As you know by now, my fellow FOX News analyst Juan Williams got fired for saying something supposedly controversial about Muslims. But make no mistake, Juan isn’t the only casualty. So is American liberalism.
On the O’Reilly Factor on Monday night Williams 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 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.”
And this is a fireable offense?
NPR issued a statement saying Williams’ comments “were inconsistent with our editorial standards and practices, and undermined his credibility as a news analyst with NPR.”
Here’s a bulletin, NPR: Lots and lots and lots of Americans feel the same way as Juan Williams. And that includes lots and lots of liberals. And probably a lot of liberals who work at NPR. Juan’s “crime” wasn’t that he said something bigoted. His crime is that he said something that liberals find politically incorrect. And that he said it out loud. And worst of all, that he said it on the FOX News Channel.
In liberal circles this is nothing less than a crime against humanity!
What makes this so crazy – and so sad — is that liberals are the open-minded ones, the ones who cherish the free exchange of ideas, the smart ones. And if you don’t believe me, just ask any liberal who will be glad to tell you how smart and open-minded he or she is. But these are the kind of people who believe in “free speech” only as long as they agree with you.
I feel bad for Juan, He’s a good, decent man. His firing will make lots of other Americans think twice before they say something the boss may not like. And that’s not a good thing in a democracy that thrives on vibrant, sometimes controversial ideas. But I feel worse for American liberals. Because what we have here is one more piece of evidence that too many of them have forgotten how to be liberal.
Only about 20 percent of Americans nowadays identify themselves as liberals. Liberalism was once a great American movement. It led the fight for civil rights, the most important issue, as far as I’m concerned, of the 20th century.
It’s a shame that liberalism is dying in this country. It’s an outright crime that liberals are suffocating it.