"Former Racial-Profiling Critic Geraldo Rivera Now Supports Profiling Muslims: ‘That’s Just The Way It Is’"
As a whole host of Fox News guests and contributors have in the past supported racial profiling, one hold-out has been Geraldo Rivera. As Think Progress has documented, following the Fort Hood massacre, he passionately attacked the ineffective and discriminatory practice on Fox and Friends, where he warned against casting a “gloomy cloud of suspicion” on all Muslims and recounted his father’s fear of racial profiling as a Hispanic:
RIVERA: I think that the great tragedy of [terrorism] is that it will cast a gloomy cloud of suspicion over all the Muslim GI’s who serve with great honor …. I remember my dad, just very briefly, when we were growing up there would be a notorious crime and my dad used to gather the family and we used to say a little prayer, please God that it’s not a Puerto Rican. …. This is the same thing with American Muslims.
Unfortunately, on Fox and Friends this morning, Rivera reversed his position on profiling people based on their faith or country of origin. After recounting a story about how he was unhappy to be inconvenienced by his brief time on the no-fly list, he explained that “in the old days, Latinos sacrificed” by being profiled during the drug war, and that now Muslims should face similar profiling because “that’s just the way it is“:
RIVERA: How could this guy be on the no-fly list if I was on the no fly list? …. If I’m getting it, why can’t anyone from any one of these suspect countries get one of these hands-on, nothing stops that kind of stuff? …. I believe that we all sacrificed something. In the old days, Latinos sacrificed, Latinos were profiled during the anti-drug war and we had to take it. Now people from these Muslim countries, specifically like Yemen and Iraq and Afghanistan they have to understand that it’s a reasonable precaution, it’s a constitutional classification …. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. …. We need some racial profiling, I’m sorry.
Perhaps Rivera should listen to his own response to Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert when satirically asked if bigotry against hispanics could be reduced by redirecting it towards Muslims: “There is a maddening tendency once your group gets over the immigrant bridge to burn the bridge so no one else can get over it. The Irish definitely encountered the same kind of hostility. It must have been some equivalent to right-wing talk show thugs then too.”
A new Rasmussen poll finds that “59% of adults say factors such as race, ethnicity and overall appearance should be used to determine which boarding passengers to search at airports.”