Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"A Nation of Cowards. . ."

Well, it didn’t take long for the knives to come out to make piecemeal of Attorney General Eric Holder’s speech to his staff on race in America (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmU5UV3bnuM).

The outrage expressed by the Sunday morning white news pundits (and Juan Williams) and talk radio hosts about Eric Holder’s even speaking about race -- especially in his official capacity as Attorney General – was jaw-dropping and instructive. They complained and blustered about A. G. Holder’s “. . .framing things through a racial lens. . .” and they opined that his doing so was “liberal elitism” and “racism” (??!!!!) since we now have an Afrikan descendant president.

Eric Holder’s speech has once again revealed the “fault lines” around race:

· Much of white amerikkka believes that America’s “racial problems” have been solved. As proof, they point to Barack Obama, the newly elected and first Black president. Many Afrikan descendants –- and other people of color and some whites –- know that this is not true. . .

· Much of white amerikkka is in shock –- and anger –- over any mention of race which speaks historical truths outside of the self-laudatory “privileged beliefs” of America that are lifted up and held dear. Many African Americans (Afrikan descendants), however, are saying “FINALLY. . .”

President Obama –- who has backed away from Attorney General Holder’s remarks –- and his staff have been remarkably restrained in and on discussions of race, the phrase “nation of cowards” notwithstanding.

It is so sad –- and so telling –- that even now at this pivotal moment in history, America STILL shies away from honest, real and gritty dialogue about race, continuing to pretend that the election of Barack Obama takes the place of honestly assessing and repairing the impact of amerikkka’s 400 year history of racial domestic terrorism on Afrikans and their descendants.

It is so sad –- and so telling –- that even now we refuse to look at and acknowledge the continuing impact of American Apartheid because we don’t want to see the lie of the myths of America as opposed to the reality of amerikkka as experienced by people of color. We don’t want to compare their experiences and standing to that afforded its white population by the affirmative action -– called “For Whites Only” –- practiced from the conception of this nation to the mid-1960s.

We choose not to look too deeply . . .

And we choose to excoriate and demonize those who do . . .

“A nation of cowards” on honestly looking at and addressing the history and continuing impact of race?

Sounds about right to me. . .

Moving Forward!