Thursday, October 21, 2010

How pure are you?

To read the comments out there today in the liberal blogosphere reacting to NPR's firing of Juan Williams, you'd think half the population was pure as the white, driven snow.  No prejudice in this crowd, no sir!

Call me crazy, but, you know, I think some of them most of them virtually all of them were being disingenuous.  Shocking, right?

Anyway, I'm about to hang up my mouse on the subject (for the moment), but I thought I'd share a comment I just posted over at Talking Points Memo, one of my favorite haunts, lamenting the illiberality of some liberals I've encountered today.  Here 'tis:

I'm amazed at how much self-righteousness there is on the left out there in Commentland today. All these people in glass houses ready to start chucking stones at folks who try to point out the difference between admissions of wrong-headed prejudice and out-and-out racism. Is everyone out there professing prejudical purity really so pure? Have they really never pre-judged someone...or is admitting so too inconvenient rhetorically? I can understand -- given what I've read (I never really followed the guy, despite being a frequent NPR listener) -- how the knives are out for Williams. Fine. But what about all the people -- otherwise decent people -- out there who nodded their heads (hopefully ashamedly) and thought, yeah, I get what he's talking about? When NPR showed Williams the door, didn't they risk showing them the door, too? Are our numbers so great that we can alienate people, who, when presented with the facts and rational discourse, cannot be persuaded to understand that this kind of prejudice is something we need to acknowledge and fight? Are they all to be written off as villains?

This is one of those teachable moments we always talk about. There are plenty of good people who sadly share this fear of Islam. Acknowledging it shouldn't be condemned; persisting in it after it has been shown to be irrational and harmful and unAmerican is what should be condemned. And, frankly, I don't think we've done enough teaching on the subject. I'm not willing to write off those who can and should, with a little effort, be allies. To do so would be counterproductive and downright illiberal. Aren't we supposed to be better than that?

Good night, nurse!