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.