Americans Scared To Talk Race, Says U.S. Attorney General

The United States’ first Black Attorney General, Eric Holder is being criticized for a statement he made during a Black History month event at the Department of Justice this Wednesday:

“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we — I believe continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards.” He said to department of Justice employees, “certain subjects are off-limits and to explore them risks at best embarrassment and at worst the questioning of one’s character.”

As an educator who works with students of all ages, I did not find Holder’s statements to be very controversial at all. I often encounter socialized communication blocks that prevent teenagers and adults from engaging in open, honest discussion. Dr. Beverly Tatum addresses this epidemic reluctance to discuss race in her book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria. Tatum believes that many white Americans are discouraged from discussing race at early ages, out of fear of saying something inappropriate or being perceived as racist. Effectively, they are hushed by their parents and peers, instead of encouraged to speak their minds with sincerity. Likewise, many African Americans keep their opinions to themselves, opting to discuss race at home, church or the barbershop rather than an integrated forum – enter Attorney General Eric Holder. During his Black History month address, he seemed to be acknowledging America’s obvious unwillingness to talk race. However, his word choice suggests that this lack of honest dialogue is a symptom of cowardice. Is this a harsh conclusion?

“Holder doesn’t want an honest dialogue about race. In the Age of [President] Obama, ‘talking enough with each other about race’ means the rest of us shutting up while being subjected to lectures about our insensitivity and insufficient integration on the weekends,” conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote.

Stephan Tawney, writing on the American Pundit blog, said a glimpse at the national political landscape — namely the country’s first black president — suggests otherwise. “Our attorney general is black, both major parties are led by black men, the president is black,” he wrote. “Last month, the nation officially honored Martin Luther King Jr. as it does every year, and Holder is speaking during Black History Month. And yet we’re apparently a ‘nation of cowards’ on race.”

A reader on the liberal Huffington Post Web site wrote: “How can you read Mr. Holder’s comments and immediately decide that he is wrong and should apologize? You are either disillusioned from the real world or caught up in some fantasy to which you believe there is no problem with racism in this country.”

What do you think? When’s the last time you had an honest, open discussion about race with an American? (this post pulls some quores from – read more here)

2 Comments to ‘Americans Scared To Talk Race, Says U.S. Attorney General’:

  1. Destromath on 8 Mar 2009 at 7:39 am: 1

    I think he is absolutely right in what he said. The problem I see ,other than people being just plain ole ignorant,is most Americans have only read the headlines “America nation of cowards” instead of listening to everything he had to say.

  2. Bunjix on 10 Mar 2009 at 7:33 pm: 2

    I just wanted to post this article for everyone to understand why black people are going to continue to be left out. Whatever the case of your opinions, every black man needs to identify himself with Africa and understand that Africa is going to be his only refuge. If you are already on facebook and wish to know more on this please add me on. My name is Collins Bunjira: and that is my profile id.


    It should not come as a shock to many that you find me writing this document upon such a time. The issue I wish to bring to focus is that of the world we live in and of the lies that have surrounded us for so long. How we have managed to be ignorant on these key instruments for so long, demonstrates the quality of intelligence that was devised to hide this lie from surfacing for so long.

    True. many shall aim to discredit this document with their expert analyses using a system that I am rebuking. The question should be, if we didn’t have such a system would we live a better life? The answer is yes, but it will be down to your own personal conviction of genuinely wanting to know the truth.

    A couple days back I put up a status on my Facebook profile which read:” If credit is borrowed from money that does not exist, then who are we paying back the debts to?” on which I responded to by saying: Colonialism was the answer. I aim to explore this truth, as it is more than a fact, because it’s a reality covered up by lies, which have been believed to have been better truths.

    The question of Economics is not that of money per se, as it is a system already in place, being adhered to. Importantly, the question of Economics was not being referenced to individual persons, but governments. Example, all the global debt combined, as a cumulative function, and not inclusive of interest: is at least eight times more than the Global wealth (The main burden of course being Africa). The question now is, where did all that money come from if our collective wealth is far less? Eight times far less?

    One can then argue and say that we are paying the debts to society. Following this line of reasoning, they aim to point out that, all we are doing is part of economics and its called: paying it forward or paying it back. If you pay it forward, then you are payin the next citizen, but if you pay it back then you payin yourself.

    However let me simply put it for everyone to understand: What society? Where did the money come from? For you to lend money, you have to have it. I said, before considering interest. Meaning, Debt Should Equal Wealth. For you to lend money, you need to have the wealth to provide such an instrument. So What does Africa really owe? And to who? That’s my question in a nutshell. All I am saying to be specific is that, Economics is a lie.

    To better explain, let me clarify the root of the credit crunch. Economist, or colonial masters, created a bubble when they evaluated currencies. How? Well, imaginary values plus real values, equals imaginary values. What I am saying about this is, the credit crunch is not going to end any time soon no matter how much money you folk into it, unless you remove the imaginary values. But if you do, then Africa becomes the stronger economy and tht’s the problem. This is the reason why Africa is in debt and the credit crunch has no solution.

    Some might call all this as incredible and compelling shit that don’t mean much. Here is what I say, you can’t call it shit if you are agreeing with it. The reason why what I am writing makes sense is because it’s the only explanation we have so far that does. Does that not mean then that it’s our best truth so far if we decide to conclude it’s a lie either way? Think about it. We are conforming to a system that doesn’t want us to progress your own systems at whatever cost. I have sorrow over the African continent. I feel real pity for African governments. I now fully understand why they fail each time they are elected, and resort to corruption, nepotism, violence and what have yous. They realised they were in a no win situation and never bothered to try.

    This resultantly LEADS US to our main question: If credit is borrowed from money that does not exist, then who are we paying back the debts to? Colonialism. Africa is still colonised and never gained independence. We only made believe that we did. We still bloody slaves as painful as it sounds.

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Published on March 8, 2009 at 1:33 am. 2 Comments.
Filed under news/politics,racial rhetoric.