Speculating on the potential impact of Juan Williams’s firing

Juan Williams articulated his feelings, and NPR decided his feelings were not appropriate.

Note the internal nature of the offense. Note the harsh judgment on the feelings of another person.

NPR is a respected institution.

By punishing certain feelings, NPR risks marginalizing people who have similar feelings.

The feeling of being marginalized is socially costly.

When people feel marginalized by official voices or by the establishment, they tend to break away from the mainstream and start insular groups.

Sometimes, insular, breakaway groups become forces for positive social change. Sometimes, those groups become violent.

Just think — NPR was once considered a source of news and discussion. Now it is known as a judge of feelings. NPR has pushed marginalization. What’s next?

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