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8 votes (28.57%)
14 votes (50%)
1 vote (3.57%)
1 vote (3.57%)
12 votes (42.85%)

28 members have voted

pacomartin
pacomartin
Joined: Jan 14, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 11:34:13 AM permalink
You can vote for more than one choice, they are not mutually exclusive.

Juan Williams is a noted black author (born in Panama: hence the first name) and a contractor to NPR who made the following comment on Fox News Bill O'Reilly show. Somewhat ironically, he is often invited to Bill O'Reilly's show to represent the liberal point of view in contrast to Bill's conservative viewpoint.

Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality. I mean, look Bill [O'Reilly], I'm not a bigot, you know the kind of books I've written on the civil rights movement in this country, 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.

According to NPR, the remarks were "inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR." They responded with an immediate firing.

CAIR: Council on American-Islamic Relations wrote a letter to NPR protesting Juan Williams comments and some people are criticising their call for punishment.

Juan is a frequent writer about issues affecting black America.
Williams, Juan (1988). Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. Penguin (Non-Classics). ISBN 0140096531.
Williams, Juan (2000). Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0812932994.
Williams, Juan (2003). This Far by Faith: Stories from the African American Religious Experience. Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0060934247.
Williams, Juan (2004). I'll Find a Way or Make One : A Tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HarperCollins. ISBN 0060094532.
Williams, Juan (2005). My Soul Looks Back in Wonder: Voices of the Civil Rights Experience. Sterling. ISBN 1402722338.
Williams, Juan (2006). Black Farmers in America. The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0813123992.
Williams, Juan (2007). The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 030733824X.
mkl654321
mkl654321
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 11:47:08 AM permalink
NPR's reaction is asinine for a number of reasons. Political correctness has mutated to the point where it stifles freedom of speech. If Muslims make Williams nervous, he has the right to say that. For what it's worth, I think if any one of a majority of Americans boarded a transcontinental flight and saw thirty passengers wearing dishdashas, he just might get an "emergency call" on his cell phone and dash back out the gate. Maybe it's "racial profiling" (actually, "cultural profiling") to react that way. So bloody what? We are all entitled to form our own "threat matrix", and it's not against the law (yet) for that matrix to not be 100% rational or justified.

Here's my Bill of Rights re articulating my views on any group/class/bunch/nation/ethnicity/profession/color/flavor/species/tribe/band/etc.:

I have the right to like or dislike anyone I want.
I have the right to articulate the reason for that like or dislike, or just the simple fact of that like or dislike, as long as what I say does not incite anger at (or dislike of) that person or group.
I do not have to justify my likes or dislikes (of anything or anybody) to anyone, or prove them on "rational" grounds.
You have the same rights as I do.
A person should not be deprived of his job or livelihood simply because he articulates opinions that others may find distasteful.

By the way, I LOATHE left-handed albino dentists.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 21st, 2010 at 12:08:45 PM permalink
NPR is defending their decision to fire Juan by saying that it is against policy to express personal opinions on the talk shows since it undermines their credibility as a journalist.

The counter argument is a TV clip of NPR’s Nina Totenberg telling the host of PBS’s Inside Washington that if there was “retributive justice” in the world Jesse Helms would “get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.”

Totenberg is still NPR’s legal affairs correspondent despite her voicing what has to be called a personal opinion.

The Fox news channel is finding themselves vociferously defending a very liberal man. I thought that one reporter was going to wrestle the spokesman from CAIR to the ground during her interview.

It should be noted that Juan Williams previously got in trouble for the following statement made about the first lady.

Michelle Obama, you know, she's got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going. If she starts talking, as Mary Katharine is suggesting, her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I'm the victim. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross.

By any objective measures Juan Williams is not a bigot, but he is given to colorful speech.

Mary Katehrine Ham appears regularly on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News program, The O'Reilly Factor, usually with Juan Williams. She describes her political leaning as "primarily fiscal- and security-conscious conservative". Mary is a 30 year old white woman.
JerryLogan
JerryLogan
Joined: Jun 28, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 12:46:27 PM permalink
What a bunch of BS for firing the guy. Anybody knows that if you're on a flight and on comes a few Osama look-alikes, you're gonna be nervous and staring just like the rest of the passengers. NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT YOU ARE! I'd just as soon they have their own Muslim-Allah airline to fly on. So the guy said what he and many others, especially liberals, feel. Big deal. Now Fox will hire him and he'll be seen and heard even more, and he'll make a lot more money. And NPR didn't can Williams for political correctness. They're afraid one of the millions of nutjob Muslims is going to attack them.
Keyser
Keyser
Joined: Apr 16, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 12:55:18 PM permalink
We are losing our free speech. The liberals have got to go.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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October 21st, 2010 at 1:08:25 PM permalink
Nina Totenberg AIDS comment really undercuts the NPR argument that giving personal opinions is a firable offense. Now they have to prove that their policy changed in the last 15 years.

Part of the problem with this particular quote is that sometimes people have feelings that they know in their head are not totally justifiable. I doubt that Juan Williams intellectually believes that a woman in a head scarf will blow up a plane, but he said that his instinct is to feel nervous nonetheless.

I am not homophobic, but I have to admit that being in a room with two guys kissing is uncomfortable. I mean, for the first half of my life, homosexuality was considered a disease by psychiatrists. I did not grow up thinking that it was acceptable. As a middle aged man, I have learned enough not to villify people, but I can't completely erase my subconscious.

The way he said the comment, Juan implied that he wished he didn't feel that way, but he has to question where the loyalties lie.

Quote: Keyser

We are losing our free speech. The liberals have got to go.



Juan Williams is normally considered liberal.
benbakdoff
benbakdoff
Joined: Jul 13, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 1:14:02 PM permalink
Shortly after 9-11 I was on a flight that happened to have a college football team on board. There were also three men who fit the preconceived description of terrorists right down to the head gear. The crew not so discreetly rearranged seating so that these men were surrounded by burly football players. There wasn't a peep out of anyone.

Did the crew over react?
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 2:24:40 PM permalink
Williams is the token Black Lib on Fox and he plays the role perfectly. Personally, he puts me to sleep.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
AZDuffman
AZDuffman
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October 21st, 2010 at 3:46:26 PM permalink
Juan made a valid point but is a liberal caught in the same craziness liberals always put conservatives in. All of this is nonsense but somebody must tell me why we are espically so afraid of doing anything that offends muslims. Too much of the country is afraid of offending them or else just wants to "be liked" so bad that a person can be fired for making a valid comment.

How valid was the comment? In WWII would you be nervous if you worked at the docks and heard a bunch of workers that looked out of place and speaking german?
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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October 21st, 2010 at 3:51:41 PM permalink
I remember Williams first years on NPR. He has mellowed drastically since those days, he's much more middle of the road now.
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal

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