NPR Was Wrong To Fire Juan Williams

I have thought about that day many times and have tried to use it positively to make me a better person. I am not proud of what was going on in my head.

Juan Williams the analyst was fired from NPR because of comments he made on Fox News where he also worked. On the face of it that doesn’t seem right. It’s not right when you look deeper either!

It’s not often I agree with Michelle Malkin or Bill O’Reilly. I do one here. I will side with the politically right who feel Williams was jobbed.

“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. But when I get on the 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.” – Juan Williams on Fox News “The O’Reilly Factor

As soon as I read that I thought of a similar story from my life. Stef was young. She and I had gone to New York City. We were on our way to the Museum of Natural History when we boarded the Uptown Express instead of the local.

As we blew by 81st Street I realized we were the only white people on the train and were headed to 125th Street Harlem where we’d have to get off, walk upstairs to the mezzanine, walk back to the downtown platform and hop a local to the museum. I was upset. I was apprehensive.

We got on the downtown train not far from a group of young black men in their teens and twenties. They were a little loud, but not in a disturbing way. I held Stef close to my side because I was fearful.

I am writing about bigotry within me. It was unfounded. I was not threatened. I should not have judged those young men based on their age or the color of their skin. I was wrong. I still had the fear.

I have thought about that day many times and have tried to use it positively to make me a better person. I am not proud of what was going on in my head.

Juan Williams was making a parallel point.

To have real dialog we have to confront our own weaknesses. Looking back on what Williams said makes it clear he was doing just that.

3 thoughts on “NPR Was Wrong To Fire Juan Williams”

  1. The two recent cases of politically incorrectness leading to termination were just convenient for the companies to fire on-air talent they wanted to anyway.

    Rick Sanchez was doing miserable in ratings at CNN (along with the entire line-up.) There probably existed some clause in his contract where misconduct including comments like the one made would end his deal with the network. So he was gone allowing a neat time-slot for Elliot Spitzer to get an hour talk – show.

    Juan Williams has been irritating the powers that be at NPR probably for a long time. They were just itching to get him out of their hair. He didnt seem like he would fit in at the ‘All things considered’ media culture. So his remarks allowed the company and official reason to give him the boot.

    I wonder if muslims get nervous when other muslims get on planes with them?

  2. Josh does have a point, but just because someone is dressed in “Muslim” garb does not make them a terrorist. This is a big part of this “Islamophobia” I have read about throughout this country. Yes, we do have our fears about this, but there is a time and a place to express those fears. To me, the national media is NOT that time or place.
    Geoff – you kept your fears to yourself and you were doing nothing more than protecting your child. But you did not publicize those fears. I think that makes a difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *