Freedom of speech is an unalienable right protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. It's a basic privilege bestowed upon every American, except in the world of politics and journalism.
Prize-winning Washington journalist Juan Williams is all too familiar with that harsh reality.
In 2010, Williams was publicly rebuked and fired by National Public Radio after saying in an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly that he gets nervous when boarding planes with people in Muslim garb.
He told O'Reilly it's a feeling many Americans experience but may be afraid to admit.
Williams suggested recently that the incident served as a wake-up call.
"I think the bottom-line takeaway lesson for me was that there's intolerance on the left that I had not fully appreciated," he told BlackNews.com this week.
"Growing up in the 60s and 70s, I had come to think that it was the Archie Bunker crowd on the right that was rigid and inflexible, which they certainly were guilty of back then in terms of the Civil Rights Era," he added.
But Williams said he's discovered that the left is capable of being equally intolerant.
"In general, they might ostracize you and say you're not a good Democrat. It's unbelievable!" he exclaimed. "Or if the conversation is about race, they'll say you're not a good brother or even call you a bigot or an Uncle Tom."
In Williams new book, Muzzled: The Assault On Honest Debate, the Fox News analyst sets the record straight on how both liberals and conservatives use political correctness to squelch debate and push their agenda -- and on what he says is the more serious issue of intolerance.
Juan Williams will talk more about the attack on honest discourse, what should be the true role of a news analyst and more on "The 700 Club," Aug. 5. Check your local listings or check back at CBNNews.com Friday after 10 a.m. ET to watch the interview.