The Daily Northwestern: Kirk's Remarks Alarming

On Nov. 5 Congressman Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) spoke at the 2005 International Institute for Nanotechnology Symposium taking place at the Technological Institute. Although the purpose of this conference was to highlight recent advances in the field of nanotechnology, Kirk’s remarks included calling for discrimination against Arabs.

“I’m okay with discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states. I’m okay with that,” Kirk said. “I think that when we look at the threat that’s out there, young men between, say, the ages of 18 and 25 from a couple of countries, I believe a certain amount of intense scrutiny should be placed on them.”

This intense scrutiny came into play during World War II, allowing and promoting the internment of 120,000 Japanese in the United States as an effort to protect the nation. In 1988 the U.S. Congress passed legislation which awarded formal payments of $20,000 each to the surviving internees, signaling that Americans realize the grave rights violations its government committed then.

As an elected official, Kirk is a representative of the American people and should always stand for American values and laws. It is illegal to practice discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or national origin. Americans have discredited the use of profiling, yet here is Kirk demanding its use.

“I’m not threatened by people from China. I’m not even threatened by people from Mexico,” Kirk also said. “I just know where the threat is from. It’s from a unique place, and I think it’s okay to recognize that.” No, Rep. Kirk, it is not okay to place blame on an entire group for the action of a few.

– Ramah Kudaimi,

Medill Junior

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