After having experienced, in my youth, 12 years each of Nazi totalitarianism and post-World War II communism in East Germany, I have expressed my love for this great country in one of my letters with these words: What a joy it is to be an American; to have freedom of speech; to be able to express one’s thoughts and have them published without the fear of the 2 a.m. knock on the door by the Gestapo or Stasi in East Germany.
I never thought to see the day when a highly respected African-American commentator would be summarily dismissed from his long-time National Public Radio job without the decency of being given an opportunity to explain himself in a face-to-face meeting with his superiors. It was even suggested, in typical Soviet-style fashion, that he may have a mental problem.
What, then, was his crime? During a TV debate involving the pervasive Islamic terrorism problem, Juan Williams gave expression to his anxiety, shared by a vast majority of his fellow Americans, when seeing a person in “Muslim garb” entering his airplane. As he said, “NPR fired me for telling the truth.”
All freedom-loving Americans, including our Muslim fellow citizens (who are also victimized by those terrorists), should vigorously protest this thoroughly un-American behavior of NPR, and stand up for this decent and humane African-American, who has fought throughout his career for civil rights and non-discrimination in this great country of ours.
This man makes me proud to be an American.
Klaus D. Kuck, Lewiston