Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eric Holder Calls America "A Nation of Cowards" on Matters of Race: My Comments

United States Attorney General Eric Holder slammed America as a "nation of cowards" on matters of race and called (again) for America to "examine its racial soul" during a speech honoring Black History Month. Holder went well beyond the scope of his position as Attorney General by examining with withering disapproval the private social habits and friendships of American citizens. Holder stated as follows concerning private social habits.

As a nation we have done a pretty good job in melding the races in the workplace. We work with one another, lunch together and, when the event is at the workplace during work hours or shortly thereafter, we socialize with one another fairly well, irrespective of race. And yet even this interaction operates within certain limitations. We know, by "American instinct" and by learned behavior, that certain subjects are off limits and that to explore them risks, at best embarrassment, and, at worst, the questioning of one’s character. And outside the workplace the situation is even more bleak in that there is almost no significant interaction between us. On Saturdays and Sundays America in the year 2009 does not, in some ways, differ significantly from the country that existed some fifty years ago. This is truly sad. Given all that we as a nation went through during the civil rights struggle it is hard for me to accept that the result of those efforts was to create an America that is more prosperous, more positively race conscious and yet is voluntarily socially segregated.

I am shaking my head in total utter astonishment at Eric Holder's sanctimony, audacity and ignorance of the legal boundaries between private, professional and personal associations. We are facing skyrocketing unemployment as well as a mortgage crisis that shows no end in sight. We have a crime problem that has been worsening after years during which it was plummeting. Our border controls are dangerously lax. Holder's job as Attorney General could potentially impact on all or any of these problems. The Justice Department should be concerned about the hand wrapped around a pistol. Instead, it is now concerned about the fingers wrapped around the wine glass at your garden party and how many shades darker than they are than yours. I seriously wonder how many young people in our nation's cities will be cut down by illegal drugs and schoolyard gunfire while Holder attempts to extend affirmative action to weekend cocktail parties.

The issue of crime can not be separated from distrust between the races. The vast disparity between crime in African American neighbourhoods and white areas drives a wedge between Americans of different races. I have met African Americans who would rather live in white areas for reasons of safety. Groups that fuel racism such as the Klan or the five percenters do not recruit people to violence with talk of being superior. The cornerstone of racial antagonism is fear. And if that fear is well founded then one must address its root causes.

I do not hear the "n" word or other anti Black racial epithets in my inner city neighbourhood. I have heard "Cracker" and [email protected]#$in Jew more times than I care to count. Holder does not seem to care much about racism if the racist in question is African American.

I spend most of my leisure time with friends. Almost all of my daily aquaintances are Jewish. I do not believe in interfaith marriage. I do not apologise for that. I have a culture and value system to transmit. I look for people of like values and background. If someone were Greek or Italian and felt the same way about their background as I do about mine I would not call them racists. Even within the Jewish community, I encountered on two occasions strong expressions of disapproval of my Croatian (not Jewish) parentage. The approach I have evolved over years is a strong pride in my mother's family. Any show of disdain ony amplifies my expressions of pride. Frankly I am too busy raising my family, working and writing to care about people's opinion of my ancestry. I have found that people who brag about their illustrious ancestors are usually not spending enough time being an illustrious ancestor.

I lived in a town that had one or two African American families. My neighbourhood was completely white. It had a multitude of cliques. There were doctors who hung out together. There were people who hit it off with one neghbour and not another. The Baptists and Pentecostals were more close knit. Relationships clustered around charitable causes and works. There were plenty of social divisions. It was not a bad thing. That's just how it was. When African Americans and whites live in the same town, it is not a warning sign of impending race war if two neighbours are aloof from each other.

The best way to facilitate integration is through a common enterprise or purpose. The most integrated subcultures I have observed in inner city life are religious groups . The more conservative they are , the more likely they are to be socially integrated. The mainstream Christian denominations talk the most about social justice, but they seem to be the whitest.

I have also seen criminals who were equal opportunity perps. They were racially integrated. A common purpose and a common enemy (the cops) created a sense of brotherhood between them. I do not mention this to inject a note of cynicism. I simply want to point out that quality of values and behavior is a far better end for which to strive. Lasting progress in race relations is far more likely to happen if it is a byproduct than if it is a central goal.

I read Eric Holder's entire speech. It sounded like a guest at a cocktail party trying to be witty and provocative. In the context of his critical mission of upholding our nation's laws he achieved a banality that was truly mind boggling. He shows a set of distorted priorities that bodes ill for our country in the trying times ahead of us. I sincerely hope that Holder's critics will be the only the only ones to remind him of what our priorities should be. If it is our enemies that call him to task, it will be a far greater misfortune than having him as Attorney General. Sphere: Related Content

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