Setting up a panel to examine “radical Muslims” in the United States apparently wasn’t enough for New York Representative Peter King. Now, the Republican Congressman is advocating a better use of racial profiling to help determine potential terroristic threats in a community.
Via Think Progress:
In a public television appearance aired today with Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), King elaborated on his exclusive focus on Muslim Americans as terrorist threats. In his remarks, King justified racial or ethnic profiling as well as religious profiling. King reasoned that if racist white terrorists were suspected of an attack on an African American community, the same standard against Muslims could be applied to “a white guy walking down around Harlem”:
KING: I’m just saying, a person’s religious background or ethnicity can be a factor, one of the things to look at. For instance, if I’m told the White Citizens Council, the Ku Klux Klan, is going to attack Harlem, I’d be more suspicious of a white guy walking down around Harlem in a very African American neighborhood. To me, that’s a logical a thing. Should you harass? No.
PASCRELL: We gotta be above it as leaders. I know you are, I would think most of the time, you have to be above what the suspicion ordinarily should be and point out what is right and what is wrong.
KING: There can be reasonable suspicion though. There can be reasonable suspicion though.
King uses the example of a Klan member walking through Harlem, ironic considering his utter lack of interest in examining the huge surge in non-Muslim conducted terrorism in America.
Still, even if he were truly trying to advocate for racial profiling for the example he is giving in the interview, it does not overrule the fact that racial profiling is a violation of civil rights, regardless of what community it targets. It’s also repeatedly proven to not work.