How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Question for the weekend: What part of 'Mexico' was the South Carolina debate crowd booing?

It's been a few days now, so those of you who saw Monday's Fox News GOP presidential debate in South Carolina have had time to mull this one over. What do you think the crowd was booing when moderator Juan Williams addressed candidate Mitt Romney's Mexican roots?

Romney's family history has been the subject of much media coverage lately, including this week on KPCC. In a nutshell, he's the descendant of Mormons who moved from the U.S. to Mexico in the late 1800s, fleeing American anti-polygamy laws. His father and grandfather were born there.

The Blaze had an analysis a few days ago with a few different possible interpretations, but it's still a head-scratcher. While Romney didn't mention his connection to Mexico much until recently, he has made a point of doing so lately without incident, including during Thursday's CNN debate in South Carolina. During Monday's debate it was Williams who brought it up, and the fact that Romney still has family in Mexico, before launching into questions about his position on immigration.


What we talk about when we talk about profiling people in airports

Photo by amrufm/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A cheery group of travelers, the women in Muslim head scarves, or hijab, walks through an airport. April, 2009

Most of the reader comments that have flooded news sites since NPR's dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams last week, following a remark he made about Muslims during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," have been either about his comment or the network's decision to fire him.

But some people have taken Williams' remark - about becoming nervous when he got on a plane and saw people in "Muslim garb" - and provided their own opinions about the profiling of Muslims and others in airports. Some have posted comments about being profiled, others about doing the profiling. Here are a few excerpts from the past few days.

On the KPCC website under an audio clip from Friday's AirTalk program with Larry Mantle, which aired a segment Friday on the Williams incident, "Hargobind" posted:


Quotes of the moment: Muslims on NPR's Williams incident as a teachable moment

Photo by HORIZON/Flickr (Creative Commons)

The interior of a mosque in Ishafan, Iran, May 2006

"We need to use this moment as a catalyst to open a national debate about the grievous misconceptions, fear and suspicion about Islam and Muslims. This discussion needs to be elevated to ethical discourse beyond biases and prejudices."

- Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Los Angeles, on NPR's dismissal of Juan Williams

The reaction from Muslim civil rights groups to the network's firing of veteran journalist and news analyst Williams last week - and his comment about Muslims that led up to it - has been varied, with some taking a more forgiving attitude than others.

Williams remarked last week during an appearance on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor" that getting on a plane and seeing people in "Muslim garb" made him nervous. In reaction, the national Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling on called on Muslim Americans and the general public to contact NPR and "take appropriate action."