Last week, I posted about a mind-numbingly horrible segment aired by Fox News’ Cashin’ In regarding anti-Muslim profiling. In it, hedge fund manager Jonathan Hoenig made the following commentary:
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, Islamists, jihadist. That’s a good start but it’s only a start. We need to stop giving Korans to Gitmo prisoners, we need to stop having Ramadan and Iftar celebrain the White House. We need to stop saying the enemy is not Islamic. They are.
This was commentary that could only be interpreted as full-throated support for Japanese American internment and the murder of thousands of Japanese civilians when executed in the pursuit of American military victory; Hoenig rationalizes therefore that anti-Muslim profiling is similarly justified (video of full original segment after the jump). Hoenig’s logic is so unspeakably flawed and immoral as to demand an accounting.
Over the course of the last week, several AAPIs have spoken out against Hoenig’s statements. The Japanese American Citizens’ League (JACL) issued a statement that read in part:
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.
Representative Mike Honda posted on Facebook saying that he was “outraged”, calling Hoenig’s statements “idiotic” and “insensitive.
The National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), a coalition of over twenty of the nation’s most prominent AAPI groups, demanded the following:
We call upon the Fox News Network to (1) provide an apology to the Japanese American, South Asian and Muslim communities for the racist and inaccurate commentary that was shared on Mr. Bolling’s show; and (2) provide a forum on the Fox News Network for a
deeper discussion about profiling that includes experts from Muslim, Japanese, and South Asian American communities that will provide your viewers with a more balanced understanding of this important issue.
In a recent Cashin’ In episode, Jonathan Hoenig reappeared on the show to issue this apology:
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 amoral; I have 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.
If this was Hoenig’s point all along, then first, it got completely mangled. Second, Hoenig’s argument simply does not follow. If Hoenig asserts that profiling can be a “needed safeguard”, then he is arguing in defense of the kind of profiling that might see some people interned based on race (as we saw historically) or ideology (as we might see with Muslim Americans today). Hoenig cannot on the one hand say he finds Japanese American internment amoral and indefensible, and then on the other hand argue that the rules need not apply “in the context of wartime”.
Futhermore, Hoenig does not apologize for his statement on Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which I believe are equally as heinous), nor does he apologize to the South Asian and/or Muslim American communities for advocating contemporary profiling against them.
So yet again, this is the kind of sorry-not-sorry bullshit apology we get from mainstream pundits who racially misstep. Is anyone else tired of this endless cycle of dumb?