Monday, October 25, 2010

Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

Juan Williams, a former news analyst at NPR, was fired because of comments he made on another media outlet while on his own time. While I do not agree with him (he said he felt uncomfortable on a plane when someone was dressed in, "muslim garb") I am filled with disgust at NPR's decision to fire him. Why disgust? NPR's CEO Vivian Schiller said, of the firing, "...he expressed [ideas] on Fox News [that] are really between him and his psychiatrist."

Let me get this straight: Schiller fired Williams for perpetuating the stereotype that members of the Muslim faith are terrorists. She did so by insinuating that Williams was being treated by a psychiatrist. When did racism and mental health become linked? Is Schiller condemning one stereotype by starting another?

I don't support Williams' comments nor do I share them. "Muslim garb" sounds as strange as "Christian garb", exactly what would this look like? Williams may be ignorant but at least he was truthful. It is better that someone come out and say what they are thinking (and give the rest of us an opportunity to educate and enlighten them)than to have closeted, closed-mindedness. This also gave us notice that Schiller has similar ideas of mental health that Williams has of Muslims. How can NPR not rid itself of her? It's hypocritical for NPR to fire Williams and retain Schiller. I would rather they rehire Williams and then send the pair of them for some training in stereotype reduction. I suspect it won't happen as the former has inked a lucrative deal with Fox and the latter is a broad.

1 comment: