Then, this happened. (The clip and the news story explain the whole event in detail).
Although we don’t watch–or even own–a television, we occasionally listen to Juan on NPR. One of the things we like about him is that he is totally unpredictable. Just when you think you have him “pegged” he delivers a unique and surprising point of view with intelligence and style. We don’t always agree with him, but we admire him for his independent spirit and razor-sharp mind.
Today we heard about the comments he made and the firing in an email from a good friend and colleague. She is adamant that if Juan Williams had been white and had made those comments on NPR rather than on their nemesis, Fox news, he wouldn’t have been fired.
Being both Black and Asian, she says she herself has experienced a double-standard for people of color who don’t “toe the party line.” She says she occasionally holds unexpected opinions. She believes if Juan was white, he would have been “scolded,” but not lost his job. Is NPR itself racist?
Frankly, it would never have occurred to us to question if NPR fired Juan because he was a Black man making these comments. We do have some questions, though: Is this thing going to blow sky high? Is Juan going to get the chance to defend himself or is what he said indefensible? Are Muslims offended by Juan’s comments? Are people of color offended by his being fired?
What do you think about the Juan Williams/NPR fiasco? You can give more than one answer and we welcome your comments.
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Last reviewed: 22 Oct 2010