At FreedomFest 2011, Reason's Matt Welch spoke with Fox News' Juan Williams about his passion for school choice reform, which Williams describes as the "civil rights issue of our time."

Williams is the author of the new book Muzzled: The Assault on Honest Debate, which recounts in part his controversial firing from National Public Radio. He's also the author of the critically acclaimed 1988 history of the civil rights movement, Eyes on the Prize.

Williams says he first came to the issue of education reform in the 1990s, when he was astonished by the level of dropout rates in inner-city schools, which disproportionately affects low-income and minority students. He credits George W. Bush for coining the phrase "the soft bigotry of low expectations" to describe the educational status quo and remains surprised by the lack of widespread outrage from parents whose children are stuck in such failing schools. Still, he believes that the forces of school choice are making huge headway in breaking up a public school monopoly that fails to serve students and parents.

Shot by Jim Epstein and edited by Anthony L. Fisher. About 5 minutes long.

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. For an ever-growing playlist, go here now.

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