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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

July 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Question of Muslim stereotyping in FBI bus ads

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott is inconsistent

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) speaks during a news conference June 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. [Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.]

U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) speaks during a news conference June 12, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. [Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.]

One reason Congress isn’t popular is because it reeks of hypocrisy, and outspoken Rep. Jim McDermott is a bit smelly. [“FBI’s bus ads taken down for terrorist depiction,” NW Wednesday, June 26.]

On June 4, McDermott taunted victims of IRS profiling during a congressional hearing. Even though this profiling led to disparate treatment of groups who sought tax-exempt status, he said: “I get the feeling that many of you, and my Republican colleagues, just don’t believe that you should be free from political targeting, but that you should be free from any scrutiny at all.”

On June 19, McDermott seemed to change his profiling tune. He sent a letter to the FBI director requesting removal of the “Faces of Global Terrorism” ad on Metro buses. He wrote: “[the] ad featuring sixteen photos of wanted terrorists is not only offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities, but it encourages racial and religious profiling.”

On June 27, McDermott had an epiphany: profiling is tolerable again; indeed, it should be encouraged. He said: “I don’t think BOLO lists should be thrown out … it is clear to me that a ‘Be On the Look Out’ list is a good idea.”

On an issue begging for moral consistency, McDermott’s views are written on an etch-a-sketch. He was for profiling (BOLO lists), after being against profiling (terrorists), before which he was for profiling (conservative groups).

My brains hurts from keeping track, but I do recognize that this is hypocrisy.

Noel Williams, Lakewood

Comments | More in Politics, Seattle | Topics: ad, BOLO, bus

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