Asian American leaders condemn Fox News program’s support of racial profiling


The Sept. 20 broadcast of Fox News’ “Cashin’ In,” moderated by Eric Bolling, discussed whether the United States should profile Muslims in America.

Panelist Jonathan Hoenig supported the idea, saying, “We should have been profiling on Sept. 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, yeah, I think profiling would be at least a good start. It’s not on skin color, however, it’s on ideology — Muslim, Islamist, jihadist, that’s a good start …” 

The Japanese American Citizens League issued a statement saying that it “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.”

Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose) issued a statement referring to the U.S. government’s illegal mass incarceration of persons of Japanese descent during World War II, “It is inexcusable that, after our government formally apologized and paid reparations to the 120,000 people who were unjustly incarcerated behind barbed wire because of hate, prejudice, and war time hysteria, there are still those who have not learned from our country’s past mistakes.” 

 OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates National President Sharon M. Wong said in the organization’s statement that, “The internment of Japanese Americans did not increase the United States’ chance of success during World War II. And the continued profiling, harassment, and hate against the Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian American communities will not secure the United States borders or help us win the war on terror. The only thing profiling will accomplish is the continued persecution of immigrant communities.” 

OCA cited the recently released South Asian Americans Leading Together report that highlights the “xenophobic rhetoric and hate crimes against South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab Communities in the United States,” which states that more than 80 percent “of all hate violence against these communities were driven by anti-Muslim sentiment,” the statement said. 

Hoenig made the following apology on “Cashin’ In’s” Sept. 27 broadcast: “I want to issue a sincere apology for my remarks on last week’s ‘Cashin’ In,’ which I believe were unfortunately misinterpreted. The internment of Japanese Americans during World War II was completely immoral. I’ve never defended it. In the context of our discussion on profiling, my point was to illustrate that profiling potential threats based on ideology could be a needed safeguard and in the context of wartime, I believe being able to identify an enemy’s ideology and be on the alert for it is the first step to actually achieving peace.” 

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