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Special Report

The Realities of Racial Profiling

This is a partial transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume," August 2, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "Special Report With Brit Hume" weeknights at 6 p.m. ET

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE ASSEMBLYMAN DOV HIKIND (D), NEW YORK: I’m calling on the police department to use terrorist profiling as one of the weapons of the arsenal in the War on Terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIT HUME, HOST: New York City may be the most liberal part of one of the country’s most liberal states, so when the American Civil Liberties Union branch speaks out there, most Democrats listen. The ACLU’s New York branch does not like even the random searches now being performed at the city’s subway stations.

Democratic State Assemblyman Dov Hikind of Brooklyn, whom you just heard there, doesn’t like those searches either, but not for the same reasons. He joins me now from FOX News in New York.

Mr. Hikind, welcome.

HIKIND: Thank you.

HUME: Why don’t you like the random searches that are being done? The ACLU, or the NYCLU, I guess, more properly stated, thinks they violate Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures. What do you think?

HIKIND: Well, first of all, it’s an amazing position to take considering the imminent danger that we face in America, that New Yorkers face. The reality is there are people out there who want to kill Americans by the thousands, if they can get away with it.

So they’re not living in the real world, the American Civil Liberties Union. I’m interested in pursuing the terrorist profile. We need to look at the terrorism that has happened since September 11th.

There were 19 individuals involved in destroying the World Trade Center. There are 15 people on the most wanted list by the FBI in the War on Terrorism.

Those involved in Madrid, those involved July 7 in London, and those who attempted to kill the people of London on July 21, if you look at the entire group, it is so obvious that this group, they have certain things in common. They are young, they are Muslim, they are of Middle Eastern or South Asian background.

HUME: They’re men.

HIKIND: They’re men. They’re young men. To simply avoid this fact in trying to fight the War on Terrorism and trying to avoid another catastrophe is nuts. It doesn’t make sense.

I’m not saying that, if 15 Muslim men come into a subway station, search all of them. Maybe search none of them, if the police officer feels there’s no need. But the police officer should not be concerned about searching every single one of them if that is what the police officer feels is necessary.

You know, the world has changed since September 11th. The Patriot Act — many things in the Patriot Act I would not have supported prior to September 11. But the world is different now. We learn from the tragedies of September 11 and from the other tragedies happening in Europe at this particular time.

So we need to get real. Random search, we do, number one, number five, number 15. Happens to be an 80-year-old woman, we search her.

By the way, there are no people — there are no senior citizens who have committed acts of terrorism in the past 100 years, as far as I can tell. What’s the point of wasting our time?

You know, being politically correct is nice for some people, but not during the War on Terrorism, not when the lives of people are in danger. You know, bombs, Brit, that go off in subway stations, God forbid, don’t differentiate between a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew, or anyone else.

So we need to be real about this, and we need to face the realities. And if life is made a little difficult, and a little more complicated for some people, I’m sorry. I really am.

And I want to be sensitive. And I want to be understanding, but I also want to live. And I also want to protect our citizens, knowing full well that, whatever we do, whatever resources we spend, there’s no guarantee. But we’ve got to do our best.

HUME: Let me just look at it another way. Some people would say, I think, Mr. Hikind, that that’s easy for to you say, and that’s easy for me to say. We’re a couple of white guys, we’re not — we’re in a group more associated with being victims of terrorism than perpetrators of it, at least broadly speaking.

And that we’re not likely to have the kinds of experience that many Americans, of African American descent, fear, and not without some justification, because of what’s happening before in this country, that they will have if this kind of — what you call a terrorist profiling, others would call it racial profiling — goes into affect.

If we’re looking for dark-skinned men of what we imagine to be Middle Eastern descent, that we think may be Muslims, are we not likely, if we place the amount of judgment you seem prepared to take in the hands of individual police officers, to end up with a lot of people who are hassled on the way to work, who will end up feeling like they’re simply going to work while black or trying to travel while black?

HIKIND: Brit, we have no choice. You know, it’s very real out there, in terms of those who want to create havoc in our city, in our country. I have a son-in-law who is of Iranian descent. When he comes to an airport, especially with his name, he gets a lot more questions, a lot more checking of him. People in my community...

HUME: How does he feel about that?

HIKIND: Well, you know, it’s not pleasant. But I think there’s an understanding that we live in a world today — I would love to see the Muslim community and other communities stand with me side-by-side and say that they understand that these are difficult times, that there is no intention of directing anything against them, but the reality we cannot escape.

We can’t escape the profile, the profile of those who committed the dastardly acts of September 11. And looking at all the pictures of all the young men who committed the acts. You know, we need to act seriously.

HUME: Mr. Hikind, thank you very much for coming on. Good to have you.

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