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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Juan Williams, Bill O'Reilly and CNN

I don't necessarily agree with everything that Juan Williams says on a variety of issues, but I feel compelled to come to his defense in this week's controversy involving himself, Bill O'Reilly, Media Matters and CNN. In terms of background, O'Reilly recently had dinner with Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem and made some innocuous (and favorable) comments on his experience there, which led the usual left-wing elements to try to make the Fox News commentator out to be a racist. Media Matters, a left-wing, mad hatter web site, led the charge with CNN, a mortal enemy of Fox and O'Reilly in particular, chipping in. This week, O'Reilly, in defense, brought Fox News contributor Juan Williams onto his show. Williams referred to CNN as "idiots". On Wednesday, CNN hosted Syracuse University professor, Boyce Watkins, on its Newsroom show. Watkins referred to Williams as a "happy Negro"- in other words, an Uncle Tom.

So here we go again. Not only is O'Reilly painted as a racist for his innocuous comments about Sylvia's Restaurant-which were meant to be in the context of refuting racism- but Williams is now an Uncle Tom for defending O'Reilly and referring to the "idiots" at CNN. For the record, Williams has never been considered a conservative. If anything, he is moderate to liberal in his leanings. However, Williams is also an independent thinker-something that is anethema to liberals and black activists. He is also now a Fox News contributor, which will never earn him points on the left. Perhaps more importantly, Williams has recently authored a book entitled: "Enough", a critical look at the "traditional" black leadership of the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and the victimhood mentality that afflicts so many African-Americans and serves them no useful purpose. Could this have anything to do with the virulent attack on Williams by people such as Professor Watkins, Media Matters, CNN and others?

The fact is that any African-American who dares to step away from the party-line is putting him/herself right in the cross-hairs of the race hucksters and the far-left, who continue to preach that nothing has changed since the 1960s and that blacks cannot get a fair shake in America. Any black who speaks against this ideology is branded as a sell-out and Uncle Tom. If left-wing organs like Media Matters and CNN want to paint O'Reilly as a racist, woe be to the black public figure who comes to his defense. The charge of Uncle Tom or white racist is specifically designed to silence opposition, whether the target be black or white respectively.

I am certain that O'Reilly will continue to speak out against this outrage. After all, he is not known for turning the other cheek. I hope that Williams will as well and also speak out in defense of other blacks- more conservative than he- who have long been paying a high price for their independent thinking. The voices of Williams and others deserve to be heard and considered-not silenced. This is just another example of how the left attempts to silence their critics. It should serve as an example to anyone concerned with free speech, but who has yet to figure out where the greatest threat to free speech is coming from.

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