Statement in Response to Fox News Discussion on Profiling

The notion that America’s successful prosecution of World War II was attributable to Japanese American incarceration was offered in a discussion on Fox News’ Cashin’ In moderated by Eric Bolling.  The discussion focused on whether there is a need to profile Muslims.

One guest, Jonathan Hoenig said, “We should have been profiling on September 12, 2001.  Let’s take a trip down memory lane here.  The last war this country won, we put Japanese Americans in internment camps; we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers.  So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start.  It’s not on skin color, however, it’s on ideology – Muslim, Islamist, jihadist…”

The JACL rejects the absurd extreme of profiling that would lead to mass incarceration as suggested by Hoenig’s statement.  The policy adopted by the Bush Administration to avoid the use of profiling as anathema to our civil liberties values continues today.  It is a policy that must be maintained despite temptations to give in to the fear and hysteria that some would create about Muslims in America.

During World War II, our country was led to believe that Japanese Americans were to be feared and thereby posed a security risk.  This belief led to the dire consequences of establishing and operating American concentration camps based on the racial profiling of a group of people.  Our system of government was established with important guiding principles that do not allow for the selective treatment of individual groups of Americans.  It is a lesson we learned in the aftermath of World War II that must be repeated whenever the suggestion of disparate treatment of vulnerable groups arise.

JACL submitted a letter to Fox Chairman Roger Ailes in response to this incident.

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