by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
For all of those who were once concerned about Tavis Smiley ending his much-respected State of the Black Union gathering every year, you no longer have any reason to worry: “The great” Juan Williams from Fox News is now going to take his place.
Well, Juan isn’t exactly replicating the State of the Black Union. Actually, he is going to be one of two moderators for the State of Race Symposium being sponsored by the Aspen Institute. According to Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Community and Society Program at the institute, the appointment of Williams to the post was nothing short of a perfect “basketball bounce pass.”
Juan Williams, the most peculiar black journalist in America, made yet another statement that had heads turning. Williams effectively made the argument that there’s nothing wrong with people saying that young black men make them nervous. In a conversation with Dr. Caroline Helmand, a professor at Occidental College, Williams stood the Fox News line by basically refuting Helman’s assertion that it would be bigoted for a person to say that they clutch their purse every time a black man walks by. The dialogue went like this:
Helmand: "I happen to agree with Schiller that your comments were bigoted. I think that if I were to say that I clutch my purse every time I walk by a black man that might resonate with a lot of Americans. It might be the truth but it’s a bigoted statement. I certainly wouldn’t have fired you but I do think there was some truth in that video that we don’t get to talk about because we are afraid to have actual discourse in this country."
Juan Williams, the Fox News commentator who was disgraced in a highly public firing by NPR last year, has decided to go at his old bosses after NPR went through a public humiliation of it’s own. In a recent interview, Williams referred to NPR as an "all-white organization" that showed "the worst of white condescension" in the way they fired him last year. This was after NPR executive Ron Schiller was caught on a hidden camera referring to the Tea Party movement as racist.
"I think when it comes to NPR’s decision to, without any reason, throw me out the door, I think that for them, especially for some of the people who created NPR, it’s an all-white operation," Williams said. He also said that he felt that they favored white female journalists over black and Hispanic ones.
Sorry Juan, but what NPR did to you was not condescending. Condescending is when Fox News uses you as it’s personal "Negro Stamp of Approval" for some of the most racist, vile and insulting commentary in news media today. I personally stopped appearing on Fox News in 2007 after the network decided that race-baiting was a great way to get ratings. The Obama presidency was just around the corner, and Fox News would take the lead in giving a platform to the racial ignorance that still exists in our country.