The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Thursday night’s Fox News All-Stars.

On NPR’s firing of Juan Williams:

Well, I want to start by having people look at this quote from Jesse Jackson about 18 years ago in which he says, [“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery … then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”] Jesse Jackson is saying this. In other words, if the people he looked at were black, he would feel anxiety or fear.

Now, this – there’s nobody in his right mind who’s going to say that Jesse Jackson is a racist, [an] anti-black racist. He’s not. So what’s happening here? There are two elements in what he does here. He talks about a feeling which is related to a statistical fact. The feeling is the anxiety he feels, and the fact he’s talking about — this is implicit, of course — is the empirical fact that there’s a higher rate of crime among young African-Americans than among young whites.

Now, he regrets this. He regrets this. And he says the feeling of relief is a result of this obviously statistical disparity.

Now, think of what Juan has said. It’s exactly the same kind of statement. He talks about a feeling he has when he sees a person in Muslim garb. And then he spoke explicitly about how it’s related to empirical reality. The empirical reality is one we all know, that overwhelmingly the acts of terrorism in the world, the attacks on airplanes, buildings, on mosques around the world the last 20 years, have been overwhelmingly carried out not by the IRA or the Tamil Tigers or the German Red Army, but by radical Islamists.

So he makes a statement that’s perfectly parallel with what Jackson said. Now, you explain to me why nobody would attribute hostility, bigotry, or racism in the Jackson statement, and yet NPR attributes it to the Juan Williams statement — and not only attributes it but does it with such certainty that it dismisses him without even a hearing.

I’d like to hear one executive at NPR defend that. If not, this is not just a case of political correctness. It’s a case of intellectual cowardice.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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