Mark Fuhrman and Hannity Advocate For Racial Profiling
Reported by Ellen - August 22, 2007 -
Two Middle-Eastern looking guys are wanted for questioning over their suspicious behavior on Washington State ferries. According to law enforcement authorities, the ferries have been labeled a high potential terrorist target (even though the FBI also insists they are safe). So how did FOX News cover the issue on last night’s (8/21/07) Hannity & Colmes? By calling in Mark Fuhrman to argue on behalf of racial profiling. Fuhrman declared the men “an obvious threat,” and claimed that “profiling is a word attorneys have come up with to defend their guilty clients.” He was enthusiastically aided and abetted by Sean Hannity. With video.
Alan Colmes started off the discussion by asking Fuhrman, “If they didn’t look a certain way, meaning if they looked Norweigan, for example, would we even be talking about this?”
“I think we would,” Fuhrman said and claimed that it’s easy “to tell the tourists from the commuters.” Because the two men in question were photographing stairwells, not scenery or relatives, Fuhrman said, “I don’t care what color they are, I don’t care what sex they are. I think somebody should have nabbed ‘em and they should have got some identification.”
“Should you be nabbed simply because you’re taking pictures?” Colmes asked.
Fuhrman answered, “Of stairwells? Of structural integrity of something? Yeah.”
The obvious, but unspoken thought was “and if they look Islamic.”
Colmes asked again if they would be talking about this if the guys didn’t have dark skin and dark hair.
Fuhrman’s answer? It’s the terrorists' fault they fit a profile. “If we didn’t have 9/11, I don’t think we’d be talking about it quite as readily but let’s not forget that we are post 9/11 so that is what the enemy gave us. That is what the terrorists gave us. It’s the best we can work with. It’s not our fault they’re still working on that same profile, that they’re using people that we will key on. And they’re being rather obvious. But maybe that’s who they’re recruiting. So that’s the best clue you have and you go with it.” He added that it’s no longer a clue but a threat, “and it’s an obvious threat.”
Colmes said that the FBI has reported that there is no indication that there is, in fact, a threat.
But that wasn’t good enough for Fuhrman. “I’m not sure we can say that or else their pictures wouldn’t be all over the screen. The threat is possible.” He went on to claim that there is a high probability that terrorists are doing “some kind of recon” into blowing up ferries.
When it was Hannity’s turn, he said that the FBI had reported that the two men had taken an unusual interest in the layout and workings of the ferries.
“It’s beyond suspicious,” Fuhrman said. “It’s obvious what’s going on.”
“I support profiling,” Hannity said with gusto. (Of course you do, Mr. Hal Turner buddy!)
“Let’s not forget, Sean,” Fuhrman said. “‘Profiling’ is a word attorneys have come up with to defend their guilty clients.” WRONG! As the Northeastern Institute on Race and Justice explains,
The term "profiling" first became associated with a method of interdicting drug traffickers during the late 1970s. In 1985, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) instituted Operation Pipeline, an intelligence-based assessment of the method by which drug networks transported bulk drugs to drug markets, and began training local and state police in applying a drug courier profile as part of highway drug interdiction techniques. Under Operation Pipeline, police were trained to apply a profile that included evidence of concealment in the vehicle, indications of fast, point-to-point driving, as well as the age- and race characteristics of the probable drivers. In some cases, the profiling technique was distorted, so that officers began targeting black and Hispanic male drivers by stopping them for technical traffic violations as a pretext for ascertaining whether the drivers were carrying drugs.
A 1998 U.S. Department of Justice investigation of activities of the New Jersey State Police raised awareness of the issue and defined racial profiling in the public eye as the practice of singling out members of racial or ethnic groups for relatively minor traffic or petty criminal offenses in order to question and/or search them for drugs, guns, or other contraband.
Fuhrman didn’t seem to realize he was only making himself look even more bigoted as he continued. “It makes no sense if you’re looking for Islamic terrorists, to look at some Norweigan guy taking a picture of his family.”
Hannity said he can’t figure out why airport security devotes “limited time, energy and resources” to giving extra scrutiny to “98 year-old grandmas in wheelchairs.”
Because people of color are too scary, Fuhrman seemed to think. He replied, “When you have a very young security force that has had to be implemented with great numbers quickly, you also have people that will take the least amount of resistance to get their required amount of searches in because it’s more difficult (with) the people that are more aggressive looking.”