A Democratic congressman is calling the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” ad campaign that its running in Seattle racist because it depicts the faces of nothing but Muslims.
Rep. Jim McDermott’s Washington district includes parts of Seattle. That area’s joint terrorism task force is advertising the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” program, which set aside $25 million in reward money for information leading to the capture of world terror leaders, according to the Seattle Weekly.
As a part of that effort, Seattle city buses now display the faces of the FBI’s 16 most wanted terrorists, all of whom appear to be of Middle Eastern descent. McDermott finds that objectionable, and he shot off a letter to the FBI and the attorney general to voice his displeasure.
Although the congressman sees nothing wrong with enlisting the aid of the public to “fight against extremism,” he wrote that displaying the faces of terrorists “from only one ethnic or religious group promotes stereotypes and ignores other forms of extremism.” As a result, McDermott found the bus ad “offensive to Muslims and ethnic minorities” and “encourages racial and religious profiling.”
McDermott has it all backwards. The real racist isn’t the FBI. After all, it’s only the messenger. No, the true racists here are the terrorist organizations themselves — al-Qaida, the Taliban and all the rest who concentrate their recruiting efforts to people of Arab or Persian descent.
They should take a cue from McDermott when he says in his letter, “Seattle is proud of the diversity of its people.” Al-Qaida should branch out and appoint a diversity officer.
They should head to Scandinavia and interview some blonde, blue-eyed Danes, Swedes and Norwegians. How about some Pacific Basin natives. A couple of ukelele-playing Polynesians could be just what they’re looking for.
Although McDermott didn’t bring it up, it’s pretty obvious from a mere cursory glance at the “Faces of Global Terrorism” bus ad that they’re all young people. While al-Qaida is out recruiting reindeer-herding Laplanders, maybe we could convince the Taliban to start hitting up all the retirement homes.
McDermott is now in his 25th year of service on Capitol Hill, and if his letter to the FBI is indicative of what Congress does to a person’s brain after a quarter-century, it’s probably as good an excuse for term limits as any I’ve heard. It may be past time to give him his gold watch, kick him in the butt and send him back home.
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