5
   

Holder: Nation of Cowards (What does this mean?)

 
 
Lash
 
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 12:40 pm
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090218/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/holder_race

What is it that we don't talk about? I hear this all the time....but I think we've talked about everything.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 929 • Replies: 14
No top replies

 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 01:18 pm
@Lash,
Lash wrote:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090218/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/holder_race

What is it that we don't talk about? I hear this all the time....but I think we've talked about everything.


We don't talk about the reality of racial inequality in America. There isn't a lot of discussion of latent racism and inherent racism, b/c there's no clear path to DOING anything about these problems, so the conversations aren't productive. This leads some to believe that there's nothing being done about the problem, though I am not one of those people.


Cycloptichorn
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 07:44 pm
I think he means that cowards run from things that need to be done - for some reason or another.

I really don't think Americans are cowards about races relations. Blantant sexism and racism exists. Many people don't have a problem with letting others know they would not hire a woman or a person of color. These same people sit next to you in church every Sunday.

It's the "how to tackle this mind set" that is the problem. These kinds of prejudices are learned, and we don't seem to know how to un-teach them.

0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 07:51 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I wish when people made these types of statements, they'd say exactly what they feel hasn't been addressed. But, thanks, Cyclo...and Sully.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 09:10 pm
@Lash,
I haven't read the Holder commentary, saw it as I was whizzing through Huffpost earlier today. So I'll check it and be back.

Well, racism/assumptions/misogynist stuff lives - but in my decrepitly long life I've seen many changes.


However -

It wasn't all that long ago that my niece, daughter of a liberian tribal woman and a caucasian US man, was staying with me for a week in Humboldt County, CA.
Sometimes she visited with her father, and as she got older, by herself.

She's of course gorgeous, well spoken in PBS english and in street, and whatever the word is now, foxy.

She stayed with us at work (gallery/studio) and tried to help, one effort at which was walking the corgi, and then the doberman. This was when she was thirteen.
She came back and told us about comments from truck drivers.
I'll say that's not a complete surprise, in retrospect, but I was surprised in fact at the time.
Then there was how she was treated at a beauty parlor when she went to get her nails done, killing time.

Such a nice town, but with an underbelly of disdain/abuse.

We sometimes hug, so glad to be together again, or clasp shoulders as we walk. Since I'm a fool in space, she often helps me in low light.
I gotta tell ya, funny looks.

Back in LA, at least in my area, this wasn't going on.

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Feb, 2009 09:17 pm
Here's a link to video of the entire speech, if anyone wants to get the whole context of it.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#29260992
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 12:40 am
I watched the speech (thanks Butterflynet).

I was very disappointed. The speech was well put together and fine as far as it went. However there was so much more he could have said to both give it real meaning and to connect with the people he was addressing in precisely the "non cowardly" way he was urging us to emulate. Instead he provided us with an elegantly put together (but by his own definition, cowardly) harrangue about the appropriateness of the artifacts of affirmative action (for Blacks) including things like Black History Month, implying that we'll have to keep on doing it until we get it right.

No mention of the parallels of the social and economic trajectories of earlier immigrants, or the contemporary issues faced by Latinos, Orientals and others; no mention of the reciprocal efforts required of folks on both sides of social divides towards mutual understanding and respect. In short nothing at all above the ordinary - a polished, complacent harrangue on contemporary political correctitude that annoyed me more than anything else.

This, of course was the guy who helped Bill Clinton rationalize the pardon of Mark Rich.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 02:17 am
@georgeob1,
Georgeobi said:
Quote:
no mention of the reciprocal efforts required of folks on both sides of social divides towards mutual understanding and respect.


I think this is rarely talked about or even acknowledged as existing. It's been my experience that now that segregation and discrimination have been made illegal, the folks who are no longer able to indulge in it believe that everything should be all ironed out and fine, without understanding that there are and will be residual resentments and to my mind, a very understandable wariness in terms of being able or willing to trust.

I had a black student who told me that his grandmother told him about me - 'She's a white lady - you know she's only helping you because she's paid to.'
I'm glad he told me that. I understood EXACTLY why she'd believe that to be true.
I hear white people all the time saying ,'The problem's been solved - what else do they want -how long are they gonna keep whining about slavery? ( for example).

It's the same with any discussion. Just because one participant thinks it's all been said, doesn't mean it has.
Maybe there are other participants who have other issues to raise, but are afraid to because they know that people are sick of having to listen- and in fact- have shut down completely on the issue.

I wanted to post a poem on the South thread - but I was afraid to. I thought it'd be taken the wrong way- my motives would be misunderstood and/or vilified and it'd cause more harm than good.
I know exactly of what this guy speaks.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 06:44 am
@georgeob1,
Thanks George.

I do feel like these vague complaints are more harmful than anything. It's like a man asking his wife (sexist generality, I know), "What's wrong, honey?" ...and she says through clenched teeth, "If you don't know, I'm not going to tell you." When half the time, SHE doesn't know.

Race has been discussed and addressed ad nauseum. Out in the open....in every venue imaginable... Its the primary social topic.

It just smacks of a bad attitude on his part, in my opinion. I'd be thrilled if someone could address what hasn't been said. I wish HE had.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 09:56 am
@Lash,
Lash wrote:


It just smacks of a bad attitude on his part, in my opinion. I'd be thrilled if someone could address what hasn't been said. I wish HE had.


I wish he had as well. However, instead he gave us an excellent example of the very thing he complained about in his opening proposition. The justaposition of that with the required cant about the enduring importance of Black History month and our continuing need for it made the result both hypocritical and patronizing.

As I recall his own courageous moment of talking truth to power was when he, as acting Attorney General, assured Clinton's Chief of Staff that he was "neutral to positive" on the presidential pardon of Marc Rich, a convicted felon who fled the U.S. to escape justice and was then on the FBI's (i.e. Justice Department) "most wanted" list. In short he is willing to scold his deputies when talking down to them, but forsakes his responsibilities and kisses ass when talking up.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Feb, 2009 11:16 am
I posted the following on Woiyo's thread on this topic as my thoughts following comments of practices of some decades ago where white neighbors would get together to buy a vacant house to prevent a black person from buying it. Having experienced this scenario first hand in the early 1960's, I know that the motive was not so much based on negative opinions of black people as much as it was an interest in protection of property values. Segregation had ended only a short time before and there were still lots of people unaccustomed to social mingling of the races and a black family moving into an all white neighborhood could drop property values significantly.

That is no longer the case.

Anyhow, this was my response and where I think the focus should be if we truly want to remove racism as a serious social issue:

Quote:
I suppose there are a few places where this situation might exist. This was too common in the 50's and 60's in some areas where white neighbors would get together and collaborate to purchase a house for sale in their neighborhood to prevent black people from moving in. And there were the cases of the seller being so offended at such tactics that they accepted the offer of the black family even if the white coalition offered more money.

Admittedly many of these cases were instigated by civil rights activists and the minority buyers were part of that. You can't imagine otherwise that there would be a lot of people who would choose to establish their primary residence in such a hostile environment.

By the 70's, however, most of this kind of stuff had died out in most places. Affirmative Action and the Civil Rights Act had done most of the necessary work. White folks from previously segregated societies had become used to seeing, working with, eating in restaurants with, sitting in the movies with, going to school with, sharing drinking fountains with, and living in neighborhoods with black folks. When the militant groups, both black and white and every hue in between who offended just about everybody, stayed out of it, most people accepted the changing culture. It began to feel normal and unremarkable and most people no longer thought much about it.

We are a 'nation of cowards' not because we don't talk about existing racism. We do. We talk about it. We write about it ad nauseum. We expound on it. We advertise and telegraph it at every opportunity. It's the politically correct thing to do.

But in my opinion, what most people are cowardly about is the willingness to admit that the legal work has been done to achieve equality of opportunity and now its time to stop treating people of different colors differently. Racism exists not because we aren't willing to talk about it, but because we talk about it so much.

So long as we continue to focus on it, claim victimization by it, legislate with it in mind, gerimander voting districts to accommodate it, make it an issue in all our demographics, and use it for personal gain, racism will not go away. Until black mothers stop telling their kids not to trust a white teacher and until white people stop wearing their black neighbors, friends, coworkers as badges of honor, we will continue to see each other as separate and distinctly alien species.

The only cure for racism is to see a person's skin color as of having no more significance than their eye or hair color. And that will only happen when we stop focusing on skin color as somehow distinguishing one person from another person in any material way whatever our motive might be for doing that.

So the guy is right. We are a nation of cowards when it comes to race, but not for the reasons I think he intended.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 10:24 am
I wish the brave "Bullshit tag person" would come and explain their opinion.
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:06 am
@Lash,
I think the opinion expressed earlier by others here that most people have gone underground on this issue is quite true.

I suspect A.G. Holder himself was in part referring to this phenomenon in his speech. It is merely unfortunate that he didn't even attempt to provide a contemporary example or illustration of his rather high-minded criticism of our common culture and behavior, or even to himself exhibit the virtues he was demanding of others. Instead his speech, though well-crafted, exhibited all of the smug self satisfaction, complacency and insensitivity towards others that has become so characteristic of the advocates of endless "Affirmative Action" in this country.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 11:12 am
@Lash,
I tagged this thread 'Bullshit' because what Holder said is bullshit.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Feb, 2009 05:05 pm
@maporsche,
laughing...thanks for the clarification!
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

2016 moving to #1 spot - Discussion by gungasnake
Black Lives Matter - Discussion by TheCobbler
Racism? - Question by The UPS Man
Is 'colored people' offensive? - Question by SMickey
Obama’s Black Skin Privilege - Discussion by coldjoint
Obama, a Joke - Discussion by coldjoint
The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie - Discussion by bobsal u1553115
The ECHR and muslims - Discussion by Arend
Atlanta Race Riot 1906 - Discussion by kobereal24
Quote of the Day - Discussion by Tabludama
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Holder: Nation of Cowards (What does this mean?)
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 05/06/2021 at 06:36:32