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The Adventures of Done Juan October 21, 2010

From Fred

I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.

It was a normal Fox News Night.  O’Reilly was reveling in his triumphant appearance on The View. The rabid liberals ummm, I mean hostesses  Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walked out on Bill-O and left Barbabra Walters sitting there on the couch- stunned.

It was a good talking points night for O’Reilly Factor…I wonder if Bill new that the evening would lead to liberals walking out on another Fox kid.

From the Atlantic

Juan Williams Fired by NPR For No Particular Reason (UPDATED)

By Jeffrey Goldberg

October 21, 2010

National Public Radio has fired the political analyst Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox show. These are two of the controversial comments in question, according to The New York Times:

‘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, in reference to Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani immigrant who attempted to blow up Times Square with a car bomb:

“He said the war with Muslims, America’s war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts.”

The first quotation reflects the views, I’m guessing, of the vast majority of people who fly in this country (and in Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, as well). With some regularity, Muslim men associated with radical Islamist organizations have been trying to kill American civilians, here and abroad. A group of 19 Muslim men succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in their mission nine years ago. The majority of Muslims abhor terrorism, and Muslims are the disproportionate victims of Muslim terror, but the essential truth remains that most of the world’s spectacular terrorism today — thwarted and achieved — is committed by Muslims. Juan Williams misunderstands one crucial fact: Muslim terrorists who are attempting to commit acts of terror seldom if ever dress in “Muslim garb”; they dress, for obvious tactical reasons, in a manner meant to help them blend in with surroundings. So Williams is wrong, I think, to be particularly suspicious of traditionally-dressed Muslims. But is he wrong to worry about Islamist terrorism? Of course not.

Here is the actual clip:

I was there watching while eating dinner and I almost choked on my pasta and had to do a double take.

“Did he just say what I think he said?”  I asked.  “Not Juan…Juan????”

I laughed and looked for a reaction from Bill-O. There was not much of one but I sensed a tinge of WTF?


RACIST!!!!In the current climate of hyper-PC-ness, you just don't say that sort of thing. I knew there would be repercussions for Juan's statement.

Was Juan’s  statement racist?

Yes-somewhat.  Prejudging is racist.  Juan’s statement is equivalent to saying that you lock your car doors whenever you drive through a black neighborhood.  Was I surprised that it was coming from Fox News’ small reserve stash of liberals?  Yes, but I am not surprised.  Few liberals will admit that they feel the same way as Juan Williams does when he sees someone in “Muslim garb” board a 767- but they do.  Few liberals will admit that they voted for Obama because he was black- but they did.  And even fewer liberals will admit that they are racist- but they are.

But “racists are only Tea Partiers ” you say?

Nope.  And thank you Juan Williams for proving that.

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40 Responses to “The Adventures of Done Juan”

  1. Janis Says:

    Comparing that Time cover with the one about Jews who don’t want peace is incredible to me. Absolutely incredible …

    White liberal tolerance is only about white-collar white people scoring points off of one another. They couldn’t actually give a damn about the ball they kick back and forth between themselves.

  2. Tiny Says:

    Wowww. Well, at least he was honest. Which is more than I can say for most liberals….

  3. Selmapilgrim Says:

    What keeps being cut from the transcript is that Juan went on to say that we cannot let our feelings affect the way we treat other people. So he said that is how we all feel, but we cannot be ruled by feelings.
    Where is the discrimination with this?

  4. Pete Says:

    Citizens need to be vigilant when on an airplane, but they should definitely never actually speak about why that is.

  5. Holly Says:

    I agree with your post except for when you say his statement was somewhat racist. Discrimination is prejudging, to me, racism is believing one’s race superior. Islam is a belief system, so one cannot be racist against a belief system. My opinion.

    • afrocity Says:

      But IMO saying that you feel nervous when you see people who look a certain way along with cultural dress, is racist. I also believe that you do not have to necessarily feel your race is superior to another in order to be racist. I know Caucasian liberals who say racist things all of the time and do not feel superior to the people they demean by their statements. I think what he said was racist. My opinion- racists,bigots all the same to me.

      I do not think he should have been fired by NPR. He told the truth about the way he felt and I respect that. However liberals seem to think that they should be immune to such thoughts- They are not.

      • Holly Says:

        I would argue that subconciously, they do feel superior. Anyways, it is a matter of semantics and vocabulary that we will disagree on.

    • WMCB Says:

      I honestly don’t think that inner twinge of fear is racism or bigotry, unless the ONLY thing that makes you uncomfortable is that they are “the other”, and it does that regardless of the situation.

      For instance, if a black kid is walking down a lonely street, and 4 guys tatooed head to toe and with shaven heads start walking behind him, he is going to get uneasy. Because those people fit the general description of those known, in fact, to be statistically more likely to beat the crap out of him than, say, a lady in a business suit. And he’s in the physical environment where those things tend to happen: ie a lonely street.

      I don’t think that makes him a bigot. I think it’s a hard-wired, very reasonable survival instinct. And to confuse that with actual bigotry makes the definition of racism so broad as to be meaningless as a matter of moral choice.

      • afrocity Says:

        But isn’t it not giving people the benefit of the doubt? Which is prejudging. Like remember if you did not vote for Obama, you were racist???

        • WMCB Says:

          Every human being prejudges others, and even other groups, all the time, based on rational (as opposed to irrational) fear. If I walk down a dark street, and I see two women coming toward me, I do not have a little frisson of fear. If I see two young men coming toward me, I do.
          Does that mean that I have somehow pre-judged all men, think all men (rather than a minority of men) are potential rapists, and am a misandrist bigot for that feeling? No. Nor does it mean that I mistreat them, refuse to hire them, or that I am uneasy around men in all situations – just that particular one.

          Sorry, but I don’t think we are ever going to get rid of that evolutionary survival instinct that is hardwired into our brains, nor do I think we need to.

          And I for one will not feel guilty about it, nor insist that others need to self flagellate, and search their deep dark souls for the taint of imaginary bigotry, and feel guilty over it either. I swear to Jeebus, some people really do take this thing too far. And their quest for the ever elusive purity of soul regarding racism, or sexism, or whatever, reaches ludicrous heights only seen in obscure monastic sects seeking to purge themselves of uncleanness (a task at which they can never truly succeed.)

          In short, it’s ridiculous. I left the church because I’m not into guilt trips. I refuse to take into my soul the guilt of a politicized version of “original sin”. And that’s exactly what all the “isms” have become to some.

          • afrocity Says:


            Perhaps being black makes me more sensitive. I do not know if it is all a survival instinct. I recall a store owner following me around to see if I was stealing. Meanwhile I saw two white girls stick candy in their pockets as he was stalking me. Now you can say that he has survival instict for his store. His business is at stake but to only follow me is profiling. Juan Williams is talking about profiling in a way.

          • WMCB Says:

            I understand that, at least on some level, though obviously not on the gut level that you do. But JW was not talking about doing anything at all (like “following them around the store”). He didn’t advocate treating those people differently in any way whatsoever.

            Also, you have a point that both little white girls and little black girls are liable to steal candy. So far as I know, 100% of airplanes crashing into buildings have been done by Muslims.

            It’s a tough one, I know. How do you deal with a logical unease at what is a very real theo-political threat, from people who often try to appear “just like any other peace-loving Muslim”, without having any suspicions at all re: actual peace-loving Muslims? Everything doesn’t have simple answers, and I think we need to allow each other some leeway, on both sides.

            I don’t want any innocent Muslim treated badly, or viewed weirdly. But neither do I want people made to feel guilty for a quite reasonable unease.

          • afrocity Says:

            And when you think about it, I am not sure that the guys who hijacked those 9/11 planes were wearing Muslim garb.

          • Holly Says:

            The Muslim garb, in my opinion, is not necessarily to be taken as clothing, but as a strict adherence to Islamist beliefs, such as Sharia Law. That is how I feel when I see a woman in a burka or a niqab; it’s not that I am afraid of the clothing, but I am afraid of what it represents, the political ideology behind it. I honestly do not mind if someone wishes to tell me I’m bigoted, racist, Islamophobic, because I’m not. I question political Islam and the motives behind those that mirror image it. I won’t call them out, I will not be impolite in any means, but Democracy allows me a choice to enter into a situation where I feel most comfortable…being in a room full of Sharia compliant Islamists is not one of them, but to those of us who are gay, can you blame us?

  6. Tyrone Says:

    When Andrew Breitbart posted excerpts from Shirley Sherrod’s speech, and the USDA fired her, there was an uproar. The entire speech was posted on the web and shed a slightly different light on her remarks, and the media crucified Breitbart, the Right, Republicans – basically everyone who was Not One of Them.

    NPR fires Juan Williams based on an excerpt from an interview, and then the entire interview comes out, where he makes essentially the same point as Ms. Sherrod and….crickets…

    When will the pets of the Progressives wake up and realize that they are only “protected” as long as they stay inside the approved script?

    Or is Muslim the new Black?

    • AAO Says:

      Well said

    • afrocity Says:

      Really? I thought Mexican was the new black.

      • Tyrone Says:

        It was, I think. These things change so fast I have a hard time keeping up. This whole putting groups of people in little boxes and making pets of them offends me on a visceral level, so I don’t make much of an effort TO keep up…

        I enjoy your blog Afrocity; I enjoy seeing the world through your eyes, and the illustrations you choose are downright hilarious.

    • RayT Says:

      In all honesty, I don’t think this is peculiar to liberals. It’s human nature to disdain what you don’t like, regardless of ideology. We’ve all seen it happen on the “conservative” side as well; those who say what we like are supported, those who don’t get pilloried.

      My opinion is that this is the best thing can could have happened to Williams. His beliefs haven’t changed, but now he is a “hero” to those who used to dislike — or, at best, tolerate — him. And he’s wealthier, too.

      I never liked him. I thought (and still think) he is a talking-point spouter, without original or compelling views of his own. He spent years at the public trough, and is now hurt because the people who offered him a comfy home turned on him?

      Welcome to the real world, Juan.

  7. AAO Says:

    By the way, once flying to Kansas City, Juan happened to be on the US AIR flight to host Science Friday from the newly opened Science Museum in Kansas City. Even though he looked exhausted he was gracious to all the people that sat around him and talked to a lot of people during the flight. He was also in coach not First Class. Juan, I will miss you on NPR but I will follow you on Fox.

  8. Janelle Says:

    This is not about race or religion. It’s about a medieval set of beliefs which need to be either changed or eliminated. Take your pick, but either way it needs to happen quickly. Folks, there was and is nothing benevolent about Islam. It is not a religion of peace and the way it is taught most certainly doesn’t belong here.

    • afrocity Says:

      Janelle do you feel your statements are bigoted? I agree with you but I feel guilty about it.

      • Tyrone Says:

        Why do we have to feel guilty about disagreeing with someone’s religious and cultural beliefs? Are all cultures and religions equally good and right?

        Is it bigoted to disagree with Christian religious beliefs? There are some Christians who believe that the Bible says homosexual sex is wrong. If we disagree are we bigoted against Christians? Islam also teaches that homosexual sex is wrong. Are we bigoted against Islam for disagreeing? Are we bigoted against homosexuals if we agree?

        Judaism is another religion that is a culture as well. Is it bigoted to disagree with Jewish religious and/or cultural beliefs? If we think that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish homeland, are we bigoted against Muslims? If we say Israel has no right to exist are we bigoted against Jews?

        If an artist who is a secular humanist draws a picture of Jesus Christ fornicating a donkey, is the artist bigoted against Christians for doing that? If an artist who is a secular humanist draws a picture of the prophet Mohamed as a pig is the artist bigoted against Muslims for doing that? If some Muslims then burn down newsstands and eventually murder the artist, are these Muslims bigoted?

        Or are we only bigots if we disagree with a religion/culture/skin color that is the protected pet du jour of modern western culture?

        • afrocity Says:

          The magic word is “all” . There are peaceful Muslims.
          Ok here is one. My mother considered all Jews cheap pinchers. She never trusted any Jewish landlord, sales person. “they are so rich, because they are so stingy”… That’s bigoted

          • Tyrone Says:

            Actually I think the key word is action. JW did not act on his twinge of fear; the people who followed you around the store and ignored other children did. They were bigoted.

            And there are peaceful, kind, tolerant Christians too. However, if JW had said he was felt a twinge of fear when he found himself in a group of religious Christians, would he have been fired? Would there have been an uproar? I always try to temper arguments by making them go both ways. For my hard-left leaning acquaintances who start ranting on Bush, Palin, Republicans, Fox News, I ask them to take the “Homosexual Test”. I make them take their rant and substitute “gay” in for Palin, Bush etc, and ask them how they sound now. So here I substitute Christian into the argument, and see if it holds up. In our current political and cultural climate it is quite all right to be prejudiced against Christians. No one calls you a bigot for making fun of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But say one slightly negative word against Muslims and WHAM – R-word, B-word, P-word. Sheesh. When the Peaceful Muslims rise up en masse and denounce the zealots who keep going around making death threats at the slightest provocation is the day I will feel guilty about having negative thoughts about the Muslim religion.

            It is human nature to generalize; the truly non-bigoted get past that and try to judge by actions and character on an individual basis. The truly bigoted never even try to do that, and rather let those feelings rule their actions.

      • Janelle Says:

        Afrocity, I am downright bigoted about a belief system which teaches that women should be stoned if they are raped, requires that their genitals be mutilated as young girls and whose men have such a lack of self control that they require women to dress in giant bags. Guilty isn’t the word that comes to mind when I consider tenets of that system revolting.

  9. EdithH Says:

    Where do you draw the line between racism, bigotry, stereotyping, and generalization? Wherever, It is likely to be arbitrary. And if generalizing is not the heart and soul of abstraction, what is? And without abstraction how do we have language or thought?

    • afrocity Says:

      Edith, I think you are saying that it is human nature to be bigoted. This is a strange analogy but once my friend met a man who said he only dated Asian women because American women are spoiled and no longer know how to relate to men without being “bitchy” and unfeminine. She called the man sexist and bigoted. I argued if it was any different from someone who only dates blond women or people who are tall etc..

      When does preference become prejudice. And believe me, I thought I was open minded until I had a blind date wth a man who was pleasant, funny, educated, and…5’6″… I showed up to the date in heels (I am 5’5″) and was taller than him. The date was good but I just could not get his height out of my head. I stopped returning his calls. My behavior surprised me. Yep I was shallow and prejudiced.

    • MissJean Says:

      Here’s the problem with the idea of saying Williams’ statements were “bigotry” or “racism”: Muslims get nervous sometimes when they see another Muslim on a plane when they judge him/her to be acting oddly. Sad but true.

      I think his comment fits with Jesse Jackson’s comment about being nervous around of a group of young black men on the street. Is that bigotry? No, but it is making a judgment call.

      I admit I have a dog in this fight: When I was a kid, one of my babysitters was beaten and raped after she ignored her instincts to get into a crowded, well-lit place after passing two young men. They didn’t say anything to her, didn’t seem to look at her, and it wasn’t even dark yet – she just felt uncomfortable because they were young white teenagers.

      Personally, I will never give in to calls to think charitably about strangers unless they’re Amish. And even then, I’m entitled to look at them funny if I feel like it.

      • Heathers Says:

        No excuse for racism. Your friend was raped by bad people who are everywhere. What does a Muslim look like anyway?

        • Janis Says:

          When is a woman “allowed” to be fearful for her safety without you calling her un-PC?

          I’m serious. Answer this.

          I’m sick and goddamned tired of the following two sentences coming out of the same people mouths all the time:

          1) She didn’t go up to that man’s apartment? She’s oppressing him and prejudging him!

          2) Well, she sent up to his apartment — what did she THINK was going ot happen?

          Screw you. I take care of my safety, and that means trusting my instincts instead of allowing myself to get in a dangerous situation because someone might be o-ffended if I back out. And that same someone would point the finger at me and say I asked for it if something did happen. And if you had a daughter, you would damn well want her to behave exactly the same way.

  10. yttik Says:

    Bigotry and prejudice are obviously complicated issues. I do think it’s part of human nature and related to our survival instinct. If you were mugged by a group of black kids, you’re going to be hesitant about the next group of black kids that approach you. It may not be fair, but it’s a survival instinct.. We’ve been attacked by Muslims, so naturally people are going to feel nervous.

    I don’t think all bigotry is wrong. I think systemic racism with the power of the establishment behind it, is wrong, but bigotry is a personal prejudice that may be quite rational. I’m certainly not going to give some man in a dark alley the benefit of the doubt just so I don’t appear sexist. I mean, women are abused by men all the time, being hesitant about them is a way of life.

  11. realwest Says:

    Hi Afrocity! Sorry it’s been a while since I commented here. But I did want to point out to you that Islam is NOT A RACE. There are “tan” Muslims, Black Muslims and White Muslims. So it wasn’t a case of RACIAL bigotry, but rather one of religious bigotry, IF THAT. Juan was simply expressing how he feels when he gets on a plane and see’s openly Muslim men (by that I assume Juan meant “arabic” clothing or women in full burqua’s or some such).

    • Heathers Says:

      It is racism. If someone is singling out Muslims for attack or bigotry, it is part of a broader racist paradigm. I do not understand seems to be that you people think that not calling Williams words racist make it ok. In agreement with Afrocity, Williams statements were ignorant and prejudiced.

      • Janis Says:

        Is it racist to acknowledge it and talk about it as something that needs to be confronted and dealt with? If we attack people who say these things, all it does it drive it underground — which is how I see lots of upper-crust white liberals acting, where they decry this sort of thing when it’s openly talked about, and hide their own racism deep to where it just festers and they never lance the boil because they’re too busy pretending it doesn’t exist.

        • yttik Says:

          I’m with you Janis.

          I think everybody has prejudices, that’s just how we are. Some people don’t like to eat meat, others don’t like Catholics. When we start policing feelings and monitoring people’s thought crimes, it just gets ridiculous. Nobody should have to swallow their feelings just to prove how multi-cultural and open minded they are. If you’re too open minded, your brains just fall out.

          Racism is not simple prejudice or passing judgment, it’s a system that requires power and institutions to reinforce it. Muslims are not being rounded up like the Japanese were, and it’s actually little old white ladies being searched at airports and singled out for security checks. Muslims are not being victimized by an increase in hate crimes, that record actually still goes to Jewish people. This whole concept of Muslims being a persecuted group that must be protected and defended from a country of bigots has just made me crazy.

          • Janelle Says:

            The proponents of Islam are not welcome here. Period. Don’t duck your head and there is nothing bigoted or racist about the fact that the Muslim culture is taking over everywhere in Europe and trying to do it here. I want anyone who believes in sharia law out of the US tomorrow.

  12. yttik Says:

    I guess what really bothers me is that Juan is a black man who was just fired for not being obedient and for being uppity enough to believe he can express a personal opinion about how he feels. NPR, liberals, the left, are all for equality as long as you toe the line and think and act as they tell you to. The moment you step out of line, they throw the book at you. That’s not freedom, that’s not equality, that’s not recognizing somebody’s right to make their own choices. Tell you the truth, Juan’s words don’t strike me as racist, his firing does.

  13. Incognito Says:

    I’m not sure racism is applicable, since a religion is not a race. had he said Arabs, then that would be a different story. then again, no-one would be feeling that way about people who look to be Muslim on airplanes if it weren’t for 9/11 and all the many attempts thereafter at blowing up aircraft. and all the terrorist attacks worldwide.

  14. Peter Says:

    I’m bigoted then. I do not wish to see a group win that wants to enslave my grandchildren. I am told that only a minority of Muslims wish to do this. I agree but I do not care. My father fought the Japanese and, I assume, only a minority of them wanted to bomb Pearl Harbor and enslave, rape and torture millions of Chinese. My uncle fought the Germans, and only a minority of them set up concentration camps and bombed Britain.

    So, if Islam does not wish to fight the west, Islam should stop that minority. If they do not then I will continue to urge my government to fight back. And if innocent Muslims are killed, well, lots of innocent Japanese died in the Tokyo firestorms and at Hiroshima. My folks did not weep for them, even as we rejoiced when, later, my sister found the love of her life, an American of Japanese ancestry.

    I do not hate Muslims. I do not feel superior to Muslims. A group of Muslims has declared war on my country, though. And I would cheerfully push the button raining thermonuclear missiles on every Muslim city in the world if that would protect my grandchildren for so much as a skinned knee. I did not start this fight. I am perfectly willing to end it in any way that leaves us a free country. So, yeah, I’m a bigot. And I don’t care if anyone calls me that. I am so bigoted I wish to win a war that we did not start.

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