The unfortunate thing about the Juan Williams flap, and NPR’s intemperate decision to fire him, is that it misses an opportunity to publicly address the real issue.  Instead of having to publicly defend his statements, Williams (and his supporters at Fox and elsewhere) can now retreat behind the veneer of speech rights.  A public discussion might have illuminated the assumptions behind his view–dark ideas about the nature of Muslim identity in American culture that cannot survive the light of day and reason.  Instead, he and others have changed the subject.

A missed opportunity…

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