Posted on November 28, 2005

Schakowsky Blasts Kirk’s Remarks on Arab Males

Rummana Hussain, Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 20

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Saturday she was “deeply offended” that her colleague Mark Kirk thinks it’s “OK” to discriminate against young Arab males, and she joined a diverse group of immigrants’ rights supporters in demanding an apology from the Republican congressman.


When Kirk, of Highland Park, was asked about the difficulties of the visa process for immigrants at a nanotechnology conference at Northwestern University earlier this month, he said, “I’m OK with discrimination against young Arab males from terrorist-producing states. I’m OK with that.”

He continued: “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. I’m not threatened by people from China. I’m not even threatened by people from Mexico. I just know where the threat is from. It’s from a unique place, and I think it’s OK to recognize that.”

Schakowsky is the second Illinois politician to publicly criticize Kirk for his remarks. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) also blasted Kirk recently, characterizing his statements as showing a “cavalier attitude towards civil liberties.”