I am a bigot. At least by NPR standards. NPR fired Juan Williams yesterday for admitting that when he boards an airplane with Muslims dressed in Muslim garb he feels a twinge of concern. Not because he believes all Muslims are terrorists (he doesn’t) or because he believes that all terrorists are Muslims (he doesn’t). He feels what he feels because (1) we can’t control our feelings and (2) Muslim shoes and underwear tend to explode. This has nothing to do with the people wearing those shoes and underwear, and everything to do with the quality of Muslim shoe and underwear manufacturing. Just like Toyota cars used to race off on their own regardless of the driver’s will, so, as I understand it, Muslim made underwear tends to explode at certain altitudes. It’s one thing to explode into your underwear—that’s what it’s for, and quite another to have your underwear explode into you. So, Juan, I get it.
And if Juan Williams, perhaps the lone liberal voice on Fox News, is a bigot, then so am I. Let me honest about my feelings.
Like Juan, I too am leery of Muslim made underwear. But that’s not all. I don’t want to fly with Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, either. I’ve seen these people walking up and down the aisle asking to speak to their fellow passengers about their religion, and I don’t want to be hassled.
Similarly, I inquire into the religious beliefs of my pilot and co-pilot. If they are Rapture-ready Christians, I don’t want to fly with them. Give me a Jew, Muslim, or Catholic over an evangelical Protestant any day. At least I know we won’t crash because God took the pilot and co-pilot up to heaven and allowed the rest of us to die.
I am also nervous when I see Hasidic Jews on the plane lest they conscript me into a mid-air prayer service. And, if I were a Palestinian, I would be nervous about any Jew on the plane lest they try and spread out from their seat into my seat claiming that their great great great great great great great great grandparents sat in that those seats a long time ago and so it is rightfully their seat today.
Atheists too are a problem for me. What if we are going to crash and we have to call on God to save us, and maybe God is Jewish and requires a quorum of ten Jewish men to listen to our prayer and all we have are nine Jewish guys and an Atheist, and so we all die because this idiot can’t go along to get along.
I don’t want hip-hop Blacks on my plane either because they might start singing and making that spitting sound and messing up my Pringles.
And fat people. I don’t want to sit next to fat people because they ooze over into my space.
People with babies are on my no-fly list as well. I don’t want to sit next to some screaming baby, and insist that all parents drug their children into a stupor so I don’t have to buy Bose noise reduction headphones just to keep from getting a migraine.
So, Juan, I’m with you. And if I had a job at NPR I would expect them to fire me as well. Because, hey, who wants commentators to be honest?