Eric Holder: Race Hustling
Attorney General Eric Holder may get the dialogue on race that he called for Wednesday in a speech marking African American History Month. But the terms he offered are likely to promote division more than unity.The simple fact is that an “honest and open” discussion of race is something that liberals don’t want.
Holder’s speech demonstrated the contradictions that doom these dialogues before they start. The most quoted - and dumbest - line from his speech is, “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
If Americans don’t talk enough about race, it’s because they’ve learned from long experience that such efforts are often futile. If no action is ever enough, how could words help? At the end of almost any dialogue, Americans know the refrain will remain: We still have a long way to go.
The implication is that we still have widespread, deep-seated racial hatred in this country. Not so. Actually, our remaining differences on race have little to do with legal barriers to equality or opportunity. The debate today is about the means of achieving racial parity, not the end itself.
Holder addressed one of those means, affirmative action, in his speech. He said there can be “very legitimate debate” on the issue - “nuanced, principled, and spirited.” But too often, he said, the conversation is “simplistic and left to those on the extremes.”
I’m guessing that the “extremes” include people who oppose race-based policies such as affirmative action. That was the view of the Clinton administration, which made much of its national dialogue on race, but whose distinguished commission included no one who had fundamental disagreements with the use of racial preferences.
In other words, let’s have an “honest and open” dialogue on race, but don’t bring up certain views, or you will be labeled an extremist - i.e., racist. This is about the convener’s photo-op, not your concerns.
Holder takes this model further. Now, if you fail to join the chat under the stated preconditions, you’re a coward, too.
Such an honest and open discussion would raise issues they don’t want discussed. It might involve discussing the decline of family structure in the black community. It might involve discussing high levels of crime committed by blacks.
Liberals will do their best to silence discussion of these issues, as some Marquette students have learned when they tried to raise such issues in classes.
Simple fact: an open and honest discussion would put liberals on the defensive. That’s why it’s the last thing in the world they want.