Thursday, October 21, 2010

Be Afraid

'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 was fired from NPR (National Public Radio) for making this statement on the O'Reilly show the other day.

Note that Williams was not advocating any kind of different treatment of apparent Muslims. He was simply nervous and worried. Some Americans might recall that several years ago some Muslims hijacked airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Might that historical event have contributed to Williams anxiety?

It is not clear whether the fireable offense was being nervous or speaking about said nervousness, but I suspect the latter. After all, being nervous is not something we can easily control. I am often a bit nervous when flying, usually on takeoffs and landings. I suppose now I should be careful not to share my anxiety lest I offend all airline pilots. But somehow I don't think Williams would have been fired if he merely offended pilots.

No, Williams was fired for speaking truthfully about his anxiety about Muslims and airplanes. Obviously, speaking truthfully is not something that one should be punished for. Therefore, the answer is to address Williams' fears.

I suggest nationwide reeducation camps. We all need to learn about the benign nature of all adherents to Islam. We need to pretend that 9-11 had no connection to Islam whatsoever. The culprits were extremists. All extremists are equally dangerous.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Just don't tell anyone.


Nemo said...

Denis, I don't think you see Mr William's great sin here. He is a minority that refused to toe the PC line. That's simply unforgivable.

Think of the great strides made by minority communities in the past few decades since they joined together and started to vote/think monolithically liberal. Just look at current employment, graduation and crime rates in minority communities. Individuals like Mr Williams would throw that all away. He must be silenced!

298 Hours :)

Sean Cranley said...

Firing might have been a little extreme, but exchange the word "muslim" for black, white, latino, gay, christian, jewish, etc. and it's easy to see how it crosses the line for a reporter who is supposed to maintain objectivity. Besides, it's the fundy muslim NOT wearing Islamic garb that you need to worry about. DUH!

Denis Navratil said...

Good points as always Nemo.

Sean, we are perhaps not polar opposites on this one. However, some groups are more protected than others. I doubt fear of Christians is going to get anyone fired, nor should it of course. Wait, I take that back. Anyone who thinks Christians will hijack airplanes and crash them into buildings is a bit crazy and or dim so maybe they should be fired.

Sean Cranley said...

Christians don't need to crash planes into buildings, they have far better means than that at their disposal.

Yes some groups are more protected than others as Helen Thomas found out while discussing the anti-democratic Isreali appartheid occupation.

Let's face it no employee can say whatever they want to with total job security when they start to reflect on their employer's business. Especially when they broadcast it on a GOPropaganda outlet like Fux Snooze and George Soros is hovering overhead in a black helicopter.

Denis Navratil said...

Sean writes: "Let's face it no employee can say whatever they want to with total job security when they start to reflect on their employer's business."

Have I missed something Sean? I thought he was fired after the Muslims on airplanes comment.

And Helen Thomas was fired for suggesting that the Jews go back to Poland or Germany. Clearly an anti-semetic comment. I am surprised you would defend her ugly comments.

Sean Cranley said...

Actually, I wasn't defending Helen Thomas, I was equating the two events.

I understand why she was fired. I think she was a little muddled (let's face it, she was more than a bit past her prime) and her comment was inarticulate. I don't believe however, that she's an anti-semite any more than I believe Juan Williams is a bigot.

In fact, I believe she was misunderstood but correct about Israel and I said so at the time