorne Foster is a professor of public policy a nd equity studies, as well as t he co-chair,
Race, Inclusion and Suppor tive Environments, York University. Lesley Jacobs is pro -
fessor of law & society and p olitical science, as well as the di rector of the Institute for
Social Researc h, York University. Bobby Siu is an adjunct professor of public policy a nd
public administr ation, York University. Shaheen Azmi is the d irector of policy, educa-
tion, monitoring, and o utreach of the Ontario Human R ights Commission.

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