Ok — so you may have heard the news that NPR fired black pundit Juan Williams for saying the following idiocy on Fox News to Bill “Racist” O’Reilly’s show:
“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.”
Wow — the only thing missing from this ill-advised diatribe is a pair of sunglasses and some random ranting about poundcake and Juan Williams could end a distinguished news career as a certified Bill Cosby-style crazy, angry old black man. If you have to start off your remarks with “I’m not racist, but…” or “I’m no bigot, but…”, it’s black law that you are about to say something racist and bigoted. Shoot, I dare Juan to say some of this stuff to Shaq — one of America’s most beloved Muslims, btw…
As far as I know, Richard Reid wasn’t wearing “Muslim garb” nor were any of the Sept 11 bombers. See they was tryin’ to keep a low profile. So, this is out and out bigotry. Just straight up fear-mongering. What if Bill O’Reilly had said to Juan Williams, “you know, I’ve got lots of black friends but when I see a black man walking towards me on the street wearing a hoodie, I can’t help it — I automatically assume he wants to rob me!” Or something stupid like that.
Juan Williams has just undone much of his good work on civil rights given that he just promoted the idea that the 1/4 of Muslims in America who are black should be feared. He is a traitor, in fact, not just to the values of our nation that your religion should not matter but also to the millions of African-Americans who are Muslim and how have someone who looks like them encouraging & justifying discrimination, fear and hatred. Nice work, Juan!
Whoopi Goldberg on The View this am said this, unhelpfully:
The firing of Juan was a total mistake and it sends the wrong message. And NPR — get yourself together!
Wrong message? Which is what — expressing your bigotry nakedly on TV and contributing to hatred is totally acceptable? Naw, Whoopi — you and I part ways on this one. I would expect Sherri Shepard to leap to Williams’ defense and say some weak stuff about “political correctness” but not you.
This isn’t the first time Juan Williams has disappointed our people. Do you remember during the 2008 election when he said that Colin Powell only endorsed Barack Obama because he was black? Chile, please! Oh and after the election when he attacked Michelle Obama for no reason on…wait for it…The O’Reilly Factor saying:
“her instinct is to start with this ‘blame America’ … stuff.” Williams asserted that Michelle Obama’s “instinct” is to “blame America” or be “the victim,” and said she has “this Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress thing going.” Williams also said that she could be a “liabilit[y]” or an “albatross” for President Barack Obama. Williams previously claimed Michelle Obama sometimes uses “this kind of militant anger.”
Naw, I ain’t the first to call him Uncle Juan:
Here’s what the NPR CEO had to say in an email to her staff:
“A critical distinction has been lost in this debate. NPR News analysts have a distinctive role and set of responsibilities. This is a very different role than that of a commentator or columnist. News analysts may not take personal public positions on controversial issues; doing so undermines their credibility as analysts, and that’s what’s happened in this situation. As you all well know, we offer views of all kinds on your air every day, but those views are expressed by those we interview — not our reporters and analysts.
“Second, this isn’t the first time we have had serious concerns about some of Juan’s public comments. Despite many conversations and warnings over the years, Juan has continued to violate this principal.
“Third, these specific comments (and others made in the past), are inconsistent with NPR’s ethics code, which applies to all journalists (including contracted analysts): ‘In appearing on TV or other media. … NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows … that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.”
“More fundamentally, ‘In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist.’
“Unfortunately, Juan’s comments on Fox violated our standards as well as our values and offended many in doing so.”
Look it would be different if this was a “man on the street” interview to show the varying opinions of Americans who fear Muslims. But NPR is supposed to represent all Americans, yes, even Muslims. A news analyst like Juan Williams should be able to hold his own bigotry in check when talking about the issues of the day. Period. He should know better.
Juan Williams has said on Fox that he doesn’t think what he said was bigoted. He was wrong and I would love for him to have to face Mos Def or Shaquille O’Neal or Muhammad Ali and say that mess about Muslim garb to their faces. Cuz that’s what he really needs to be afraid of, for realz.
In the meantime, I’m guessing someone’s about to get a raise at Fox News!!! Congratulations Juan — maybe they’ll give you your own sunglasses, pound cake and chalkboard!
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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