Holder: U.S. 'a nation of cowards' on race

The swing vote in presidential elections is about 15-20% of the vote – Democrats are gonna vote for Democrats and Republicans will do the same. About 90% of black folks voted for Kerry. About 95% of black folks voted for Obama. That’s evidence of a racial intention? After all, there have been five or six black folks who ran for president previously and got no where near the support Obama did.

White folks were open to voting for a black man. To say we’ve turned a corner, I want someone to tell me there was little or no race-baiting going on in the campaign. A show of hands, please. Anyone?:rolleyes:

Obama was not elected by people showing cowardice.

Of course he was. Don’t get me wrong, Barry’s articulate to be sure. So I understand the appeal. But anyone afraid of being labelled a racist is a coward. Surely, you know that?

Oh and the only race baiting done was on Obama’s side so you’re right that there was much of that. Rev Wright anyone?

I don’t think Rev. Wright campaigned in the recent election. I also don’t think he was an issue. So your use of him as a race-baiting example is misplaced.

People voted for Obama due to cowardice? Were there cameras in the voting booths? :rolleyes:

I’ve already explained why people voted for Obama and how it constitutes cowardice. Do I need to revisit this? Of course you know what’s better than the cowards that voted for him, it’s the idiots that liked his book, “Dreams of My Greatness” or was it “Audacity of Whitey”? I can’t remember exactly. Anyway, funny stuff. Hillarious. But I digress.

Back to the subject at hand, I do understand the motivation behind Holder’s comment. You know what they say. You hate most intensely the one you’re most indebted to. I guess that’s the problem with affirmative action. (Zinger)

And don’t get too upset, as you know I’m just trying to have a bit of fun.

Please explain what you mean by that statement.

The experiences of Asians are different. The experiences of Hispanics are different. The experiences of disabled are different. The experiences of short people are different. The experiences of LGBT are different. The experiences of immigrants are different. The experiences of females are different.

When you write, barriers will ultimately fall… * what barriers are you talking about that need to fall that haven’t already fallen? *

You think such things are related to the legacy of slavery? Its an interesting perspective. Would you be willing to explain this more fully?

I have no idea how the legacy of slavery caused it. Immigrants who are well educated do not suffer from the same problems rampant in the African American community. Obama’s father, 50 or so years ago, the first African in his university was still able to get a Masters in Economics from Harvard University. So the rampant problems: largespread single motherhood, huge prison population, inner city schools, victimization/entitlement mentality, drug problems, HIV/STD rates worse than many developing countries, huge divorce rates may have something to do with the legacy of slavery in my non-humble opinion, as that seems to be the differentiator between immigrants and non-immigrants.

I would attribute it, perhaps incorrectly, to a poverty of culture. Some have argued that African-Americans lost their historical culture in the process of slavery and that what passes for black culture now is mostly now southern culture. If you look at Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, etc, many of the both whites and blacks in these states suffer from unwed babies, drugs, crime, etc. so who knows. It seems that what African Americans share in common may be the perception of being an “oppressed, victimized” race involved in slavery/civil rights movement, black churches that lean towards Pentecostal and Baptist, and “hip hop music”, but what else do they all share in common in comparison to other groups that have aspects of their culture and history in common. Take Chinese united by common languages and history of their civilization.

This may actually be one reason why African-Americans progress has lagged so far behind. Maybe many African-Americans secretly have a negative/low opinion of each other and themselves and this is why they focus so much on race and oppression. Maybe it is not so much that others are keeping them down but that they hate themselves. Maybe this is why other groups have more informal ties while African Americans have so many formal ties, they are more likely to abandon the African-American community once they’ve made it due to self-hate than other groups are to abandon their own communities - thus the advancement of individual people does not benefit the race. Perhaps self-hate also explains why so many African - Americans dress inappropriately and accept broken/damaged relationships that lead to unwed motherhood.

It seems that most people take pride in their accomplishments, but they do not take as much pride in their race. See Roland Burris and all his achievements as the “first black” who did such and such. Other groups might be more likely to feel they can compete with others and are equally intelligent and take more pride in being the “first period” who did such and such. There are such silly things being alleged - that the SATs are discriminatory, that ebonics needs to be taught in school. No, if Asians can do it, so can African-Americans. Inner-city schools need to be fixed to quality levels. Parents need to be accountable and responsible for their children’s education. As Obama said, (something along the lines of) parents should be teaching and educating their children instead of giving them Popeyes for breakfast. Maybe African-Americans have embraced “the soft bigotry of low expectations” and are giving up on being judged by their character and intelligence instead of their race. :confused: :shrug:

Who knows? I’m just talking freely from where I do not know. Maybe I am speaking stupidly. However, more conversations about race are not going to happen if instead of listening, the person who says things that are controverial is jumped on and attacked and called racist. Arguments should be defeated by logic, statistics, and common sense - not meanness and rudeness and attempted bullying.

The GOP seems to think minorities will flock to its rolls once they come to their senses. People need to be recruited and canvassed. Michael Steele aside, Republicans have to demonstrate how their ideas would benefit minorities. Part of this is through minority participation in that party.

If for the past 40 years minorities in Republic ranks have been meager, maybe its time to get away from Nixon’s ‘southern strategy’ and make the party more inclusive. Much of the work Republicans have done as to racial issues in the last 25 years (IMHO) has been to convince folks in majority communties that Republicans are not anti-minority, which is not the same thing as trying to gain numbers of minority voters.

The next time you see a Republican remind him or her to socialize with a minority person sometime. It can be outside one’s comfort zone and takes some courage.


During the recent campaign, the GOP presidential hopefuls concentrated their efforts in suburban or rural areas, not the urban places. While there are fewer Republicans in the big city, it is also a place ripe for their expansion. But they stayed away.

McCain would have been respectfully received at a black college (the first Bush was went he went as president) but he didn’t go.

Palin was even criticized by blacks in Alaska for avoiding their ethnic celebrations. Outside of her comfort zone, I guess.

When you read this, you really can’t know for sure what he’s talking about. Are people cowards because they tend to hang out with people of the same race on weekends? Is that cowardice or something else entirely? He doesn’t explain.

Is he saying people are cowards because we don’t talk about race enough? Well, he certainly didn’t say much about it himself.

Maybe Holder should “cowboy up” himself and tell us exactly what he means.

I disagree, the GOP was badly outspent and was forced into a best-allocation-of-resources strategy. It wasn’t a matter of expansion that late into the campaign, but ensuring that the core voter bloc turned out. Cost/benefit analysis.

I do give credit to the DNC for hijacking the black vote, how they managed to switch from the party of slavery and jim crow to championing the black cause was a masterpiece of footwork.

You have to go back to the thirties for an explanation of that one. That’s when the big changeover happened, in the Roosevelt administration. Later in the sixties in states like Georgia blacks were expelled from the GOP. After one southern state’s delegation at the 1964 Democratic convention had its credentials challenged by black folks, that state sure went Republican four years later!

So Democrats used more than ‘footwork’. Your comment makes it sound like blacks were passive bystanders in their members going form the GOP to the Democratic party. **Maybe they chose to go, huh? ** People hijack a bus, not a person’s ability to choose.

I have figured out ‘cowardice’, however. That’s not taking a friend to task for an ethnic slur. Possibly, not reaching out to someone from another ‘set’ on MLK Day should be considered cowardice, too.

The racial divide ain’t gonna heal itself.

Maybe he should emulate John Ashcroft and break into song.:rolleyes:

The blacks chose to adopt, even co-opt, the party of slavery and of jim crow. As an undeniable historical fact, I find that odd that blacks would flock to the party that once boasted that slavery was a positive good and then went to war to prove it, then engaged in almost another century of jim crow laws after the slave economy was beaten flat. Moreover, they did it so successfully that the DNC kowtows I mean pays tribute to I mean embraces a black agenda of entitlement and affirmative action long after the social utility has worn out.

Moderation and reason really has no place on these boards I’m finding when every action has to be spun to fit some nefarious agenda or conspiracy – and I’m speaking about both the left and the right. That McCain opted not to campaign on what the campaign managers saw as unproductive turf is an exercise in political judgment, hardly cowardice. And suggesting that a decorated veteran and POW who endured physical torture would be “afraid” of a political venue is simply nonsense.

Maybe 75 years passed and the party’s views changed. The GOP and conservatives fell short in their support of civil rights in the view of many black folks. Can you blame them? I guess history and the civil war did not mean a lot in 1965 when folks were trying to pass the Voting Rights Act.

I didn’t say a thing about cowardice as to McCain. I said that the GOP has to get outside its comfort zone to attract minorities.

Racial problems are 90% solved
25% of black pregnancies end in abortion
43% of whites voted for Obama
Were a nation of cowards.

At the work place your conversations are regulated by your employer. Depending which way your employer leans whites or a minority will have the upper hand. There is no equal footing. When people are away from work. They are with their families and friends. When would we have frank talk about racial issues?

At work. You would have to make some pretty profound work place changes to bring that about. As least with my employer, if you say the wrong word your fired! This is the reality of it all.

Away from work. While, with the trend of increasing unemployment. There will be more free time as the year progresses. Right now most people don’t have much free time to spare for the progress of someone else’s social agenda. They’re free time is for recreation and family bonding. things that should be conducted in their comfort zone.

No question, the ball is rolling. Maybe we should wait and see where it stops. In do time, we may be right were each of us wants to be. Or, maybe we already are.

Did Holder (or anyone else) re-expose the breast of the “Spirit of Justice” statue after Ashroft covered it up? I’m just askin…:shrug:


I’m a middle-aged white guy sitting in front of my computer screen. Can someone tell me EXACTLY what Holder thinks I should be doing to avoid being a “coward”?

(BTW, I have multicultural adopted kids who look nothing like me.)

This is TODAY.

“An Elmhurst real estate office and one its former agents admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to pay a $120,000 settlement to end a federal lawsuit alleging racial bias…

Re/Max East-West and DeJohn denied the allegations.

DeJohn has surrendered his real estate license.

To settle the lawsuit, Re/Max and DeJohn agreed to contribute $120,000 to the National Fair Housing Alliance.”


Thanks for saying so, Dale. I couldn’t agree with you more.

I’m a white woman involved in anti-racial social justice work. As such, I study racism, its patterns and effects, etc. We also try to work on racism and discrimination within ourselves, we work with other white folks on these issues, and we interact with people of color as allies as we try to understand what it’s like to be on the other side of racism - the receiving side.

One thing that I have found is that many well meaning white people are simply in denial about racism and its effects. Tim Wise is an author and social activist in anti-racism. In a recent essay and talk he discusses a study that demonstrates this very point:
“…even in the early 1960s, at a time when in retrospect all would agree the nation was profoundly unequal in its treatment of people of color, whites told pollsters in overwhelming numbers (anywhere from sixty-five to nearly ninety percent) that blacks had equal opportunities in employment and education. White denial has been a hallmark of the nation’s racial history. Saying that is not racist, it is an incontrovertible fact.”

In other words, during a time in which we now all acknowledge that racism was rampant, white people at that time overwhelmingly believed otherwise. And while things are better now than then, there are still plenty of problems - yet the denial is still there.

To imply that the election of a bi-racial man as president automatically erases centuries of slavery, discrimination, segregation, etc., is simply absurd. Sure, most white folks want this issue to just go away. Many have a “get over it” attitude toward people of color.

What we need to realize as white people is that we truly are incapable of ever fully understanding the damage done to the psyches of many people of color, especially African and Native Americans, on both a cultural and individual level. It’s a kind of conditioning wherein the people are told/shown that they are less of a person (even sub-human), less valuable, etc… simply because their skin is the wrong color - for centuries! And it has a lasting effect. And not only on people of color - whites are conditioned as well. As Tim Wise says:

"White bias against black folks is the direct result of environmental conditioning: media images that over-represent blacks as criminals relative to the share of crime that they commit, and images that, at least since the early '70s, have overrepresented blacks as members of the welfare-dependent “underclass,” relative to the percentages of the long-term poor who are actually black. If one is subjected repeatedly to images of God, or all-American kids that are white, it ought not surprise anyone that such images would become ingrained in the minds of white folks, and many folks of color as well. Likewise, if one is repeatedly subjected to negative imagery of blacks–imagery that represents them as pathological and culturally defective–how shocking should it be that such images would influence the way in which whites come to view African Americans and their communities? "

For anyone seriously interested in this topic, you might want to read the entire essay (5 pages) full title “(Proto)Typical White Denial: Reflections on Racism and Uncomfortable Realities” available at the link below. Other Tim Wise essays at available at the same site.


In summary, I see a lot on CAF about anti-Catholic bias. Why, folks cry, don’t others see it? Why are they so insensitive? Yet the ongoing racism in this country is continually downplayed or denied. While any kind of discrimination is terrible, there is simply no comparison the the history of anti-Catholic bias in the U.S (though it was bad, I’ll admit) to that of racism. And you can’t even blend in when the issue is skin color. Try to imagine Catholic discrimination on steroids - might give you a tiny idea of people of color feel. Try showing a little of that sensitivity you want others to show you.

I suggest:

*Invite over to your house someone you don’t know well.

*Never let a person around you assume you don’t object to ethnic slurs.

*Visit an ethnic festival outside of your particular ethnic group. My favorite near me is the ‘Whiting Pierogi Festival’ in June.

*Never pretend racial discrimination does not exist.

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