By JACL National Staff
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sept. 22, Fox News aired an episode of “Cashin’ In” that included a segment on profiling, during which guest panelist Jonathan Hoenig stated, “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.”
Several Asian American Pacific Islander groups, including the JACL, responded with statements demanding an apology from Hoenig and Fox News.
On Sept. 27, Hoenig appeared again on “Cashin’ In” to issue an apology for his earlier comments, though he believed they were misinterpreted. He elaborated, “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 final step to actually achieving peace.”
Priscilla Ouchida, national director of the JACL, responded that Hoenig’s apology “did not address the root issue which is that there was not a single finding of wrongdoing or any arrest by a Japanese American during World War II, and detention without a finding of wrongdoing or a charge of a crime is just as wrong today as it was then.”
The National Council of Asian Pacific Islanders also found Hoenig’s apology “not good enough,” adding, “[his] continued support for the use of religious profiling . . . reinforces negative perceptions about Muslim Americans.”
Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, agreed, adding, “By sending the message that groups of Americans, due to their race, religion, national origin or other background are inherently suspicious, Fox News is fostering an environment of fear, distrust and ultimately hate.”
Originally published on October 17, 2o14