NPR Fires A Black Man
For His Honest Opinion…
The Juan Williams/NPR incent proves
how lethal partisan toxin really is.
Let me qualify the remarks I make later in this article by saying this first; I have no tolerance for racism. I hate racists more than anything in the world. Look at the problems we face all around the world, and you will see that based on hatred just because one group is different from another. One group will hate another because of religion, ethnic backgrounds, cultural differences, or misunderstandings. Many other wars and conflicts are about resources, but most of the others are all about intolerance. If I could remove that aspect of our nature, in an instant the world would be a better place.
It pains me to say this, but I also hate myself sometimes for the reasons
I just stated. There’s an aspect of my nature that asks, why can’t people
be just a little more like me? Why can’t people be more tolerant, a little
more concerned about what’s going on with society? Why can’t other people
conform to my nonconformity just so I can feel more comfortable?
Because of my inner conflict I felt great empathy for Juan Williams, a former commentator on NPR who said out loud what many of us think or feel…
"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."
I don’t want to admit this, but that’s exactly how I feel. It’s not pretty, it’s not nice, nor is it polite.
I’ve been on a passenger jet a couple of times in the past 9 years and I’ve always been struck with this sudden sense of fear each time I see someone who even looks Middle Eastern. I know what it’s like when people look at me with distain because I’m different, so I can imagine what they feel when I do the same to them. Then there’s the sudden rush of guilt, I’m doing exactly the same thing I hate in other people. I’m hating or judging someone because of what they are, not for anything they’ve done or said. They just “look” the way we think terrorists look.
Let’s face facts here, gang; the 9/11 terrorists did not wear clothes that said “We’re Islamic Terrorists!”, they dressed just like us. That’s why being automatically “terrorized” of Muslims is thick.
As a Black American, Mr. Williams knows all too well the stings of prejudice and bigotry through both his own experiences and the writing he’s done on the issue of civil rights. Keeping that in mind, he addressed the feelings all of us have felt. As much as we want to think otherwise, we see someone who appears to be “one of them,” we wonder if they are the next perpetrators of another terrorist attack, and if we are going to be the next victims. Juan Williams didn’t say anything out loud that we don’t already feel – thanks to the media, movies, television, news print; when we see an Arab or someone of middle eastern decent, our Pavlovian response is the word “terrorist” and defensive posture.
He addressed it, and owned up to it. He should be commended, not condoned. Shortly after making those comments, it was announced that his employer NPR fired him for those remarks he made on another network because he breached their code of conduct… his views don’t represent those of the overloads of National Public Radio.
I can tell you this, honestly, as a regular NPR listener… what Mr. Williams said is nothing compared to what is said by others on the publicly funded radio network. This hypocrisy makes NPR an oasis of bigoted group-think double talk.
Case in point, if you listen to “This American Life,” you’ll hear people confess to thinking, feeling or acting in embarrassing or humiliating ways. David Sedaris has provided plenty of stories that dabble in the profane and absurd aspects of modern life in the United State. Ira Glass confessed to doing something pretty horrible in an episode of the aforementioned show in the episode “The Devil Made Me Do It,” which explores the idea of why people do bad things, and how often we blame the make-believe evil cherub that sits on our shoulders and whispers in our ears. You want to listen to a constant source of people discussing darker aspects of themselves and their motivations? Listen to NPR, that’s why I was a regular listener until now.
When you think of the word “racist” or “bigot,” I would bet grandma’s farm that the last person you would think is Juan Williams. As someone who has wrote a lot about civil rights and the fight against racism, he’s the last person in the world who would put on a white sheet and join a lynch mob on their way to put a burning cross in someone’s front yard.
If there was a lynch mob out to hang conservatives, though? I have no doubt that his former employer would be the Grand Wizard herself…
“NPR CEO says Juan Williams should talk to psychiatrist for his Muslim remarks,” October 22nd, 2010 4:02 am PT - NPR CEO Vivian Schiller says that Juan Williams should talk to a psychiatrist for his Muslim remarks.
On the second day of the Juan Williams-NPR scandal, that is exclusively a liberal-made scandal, the CEO of NPR who ultimately bears responsibility for Williams’ political correctness- and liberal intolerance-based firing added more fuel to the fire. Not only is her corporation to blame for chilling the American tradition of free speech, but now, she is even rubbing salt in the wound of Williams’ unjust firing. Speaking before the Atlanta Press Club on Thursday, Schiller had the insolence to say that Williams should have kept his Muslim remarks between himself and his psychiatrist! NPR’s CEO actually believes that Williams is insane for merely saying that he gets nervous if he sees suspicious Muslims on a plane! So now, the ultra-nasty, liberal mentality behind Williams’ unjust firing is laid bare for all the world to hear: In the liberal mind (nasty and screwed up place), if you share your honest feelings of concern about Muslims in the aftermath of 911, you are branded a nut!”
Williams’ unjust termination late on Wednesday evening kicked off a blazing firestorm of widespread criticism against NPR on Thursday, with many people, even some on the left, calling for either a defunding of NPR, the firing of Schiller, or a combination of both. Many personalities on the Fox News Channel expressed outrage at the whole NPR outfit and Schiller in particular. Bill O’Reilly immediately came out and called for NPR to lose its public funding, even though it only gets, believe it or not, 2% of its funding from the taxpayer, but it’s the principle that matters. Elsewhere, even committed and hardcore liberals like Bob Beckel, Governor Ed Rendell and even that Sister Act-pigeonholed Whoopi Goldberg all publicly expressed how wrong NPR was for its persecution of Williams.
Schiller is on record for saying that while it’s regrettable that controversy was sparked during NPR’s fundraising season, she doesn’t care because this is all about “principle.” He was fired for violating their “ethics” policy – meaning? Why? Not for his remarks on FOXnews? Because he didn’t save his confession for NPR that would make for great radio on her network? Because you’re not allowed to have much less confess to any forms of non-politically correct feelings, what so ever? Perhaps Mr. Williams was fired for all those “good” reasons and others that we might never know. I’m not some retrocentric oracle that can peer into the mind of others but I can’t say with utter certainty that Ms. Schiller’s willing to sacrifice National Public Radio to her cause. By taking this radical, thoughtless move she’s calling into question whether it’s finances should continue to receive the general public’s tax dollars or not, and if such an organization should be allowed to continue to exist.
To you, the jury of the court of public opinion, I submit unto you the
people’s EXIBIT B in the trial against radical political fundamentalism.
We, the civilized and rational people of the world are not at war with radical
Islam. We are not at war with radical fundamentalist Christianity…
How do we fight this war against rationalism, since there is no such thing as a radical fundamental moderate-independent? Boycotting or calling for the disablement of NPR is exactly what “they” want, a fight to extinguish the exchange of thoughts and ideas. Can we fight a battle with reason, thoughtfulness and patience?
In a shouting match between idiots, the only people who have the chance to win is to whisper in a more rational and authoritative tone.
But be careful! If Juan Williams can be fired for talking about his genuine feelings and how he wrestles with them, then who’s to say you can’t be fired for admitting “blue” is not your favorite color or not liking coffee as much as your boss? Don’t like the same sports as your manager or supervisor, watch out for the pink slips. In this climate you could be fired for having the “wrong” religion or political views; is that next?
You could be fired for just reading this article at work during your break.
Did NPR go too far?