Monday, October 25, 2010

Rightbloggers, delighted to find black guy scared of Muslims, defend Juan Williams

Posted By on Mon, Oct 25, 2010 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge rightbloggers_thumb_200x230.jpg

Celebrity journalist Juan Williams had a good week, on balance. First, he was fired by National Public Radio for remarks he made on Fox -- his other major employer -- about his fear of Muslims on airplanes.

That might seem at first a minus, but Williams was immediately rewarded by Fox with a new $2 million contract. Plus, he cemented his reputation among conservatives as one of those liberals who -- like Joe Lieberman -- can be relied upon to criticize liberals.

You could argue (as some liberals did)

that Williams' shouldn't have been fired for his comments, especially

since he said some less-offensive things later. Some rightbloggers did

make that argument. Some even denounced prejudice -- against

conservatives. Prejudice against Muslims, though, they didn't mind. In

fact, that was mainly what they liked about what Williams said.

Williams' fatal remarks were made on The O'Reilly Factor, in response to one of Bill O'Reilly's anti-Muslim rants:


correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address

reality 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.

Later in the show Williams supplied some context:

I think there are people who want to somehow remind us all as President

Bush did after 9/11, it's not a war against Islam. President Bush went

to a mosque... if you said Timothy McVeigh, the Atlanta bomber, these

people who are protesting against homosexuality at military funerals,

very obnoxious, you don't say first and foremost, we got a problem with

Christians. That's crazy.

We who have free souls, it touches

us not, but NPR canned Williams, and suddenly he was the recipient of

what's known in the business as a Strange New Respect from rightbloggers -- but not for the comments in the second box.

Rightblogger Instapundit, who had only previously noticed Williams a few times, has at this writing 12 posts about his firing. One of Instapundit's themes was that NPR was "racist" to fire the African-American Williams. (This is a joke based on the ancient conservative trope that liberals are the real racists.)

For some it wasn't a joke. "People will think I'm kidding by saying Juan Williams was fired because he's a black man," said Dan Riehl,

"but I'm not." He explained: "If Juan Williams is impacted by the

behavior of Muslims, then progressives -- and NPR is that -- can't

lecture white America that their concerns are based on hate, religious

intolerance, bigotry or xenophobia."

So if a black person admits prejudice, apparently, that lets white

people off the hook. (Riehl himself enjoys telling his readers about black people he considers racist, but we guess this schtick only works with liberals.)

Jammie Wearing Fool noticed that NPR now has no on-air talent of color. "NPR - where the 'P' stands for 'Plantation,'" said small dead animals.

Whoa, whoa, whoa -- is that guy in the gown getting on my plane?
Anonymous Attorney of VDare -- a website celebrating what we might politely call white exceptionalism

-- said, "Indeed, it's a little hard to categorize Williams as a

'bigot,' i.e., someone who would take the side of whites in a racial

dispute. He may have thought -- like Rick Sanchez -- that his own race

gave him a longer leash to be honest about things." (This, from a guy

prone to complain about "the abuse of whites in the mainstream media.")

Some boldly defended Williams on the grounds of the First Amendment,

which guarantees reporters a right to jobs with the employer of their

choice, or at least it does in their version of it.

"Screw Free Speech," projected Big Journalism

onto NPR. The firing was "nothing more than the latest chapter in

liberals' recent and sordid history of thought-policing," said Michael Schwarz of the Ashbrook Center.

And it goes all the way to the top! "But what happens when paranoia grips those in power?"

asked Schwarz. "What really matters here is that the Obama

administration's petulant 2009 crusade against FOX News, complete with

the equally petulant narrative that spawned that crusade, retains its

relevance among the paranoid left." Thus, liberals "convince themselves

that their opponents act from feelings of paranoia rather than

legitimate opposition born of serious reflection, and when one among

them gets control of the government, it then becomes possible --

imperative, actually -- to de-legitimize the sources and the forces of

this so-called paranoid opposition." We have to admit: He makes a better

case against paranoia than he probably intended.

At Pajamas Media Richard Fernandez

said the firing indicated the return of "blasphemy" to the "secular

West," classed Williams a victim of it along with Larry Summers and

Ginny Thomas, and suggested that in this dangerous new age "next time

Anita Hill can call the FBI and get you arrested." Gasp! No wonder Ginny Thomas wanted an apology.

"Self-styled liberals," declared Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom, "no longer support actual

liberal policy." In fact, "'Liberalism' in this country, where it truly

exists, has migrated -- as I did -- to the right side of the political

aisle." Hmm, so they've got the liberals and the conservatives -- don't see what they're complaining about.

Bernie Goldberg

said Williams' firing proved that liberalism had died, and worried that

"his firing will make lots of other Americans think twice before they

say something the boss may not like." Even worse -- what if they instead

expect to immediately get a new job that pays $2 million? Think how

disappointed they'll be.

The perfidy and racism of liberals was just a fun sidelight for

rightbloggers, though -- the important message was that fear of Muslims

on planes is normal, even admirable.

Glib & Superficial played off a news story

about a crocodile that caused a plane crash, and suggested "a thought

experiment. We won't use the word 'Muslim.' Instead, let's use the word

'crocodile.' OK? So the question is, do you qualify as a lunatic if you

say, 'You know, it's certainly not completely rational, but when I see a

crocodile on the plane with me, it makes me jumpy and nervous...'" Yes,

he was comparing Muslims to animals, and by noticing we expect we're

the real racists.

Rhymes with Right

had his own thought experiment: In view of the Catholic Church sex

scandal, he asked, "would it not be understandable that a person might

have a similar reaction to proposed unsupervised sleepover for middle

school boys at the parish rectory?" You can see how letting Muslims on a

plane is similar; perhaps they should have chaperones.

At Reason Matt Welch said of course people (not him personally, though) get nervous when they see Arabs on a plane -- didn't you ever see Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay? David Frum

said liberals (specifically some book publishers) fear Islamic

terrorists' wrath if they offend their religious sensibilities -- why

can't conservatives be terrified by the guy in the skullcap in 13F? It's

only fair.

The Colorado Springs Gazette

said that, rather than doing Muslims a disservice, "Williams did

Muslims a favor. If a scholarly, black civil rights author experiences

fear at the sight of Muslims on a plane, it's a safe bet other Americans

feel the same way. That's something Muslims should know, if they want

to enjoy the best of the American dream."

But we bet the Muslims are ungrateful, which just makes them more

sinister. Take U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, who sided with

his own murderous co-religionists against Williams. "This Muslim and

radical leftist does not believe in free speech," snarled Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit. "What a shock." "Ellison is an extremist," cried Atlas Shrugs, "and should be on the terrorist watch list." See, what'd we tell you?

So comfortable were rightbloggers with their fear of Muslims that they offered to share it with all their fellow citizens. As Andrew Klavan said at City Journal, "Everybody's nervous about Muslims on planes. Why? Because Muslims blow stuff up." QED!

Mary Katherine Ham, who was on the show with Williams, said "I suspect the powers-that-be at NPR pretty much think what Juan thinks." Similarly, The Anchoress

declared that people who listen to NPR, "while driving their BMW," can

be noticed "discreetly making sure their doors are locked when they spy a

homeless man moving too close to their car." She did not say whose

BMW(s) she was riding in when she observed this.

In fairness, The Anchoress generously allowed similar fearfulness in

herself: "A few weeks ago, my husband and I were heading into

Manhattan," she reported, "and we noticed an unmarked truck driving

very, very slowly. I couldn't help wondering if there was something

suspicious in that." A truck moving slowly in Manhattan traffic! The

poor woman's nerves must be very fragile.

Danielle Crittenden

also stood with Williams because she had herself profiled Muslim men,

or someone who looked like them. In 2004 she pulled her family off a

flight from Paris because she'd noticed two men "about 25 or 26, of Arab

descent, beards, dressed in the modern Atta traveling fashion of jeans

and t-shirts." Jeans and t-shirts -- a dead giveaway! Also they didn't

have carry-on luggage and "one of the men was reading an Arabic

newspaper while the other seemed twitchy."

And that flight... landed safely in Washington. But Crittenden was proud

because she had acted "without fear that I might be branded racist."

Also, "The children were delighted at this turn of events. They had

never seen Paris." See? Why are people complaining?

    Oh, come on; like you didn't laugh.
​"But we sure can't offend muslims can we?" said Erick Erickson

of RedState. "The official state run media cannot have anyone

expressing anything that might reflect what actual Americans think

regarding Islamofascists because there is officially no such thing

according to the Obama Administration."


Erickson told us what he really thought: "The left has unyielding

sympathy for victim groups, whether or not they actually are real

victims," he claimed. "It is how the left can embrace tolerance for both

gays and muslims though many of the latter would gladly see all of the

former put the death." And they probably did the same thing back in 19th

Century New York, when they refused to intervene in the violence between Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans. Pick a side, libtards!

Also: "The world is at war with Christ and, more generally, the

Judeo-Christian God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Islam, derived from a

man of this world, and the world are in supernatural alliance against

Christ. This is the moment non-believers laugh and believers nod

knowingly." Wow -- how did he know?

Jeff Schreiber

of America's Right claimed Williams couldn't be racist, because he has

special diagnostic powers: "I also have no doubt in my mind," he said,

"that Juan Williams is able to discern between Muslims and radical

Muslims, and that any trepidations he has with regard to air travel has

more to do with a realistic look at history than a bigoted look at a

particular faith." We're not sure how history helps Williams spot

terrorists in a line-up, but if he's willing to share this power with

the Feds, that $2 million will look like chickenfeed.

Whether or not you think NPR did right, it is something to contemplate

that, at the end of the day, the guy who's making big money on Fox is

considered the victim, and millions of Muslim-Americans who have no

attention of blowing anything up are considered the real problem.

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