10.30.10

TABOO SUBJECT – The Firing of Juan Williams

Posted in Excerpts at 10:32 am by admin

           

Juan Williams

 On June 4th 2010, I blogged: “Eight Ways to Destroy America.” I’m sure some thought I was way out of line, and trying to instill fear, and unrealistic ideas about our future.  I even presented this paper at a discussion group and the consensus was, “These ideas originally come from a radical conservative.”  They dismissed my ideas as “way out there!” not worth discussing, etc… This week, part of this blog came true and is causing me fear, anger and sadness, which I am still trying to control.

          I wrote the 7th way to destroy America was

          “I would place certain subjects off limits – make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’  I would find words similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped and paralyzed thinking.  Words like, ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ (fear of people of foreign origin) halt discussion and debate.”

            That is exactly what NPR did.  Juan Williams expressed his personal emotion on Fox News, the O’Ralley Factor. He said: “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 a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they’re identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried.  I get nervous.”

          Whether you share his feelings or not, is beside the point.  The thing that scares me is his feelings were off limits and taboo to talk about on National Public Radio, and cannot be legitimately expressed and/or debated.  His ex- boss even made reference to his mental well being on a public speech, suggesting he may wish to talk to his psychiatrist.   

            Are we becoming a nation where freedom of speech is taboo?  I believe no one should be admonished for his/her personal feelings, no matter how radical they may seem.  Personal feelings and opinions should be heard and be open to dialogue in any form but especially in a public forum such as NPR which is funded by our contributions and is subsidized by our government.   

          We dare not put certain subjects off limits if we want our democracy to survive.  This is especially true for our news media, our politicians, and individuals who have an influence on our country.  Some people (including myself) label NPR as radically liberal.   Sunday I heard on Meet the Press someone referring to Fox New as “Republican Propaganda,”  Everyone has the right to his/her opinions, but the important thing is that we keep an open mind and openly express our feelings and opinions.

          I want NPR to survive but NPR is fundamentally different from Fox News, CBS News, ABC news.  Fox News and all the other independent news networks have the right to be as biased as they like.  They make no pretense of being “Public” and they take no federal money.  NPR, on the other hand, belongs to the “Public” and is funded by public contributions and federal grants.  Therefore the feelings and opinions expressed on NPR need to include any and all views, even views that may be reprehensible to a few.   

 

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