I do have to wonder what Juan Williams was thinking when he admitted on national television that the sight of people in Muslim garb boarding an airplane gives him pause. NPR commentators who moonlight as Fox network pundits walk a fine line of credibility and Williams must have known where that line is drawn.
But Williams didn’t confess to racism. He confessed to profiling, which every one of us does instinctively every day of our lives.
Gangstas and skinheads, for example. They make me uncomfortable. People of any race who seem one poor excuse away from losing control of themselves, I’ll go out of my way to avoid. Likewise anyone who leads with his differences, rather than his commonalities, because demanding accommodation is a form of aggression that I’m hard-wired to identify as a threat.
Is this really so hard to understand? And accept? (And talk about?)
Footnotes: Herd instinct. Social contract. When in Rome. Mean people suck.