Let me first say there were a million reasons for NPR to fire Juan Williams... I'm surprised they waited so long. His comments that he was afraid to fly with Muslims were, sadly, the least of his transgresses against rational thought. But he's gone, and the world is a better place for it. Unless you're former Utah GOP Vice-chair, and professional hack Todd Weiler. Weiler tweeted this morning:
The mindlessness of those who espouse this attitude is astounding. They seem unable to separate the few involved in the 9/11 attacks with, you know, 1 plus billion inhabitants of the planet (roughly 1/5 of the world's population). And even more amazing, people who feel this way aren't making it up. They really harbor these fears. But consider for a second if there is much difference between someone saying "I get nervous when there is a Muslim on the plane with me" and something like "I kept my hand on my wallet because there was a black guy on the bus today." Yep, no difference. And you know what? Thinking that second example would make you... wait for it... a raging bigot. Not to mention pretty damn stupid.
Imagine if every stupid act carried out by a Christian became a condemnation of Christianity itself. That would be ludicrous, right? Unfortunately, these fears espoused by so many are real, and every bit as small minded.
It's simple (and alas, all too human): If you are afraid of all Muslims because of what happened to our country on Sept. 11, 2001, you are practicing a form of bigotry, and as NPR CEO Vivian Schiller said when questioned about firing Williams, probably some issues you should take up with your "psychiatrist and publicist."
RedState Update summed this up best in a satirical video circa the recent childish "controversy" over the NYC Mosque (or multi-denominational cultural center, if you're fond of reality based understanding). To paraphrase:
Jackie: "You realize that not all Muslims were behind the 9/11 attack?" Dunlap: "Well, not all conservatives are racists... but because of a few tea parties, now we all have a PR problem."I've issued a challenge for Mr. Weiler to accept, in an effort to broaden his horizons and expand his understanding that this a really really big world with a lot of different people in it. I have invited several people I know working (and owning businesses... gasp!) right here in Utah who happen to be Muslim. I'm now up to 4 takers on an invitation to have lunch with Todd, and calm some of his irrational fears about Muslims, and airplanes.
Encourage Mr. Weiler to accept. Bigotry is an ugly thing.
UPDATE: Rep. Carl Wimmer joins the Bigot Brigade. Encourage him to accept an educational lunch request as well.