And you thought Arizona’s law allowing police to request proof of citizenship was bad.
In separate interviews with the conservative website World Net Daily, two Republican congressmen used the recent outrage over airport screening procedures to explicitly call for racial profiling, with one going so far as to answer “absolutely” after being questioned by the host.
When asked if he supported profiling, the first, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), declared “absolutely.”
“Now that it’s become an outrage and people say, well we still need to secure an airline, how do we do that?” Chaffetz declared when asked. “Two things need to happen. One is profiling. Not based solely on someone’s religion or based solely on someone’s race.”
In a letter to President Barack Obama Monday, Chaffetz suggested that “behavioral profiling” would be better than full body scans and pat downs to keep Americans safe.
“We can utilize bomb-sniffing dogs, AIT machines as a method of secondary screening, and behavioral profiling to accomplish the shared goal of safe and secure air travel,” he wrote.
The second Republican to call for profiling was Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan.
“The words profiling are toxic from a political standpoint,” Hoekstra said. “But the bottom-line is there are certain parameters that you can use in profiling that would narrow the scope of who you really target. … But it only makes sense to do some type of profiling so that you can focus the resources where they need to be focused. So we should consider it. … Sure, profiling is okay. You know, you do it everywhere in life — it only makes sense. You just need to make sure you do it right.”
The little-noticed comments were caught by the liberal blog ThinkProgress.
Hoekstra has been outspoken on increasing airport security. “This threat is real,” he told CBS News following the failed attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day last year. “We need to be on offense.”
The following audio is a compilation of the interviews with Chaffetz and Hoekstra.