A Quinnipiac University poll out this morning had some disappointing news for civil libertarians when it showed that 58 % of New Yorkers favor the NYPD’s surveillance efforts of Muslims.
This doesn’t sit well with critics of the practice, and Ydanis Rodriguez, a City Councilman from Washington Heights and frequent critic of the NYPD, believes that these misguided New Yorkers will soon come around.
His evidence? Look at how opinion changed about the war in Iraq.
“In the days leading up to 2003 invasion of Iraq, a similar percentage of Americans were in support of an invasion. Just five years later, when the consequences of this war were clear, nearly two-thirds of the country felt the war was not worth fighting,” Mr. Rodriguez said in a statement. “The failure of the war in Iraq has become so widely accepted, that most of us forget the support it initially had.”
Mr. Rodriguez goes on to compare those who favor the practice to those who favored, “the internment of Japanese-Americans, to the deportation of thousands of Jewish immigrants as ‘Communists’, to the profiling of Dominican-Americans as ‘drug dealers’ in the 1980′s.”
The rest of his statement can be viewed below:
New York City has historically been a stronghold for the defense of civil liberties, and just as opinions completely shifted towards the second Iraq War, we’re going to see a shift as New Yorkers remind the NYPD that we shouldn’t have to sacrifice liberty for security. We should applaud the work the NYPD has done in preventing another terrorist attack in the years since September 11th. However, there is no clear connection between preventing terrorism and surveilling law abiding New Yorkers, whose only ‘crime’ is that they are Muslim. In doing so, we are falling prey to the same attitudes that led to the internment of Japanese-Americans, to the deportation of thousands of Jewish immigrants as ‘Communists’, to the profiling of Dominican-Americans as ‘drug dealers’ in the 1980s. None of these prejudiced views were accurate, and they only created mistrust between these communities and the authorities. Let’s not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Follow David Freedlander via RSS.