Juan Williams doesn't get it

Incredibly, Juan Williams still does not understand what was wrong with what he said about Muslims on national TV ("Williams still 'roiled' by his firing," Oct. 27). Here is the quote:

"Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don't address reality. I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Try substituting a few other groups for Muslims, e.g. Amish, Hasidic Jews, Catholic nuns in traditional habits, lacrosse players, musicians.

Does the quote sound stupid yet?

Mr. Williams' belief that it is rational and unobjectionable to generalize about an entire group of people based on the actions of a few shows that he learned nothing useful from the civil rights movement he wrote about. Yes, he is a bigot, and he deals in the same irrational terrors as those who used to claim all black men were a threat to the purity of Southern womanhood. Such talk is immature and hurtful and ought to have no place in the public discourse of this society.

Grown-ups are capable of applying their intelligence to the world around them, and they are responsible for doing so.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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