On Monday’s broadcast of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, network contributor Juan Williams accused African-American leaders of corruption an criticized speakers at Saturday’s March on Washington anniversary for failing to address education.
“[March leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.] is not one who would simply cry, as you were saying, over the awful lyrics and the bad schools,” he said. “He would act. He would stand up. That’s the tradition of Dr. King — stand up and act against bad schools that are condemning these kids to useless lives because they never have an opportunity to climb that ladder of upward mobility. And the civil rights challenge of this generation is education, and Dr. King would never allow anybody to buy his silence, to buy him off, to sell out the kids and that’s what’s happening right now.”
“I look today at some of the reports on union spending — it’s unbelievable,” Williams continued. “[The American Federation of Teachers] — you know, AFT and their affiliates in New York, tens of thousands of dollars going to Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and NAACP. Same thing with the National Education Association — NEA. Why? Because they know that they don’t want those civil rights leaders to ever stand up and say yes to charter schools, yes to vouchers, yes to school reform. Yes to Rahm Emanuel in Chicago saying that we need the black community. Poor people need better schools, and you can’t make excuses at the cost of our children and our children’s future.”
Williams the recounted a conversation he had had with MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, who was one of the speakers over the weekend at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Williams said he had recommended that Sharpton address education in his speech.
“I had a breakfast-type thing with Sharpton a few weeks ago,” Williams said. “And Sharpton says to me, ‘what do you think I should talk about at the March on Washington?’ Because I have written books about black history, I suppose. And he says to me, ‘what do you think I should talk about?’ I said, without a doubt, the civil rights challenge of today is the improving the quality of schools so that our kids, no matter if they come from a broken home, no matter where they come from, that they will have an opportunity in this country. And he sits there and nods at me, Bill. And he nods.”
“And you know what?” he continued. “Not a word about the schools. Not a word about what’s going on. And then your point about personal responsibility — you don’t hear this. Why don’t you hear, this Bill? Because they want to go back to the whole idea that somebody has a grievance, and that their grievance justifies anything that goes on. And so, they are not going to talk to the pornographers who masquerade as rap artists and say that’s authentic black art. They’re not going to go to the people who pretend that somehow dressing like you just got out of jail makes you a black man and say, you know, that’s wrong. That’s not the image to portray to our children. That’s not who we are. That’s not our history. You will never hear this.”
Williams said that corruption was the reason why education isn’t being addressed by African-American leaders.
“I will pick up on what you just said because it’s about courage, and sometimes courage requires that you speak to people who you love in ways that challenge them, Bill,” Williams said. “And what we’re seeing now is that the civil rights leadership is all too happy to take the money and shut up and then pretend somehow they are speaking to the interest of those children or to the community. In fact, they are not. In fact what they are doing is selling out and allowing money to shut their mouths. And that is corruption and it’s corruption of a great movement.”