On yesterday, NPR fired one of its journalists, Juan Williams, who is also a Fox News Channel contributor, for stating that he gets nervous when he sees a person dressed in Muslim garb on a plane. Juan Williams is an African-American liberal man who has written books about the Civil Rights Movement. I guess Juan Williams is simply not liberal enough for the far left sensibilities of NPR. Juan was not stating an opinion, as NPR forbids, he was telling the truth about a natural feeling he has about Muslims when he sees them on a plane. Juan Williams expressed his natural feelings on Bill O’Reilly’s The Factor.
Now, liberals are supposed to be the great champions of the First Amendment, but the very liberal NPR does not allow for Juan Williams to exercise his First Amendment rights. What is so problematic about this situation is NPR is a publicly funded corporation. If it was a private corporation, then the decision to fire Juan would be less of an issue. However, NPR is terminating this man because he does not meet the liberal ideological test of its corporation.
Many White people have been communicating for years that they get afraid or nervous when they see an African-American, especially an African-American man, walking down the street coming near them, or when they are sitting in their cars and one pulls up beside them. No White person has been fired for stating what they will claim are simply their natural feelings and not an opinion. Juan Williams was not trying to articulate a conservative or negative viewpoint on Muslims. Face it—he’s a liberal and always has been one. If NPR’s leadership would have taken the time to actually listen to the totality of what he said on Bill O’Reilly’s show, they would have found that he did not attack Muslims one time, and he has never attacked Muslims throughout his career. In fact, Juan has been quite supportive of Muslims.
NPR’s leadership simply needs to be honest about why they fired Juan Williams: he is a Fox News Channel contributor. NPR does not like the Fox News Channel. They have even told Juan not to mention that he is a Fox News Channel contributor.
I would like for the NPR leadership to understand that the days of telling Black people what they can and cannot do are over! I have had an opportunity to talk with Democrats, Republicans, and Independents on this issue and they all think NPR was wrong and needs to rehire Juan Williams immediately. I urge everyone to write to NPR and tell its leadership to rehire Juan Williams immediately. The following is NPR’s address:
635 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison