Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, has called the United States a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations. Holder said this at a speech to Justice Department employees in honor of Black History Month.
Eric Holder is suggesting, with his “nation of cowards” remark, that people ought to be more tolerant about one another and more frank in discussing race relations. The idea was praised by civil rights leaders, but was taken to be not only confrontational but also more than a little bit hypocritical by others.
Hotair’s Allahpundit suggested that having a “frank conversation” about race is code for agreeing with the leftist view on the issue. Allahpundit also noted that the “nation of cowards” remark came on the same day that a New York Post cartoon was being attacked for being racist.
Michelle Malkin was even blunter. “Funny. When I think of racial cowards, I think of Barack Obama at Jeremiah Wright’s church, sitting there week after week, year after year, saying nothing about the separatist demagoguery echoing from the pulpit to the pews.”
Others have noted the irony of the first African American Attorney General appointed by the first African American President tossing out rhetoric about “nation of cowards” about race. Barack Obama was elected on the premise of ushering in a “post racial” society, in which the subject of race would not matter. The fact of an African American US President, elected on the strength of white votes, would suggest that racism was no longer much of a problem.
Apparently that is not the case, though. The problem with Eric Holder’s suggestion of a “frank dialogue” about race is that race and accusations of racism are too effective political weapons to be given up, just for the sake of “frank dialogue.” America may well be a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race, but that may only be because being accused of racism is about the worse thing in the world. Almost anything, even mild criticism of an African American politician, can bring about accusations of racism. Better, therefore, to exercise, if not cowardice, then prudence and not say anything.
Perhaps there has altogether too much talk about race, with its emphasis on differences and historical grievances. One has a modest suggestion. Instead of having a “frank dialogue” on race, how about an uplifting celebration of our common humanity?
There was a poster once that depicted a sailing ship, with the caption: “No Matter What Ship We Came on, We’re Now All in the Same Boat.” Eric Holder-and Barack Obama-should find copies of that poster and put it up on the walls of their offices to remind them of that salient fact.
Sources: U.S. a ‘nation of cowards’ on race, 1st black attorney general says, Josh Meyer, Chicago Tribune, February 19th, 2009
New AG Holder: When it comes to race, America is a “nation of cowards”, Allahpundit, Hotair.Com, February 18th, 2009
Holder: “A nation of cowards”, Michelle Malkin, Michelle Malkin.Com, February 18th, 2009