In the aftermath of Juan William’s firing by NPR, it might be amusing to compare two quotes:
Juan Williams said this (on “The O’Reilly Factor,” Fox News, Oct 18, 2010):
[W]hen 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.
Jesse Jackson said this (said at a meeting of Operation PUSH in Chicago, Nov. 27, 1993):
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.
What these two people are displaying is not bigotry, but the ability to generalize, to reason by inductive logic, to acknowledge reality, to learn from experience.
When I pass a house and there’s a big pit bulldog in the yard, I feel very relieved if there’s also a high fence. Am I bigoted against pit bulls? No, but I think I am justified in saying that pit bulls have more than the average dog’s propensity for aggression (though it is more often directed against other dogs than against people, I understand). I have no grievance against that particular breed, but cumulative experience makes me wary.
Presumably the critics of Juan Williams would accuse me of canine-breed prejudice. One is at a loss as to how to explain to them, we’re just responding to an unfortunate fact of life. Once bitten, twice shy.
There’s something weird about the politically-correct “anti-bigotry” of those who refuse to allow others to acknowledge reality. They demand that everybody commit intellectual suicide, just as they did.