Montel Williams (Credit: Fox News)

Montel Williams goes to war against "paranoid" GOP "bigotry" and takes Fox News down with it

The Navy vet and talk show host told Salon he still considers himself a conservative, but not a Republican


Scott Eric Kaufman
December 1, 2015 10:23PM (UTC)

Navy veteran and talk show host Montel Williams wrote an opinion piece for Fox News in which he wondered whether the tenor of the current GOP primaries means that "America's best days are behind us."

"[W]hat I’ve seen since the Paris attacks has shaken me to my core -- to a point in which I no longer recognize the America I devoted 22 years of my life to protect," he wrote.

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"In the past, I could rest easier, knowing the overwhelming majority of Americans would see this for what it is -- bigotry -- playing to the irrational fears of a portion of the population to curry favor, which takes a page out of a very dangerous playbook the world answered with 'never again' some 60 years ago," Williams added. "The fact is, we can no longer rest easy because polls show a huge majority of the Republican electorate currently supports Trump, Carson or Cruz."

Statements like these have not gone over well with supporters of candidates on the GOP ticket. In the comments to the editorial, Williams has been informed that he doesn't "like hearing the truth [because he] belongs to a failed race," and "Montel is high on Obama crack!" On Williams' Facebook page, people have opined that it's "it's too bad MS hasn't taken you off this earth yet," and that he's just expressing "that 'offended' mentality again.

Williams told Salon that he "was thrilled that Fox agreed to run the piece as I'm sure it hasn't gone over well with many. I'm about speaking truth and what I say has never changed based on the audience I'm speaking to."

"I wrote this piece because I'm at my wits end with the GOP," he added. "I still consider myself conservative, but I long ago abandoned the party because I could see it being dragged down a path of intolerance and I see no place for myself, as a black American in the GOP proper, much less one who refuses to tell women what to do with their bodies, one who is a proud but responsible gun owner, one who as a matter of faith and principle cannot abide bigotry whether it be toward Muslims, LGBT individuals or anyone else."

He was moved to write the piece after learning of the hate crime perpetrated against a Muslim cab driver last Thursday. "When I read about a Moroccan cabbie being shot by a fare after being quizzed about being Muslim on Thanksgiving, I had to to speak," he said. "That Moroccan cabbie, an immigrant, so eloquently described what it means to him to be in America that I had to speak."

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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