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Pandering Progressives:Is AG Holder Right about Racism?

 
 
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 09:28 pm
This thread died after only a few brave 'progressives' addressed some of the issues raised by another A2K member.

That member wasn't blunt enough; I thought I would provide an opportunity for frank dialogue. This is what Eric Holder is calling for, after all.



Quote:


WASHINGTON " Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, said Wednesday the United States was "a nation of cowards" on matters of race, with most Americans avoiding candid discussions of racial issues. In a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month, Holder said the workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.

"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards," Holder said.

Race issues continue to be a topic of political discussion, but "we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race."

Holder's speech echoed President Barack Obama's landmark address last year on race relations during the hotly contested Democratic primaries, when the then-candidate urged the nation to break "a racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years" and bemoaned the "chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races." Obama delivered the speech to try to distance himself from the angry rhetoric of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Holder cited that speech by Obama as part of the motivation for his words Wednesday, saying Americans need to overcome an ingrained inhibition against talking about race.

"If we're going to ever make progress, we're going to have to have the guts, we have to have the determination, to be honest with each other. It also means we have to be able to accept criticism where that is justified," Holder told reporters after the speech.

In the speech, Holder urged people of all races to use Black History Month as a chance for honest discussion of racial matters, including issues of health care, education and economic disparities.

Race, Holder said, "is an issue we have never been at ease with and, given our nation's history, this is in some ways understandable... If we are to make progress in this area, we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us."

In a country founded by slave owners, race has bedeviled the nation throughout its history, with blacks denied the right to vote just a few decades ago. Obama's triumph last November as well as the nomination of Holder stand as historic achievements of two black Americans.

Holder told hundreds of Justice Department employees gathered for the event that they have a special responsibility to advance racial understanding.

Even when people mix at the workplace or afterwork social events, Holder argued, many Americans in their free time are still segregated inside what he called "race-protected cocoons."

"Saturdays and Sundays, America in the year 2009 does not in some ways differ significantly from the country that existed almost 50 years ago. This is truly sad," said Holder.

Matt Miller, a spokesman for Holder, said later the attorney general used "provocative words to be clear that Americans of all races should stop avoiding the difficult issues of race."

Andrew Grant-Thomas, Deputy Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University, praised Holder's general message but said the wording of the speech may alienate some.

"He's right on the substance, but that's probably not the most politic way of saying it. I'm certain there are people who will hear him and say, 'That's obnoxious,'" he said, adding that what was missing from Holder's speech were specific examples of what painful subjects need to be addressed.

Hilary Shelton, vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, called the speech "constructively provocative."

"Nobody wants to be considered a coward. We've learned to get along by exclusion and silence. We need to talk about it. People need to feel comfortable saying the wrong things," said Shelton.

Holder is headed to Guantanamo Bay early next week to inspect the terrorist detention facility there. Obama has assigned Holder to lead a special task force aimed at closing the site within a year.

Holder's Justice Department will have to decide which suspects to bring to U.S. courts for trial, which to prosecute through the military justice system, and which to send back to their home countries.

Link:

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



As a conservative who leans libertarian, I was actually encouraged by Holder's remarks.

One part that stood out - for me, at least - was his pointing out the importance of honest dialogue:

"If we're going to ever make progress, we're going to have to have the guts, we have to have the determination, to be honest with each other. It also means we have to be able to accept criticism where that is justified."

As a white dude, I've been told I'm not allowed to talk about race. I'm not racist. But if I were to post an observation here, a criticism, a possible solution to issues I've experienced, I might very well be branded a racist by an oversensitive, easily offended, politically correct group of people who thrive on this stuff.

And I’m not talking about minorities; I’m referring to ‘progressives’ who revel in other’s victimhood.

One of my friends I used to work with resented Affirmative Action, for example, because although it didn't directly benefit him (he's black) in his particular circumstances, people who did not know him - or our organization - automatically thought his promotion was due to AA.

Ironically enough, it was the 'progressive' types who bugged him the most, with comments about how glad they were/how hard they worked/ to make sure the "playing field was level" so he could have "opportunities."

Well intentioned, but clueless, I guess.

So good for Holder, raising this issue. Being a white conservative does not automatically make one racist, contrary to how 'progressives' or the media would like to stereotype us.

There is still racism in this country, but there are solutions. And pandering does not do anybody any good at all...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 3,588 • Replies: 80
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Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 09:51 pm
I think it was pretty bold thing to say. I want to see him act as boldly. Nothing really else to say about it.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2009 10:15 pm
The vast majority of Americans avoid any discussion about any topics that clash with the propaganda they are force-fed in their schooling.
rabel22
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 01:51 am
@JTT,
Odd. The schools I went to taught respect for other religions and all races. But perhaps the nuns were just putting me on.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 02:56 am
@JTT,
That is one of the most ignorant things I have ever read on these threads. Anyone who knows anything about schooling in the USA knows that the vast majority of Americans do not avoid any topics that clash with the propaganda they are force-fed in their schooling because the left wing would definitely not call Black History Month and Sex Education force fed propaganda.

JTT is obviously limited. He is unable to make statements with proof attached to them.

I will make this statement.

Most of the new staffers at the Justice Department are Marxists.

You see how easy it is? I exposed the new Justice Department Staffers and I did not even have to give any evidence.
0 Replies
 
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 03:16 am
A LONE VOICE- You wrote a provocative post. I agree with your ideas.

The left, as you are aware, use the epithet--RACIST--with great success. Why, one would rather be called a son of a B.... or a Bastard than be called a racist.

It is clear that racists are from the bottom of the barrel--rednecks and extreme right wing types who contribute to the Ku Klux Klan.

What nonsense--It is clear that the Emperor has no clothes--The Emperor of Affirmative Action--that is.

But, if you say one word against AA, you are a racist.

Let's look at the definition of Racism--

Random House Dictionary of the English Language--College Edition--
quote

A DOCTRINE THAT INHERENT DIFFERENCES AMONG THE VARIOUS HUMAN RACES DETERMINE CULTURAL OR INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT, USUALLY INVOLVING THE IDEA THAT ONE'S OWN RACE IS SUPERIOR.

No one I know seriously belives that "INHERENT DIFFERENCES" are prevalent among any race in the world.

No one I know thinks that individual achievement is not possible for all people of all races.

But, many people are aware that cultural differences can be a prime mover for individual achievement.

The achievement of Asians, despite their minority status in the USA, shows that culture is the driving factor in achievement.

Perhaps Holder does not realize that the culture of Blacks in the USA elicits attitudes which Holder may view as RACIST( see definition above) but which are, in reality, a statement of fact.

It is not racist to say that despite years and years of the largesse provided by the Great Society( LBJ) which has continued to provide equal treatment for students in inner city schools, black scholastic achievement has advanced very little.

It is not racist to say that when one views large scale experimentation in schools such as that which occurred in Kansas City a decade or so in the past,and one judges that the lack of achievement growth is not the fault of the schools but rather the fault of the crippling victimization mantra.

A lone voice spoke about Honesty. I think he was correct,. but people are so fearful of being branded Racist that they are afraid to speak out!!!

aidan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Feb, 2009 03:57 pm
@genoves,
Quote:
The achievement of Asians, despite their minority status in the USA, shows that culture is the driving factor in achievement.

This is true. Asian young people in America suffer the lowest rates of teen pregnancy, school drop out, incidence of foster care and incarceration- and enjoy the privilege of being the most likely of any racial demographic - including caucasian -to live in a two parent intact home.

Quote:
Perhaps Holder does not realize that the culture of Blacks in the USA elicits attitudes which Holder may view as RACIST( see definition above) but which are, in reality, a statement of fact.

In contrast - as you've alluded- black youth suffer the highest rates of teen pregnancy, school drop out, incidence of foster care and incarceration and are the least likely of any racial demographic to live in a two parent intact home.

To state these facts is not racist. To disingenuously deny the historical and environmental factors which created this culture and to attribute it simply to their race- as if this is the culture they chose although another had historically been on offer-could be construed as such.


genoves
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 12:32 am
@aidan,
Aidan--The left will not discuss these facts because they would destroy the left wing of the party. Obama himself comes from a broken home. He is, of course, intelligent, but he is not, as he promised he would be, fond of openness and transparency. If you read his twobooks, you will find little about his work at Occidental College, Columbia University and, finally, Harvard Law School.

That is very strange. You would think that someone writing an autobiography would be proud of his scholastic accomplishments!

Unless, of course, he was an Affirmative Action baby and did not want anyone else to know about it!
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 12:39 am
@genoves,
If you agree he's intelligent - why would you think he'd need the benefits of affirmative action?
His grades and scores may very well have been higher than yours or mine (I'm white and about the same age as him-I'm assuming you're white too- are you?)
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 12:59 am
@aidan,
Again, I find it most strange that he does not mention very much about his schooling in his two books.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 01:10 am
@genoves,
Okay - but what does that have to do with the subject - other than the fact that you're illustrating the comment A Lone Voice made about his colleague, who didn't like it that people assumed all of his promotions were the result of Affirmative Action instead of his own talent, skill and hard work?

You're doing the same thing here. You admit that Obama is bright - certainly bright enough to achieve the entrance requirements for the schools he attended and make the grades necessary to graduate. Why are you assuming he must have been an 'affirmative action baby?' Because he's black (interracial- whatever you want to call him)?
That's racist!
And how can he get around the assumption or assertion- except to post his transcripts and standardized test results?
And why should he HAVE to do that?
Because he's black?

This is the sort of bullshit Holder's talking about.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard white people say about very intelligent, competent black people (particularly women) who were promoted ahead of them - 'It's only because she's black.'
And I'd say, 'But she's a ******* workhorse and she's smart and competent...'
'Yeah maybe, but they need the more diverse racial profile - so she got hired because she's black.'
Negating every thing this woman was and worked hard to become with one statement - in other words- she needn't have struggled and performed at all - she could have just showed up at the interview showing her pigment.

It's a convenient excuse. And these conversations are exactly the sort of cowardly bullshit that Holder's talking about. Do you think these people who said this stuff to me EVER had the guts to say it in front of the person they were talking about - no!
Backhanded, cowardly bullshit.

genoves
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:16 pm
@aidan,
Here is the definition of "Racism" aidan.

"A doctrine that INHERENT differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior.

Now, anyone who has done even superficial reading on the subject is aware that there are no IQ differences due to race or genetics. I am sure that you are aware that the differences between two persons of the same race are greater than the differences between two people of different races.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:19 pm
@genoves,
Yes- so my question is, if you agree that Obama is not inherently less intelligent because he's of African heritage, why do you posit that he's necessarily the recipient of the benefits of affirmative action?
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:21 pm
Now, is it racist to ask our president whether he was granted Affirmative Action help to enter University or Law School?

Are we allowed to ask our presidents questions?

Such as--"President Bush, will you tell us about the time you were stopped for "drunken driving" when you were in your twenties"

Or, President Bush, it is said that you did not complete your training in the Air National Guard but were, actually, AWOL?

Are those questions legitimate?

If so, it is legitimate for us to know the circumstances which led to the acceptance of our president to University and Law School. Failure to address these questions will lead some to conclude that the President is hiding something he feels will embarass him.
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:26 pm
@aidan,
Because of the following:



Obama's Years at Columbia Are a Mystery
He Graduated Without Honors
By ROSS GOLDBERG, Special to the Sun | September 2, 2008

Senator Obama's life story, from his humble roots, to his rise to Harvard Law School, to his passion as a community organizer in Chicago, has been at the center of his presidential campaign. But one chapter of the tale remains a blank " his education at Columbia College, a place he rarely speaks about and where few people seem to remember him.

Contributing to the mystery is the fact that nobody knows just how well Mr. Obama, unlike Senator McCain and most other major candidates for the past two elections, performed as a student.

The Obama campaign has refused to release his college transcript, despite an academic career that led him to Harvard Law School and, later, to a lecturing position at the University of Chicago. The shroud surrounding his experience at Columbia contrasts with that of other major party nominees since 2000, all whom have eventually released information about their college performance or seen it leaked to the public.

For better or worse, voters have taken an interest in candidates' grades since 1999, when the New Yorker published President Bush's transcript at Yale and disclosed that he was a C student. Mr. Bush had never portrayed himself as a brain, but many were surprised to learn the next year that his opponent, Vice President Gore, did not do much better at Harvard despite his intellectual image. When Senator Kerry's transcript surfaced, reporters found that he actually had a slightly lower average at Yale than Mr. Bush did.

Some political observers cite such disclosures as proof that candidates' intelligence cannot be judged solely by their political careers or the schools they attended. Grades provide a rare measure of intellect that is immune to political spin, proponents say.

"We like to pretend IQ doesn't matter, but it really does with a lot of jobs, including the presidency," a professor at Smith College who studies the effects of human intelligence on the economy, James Miller, said. "We can't trust the information that candidates give us, so it's important to look for objective data that they can't falsify or distort."

Mr. Miller acknowledged that Mr. Obama displayed academic achievement at Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude and led the Harvard Law Review. Still, Mr. Miller said, he would like to see information about how Mr. Obama performed in various subjects at Columbia.

That view is not shared by other election observers, including some who have themselves indulged the public's interest in candidates' academic records. One of them is Geoffrey Kabaservice, a political historian who in 2000 published Senator Bradley's relatively low score of 485 on the verbal SAT. Mr. Bradley, a Rhodes Scholar who was a star basketball player at Princeton, was running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

"It's awfully hard to correlate anything, really, about a person on the basis of their grades," Mr. Kabaservice said, explaining that he published Mr. Bradley's score to highlight limitations in intelligence testing. He said he doubted that candidates' grades have affected the outcome of any recent presidential elections.

"For people who didn't like George W. Bush, for example, the grade aspect only confirmed what they thought about him," Mr. Kabaservice said. "And for everybody else, it made him more of a regular guy."

The Obama campaign declined to comment for this article and did not offer an explanation for why his transcript has not been released. But observers speculated that one reason might be the racially charged nature of the election. Mr. Obama has acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past, and details about his academic performance might open him up to critics eager to accuse him, probably unfairly, of receiving a free ride, Mr. Kabaservice said.

"Anyone who is a minority and who's come up partially through the meritocracy " getting into good colleges, and subsequently good law schools " is going to come under suspicion that there was some kind of affirmative action boost," he said. "I suspect this is an area of discomfort for Obama."

In contrast with the rest of Mr. Obama's life story, little is known about his college experience. He attended Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia in 1981. The move receives only a mention in Mr. Obama's 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father," which instead devotes that chapter to his impressions of race and class struggles in New York.

An article in a Columbia University publication, Columbia College Today, reported that Mr. Obama has portrayed Columbia as a period of buckling down following a troubled adolescence. He did not socialize much, he has said, instead spending a lot of time in the library, "like a monk." He has also stated that he was involved to some extent with the Black Students Organization.

Federal law limits the information that Columbia can release about Mr. Obama's time there. A spokesman for the university, Brian Connolly, confirmed that Mr. Obama spent two years at Columbia College and graduated in 1983 with a major in political science. He did not receive honors, Mr. Connolly said, though specific information on his grades is sealed. A program from the 1983 graduation ceremony lists him as a graduate.


Note the exerpts from the article--


*********************************************************
The Obama campaign declined to comment for this article and did not offer an explanation for why his transcript has not been released. But observers speculated that one reason might be the racially charged nature of the election. Mr. Obama has acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past, and details about his academic performance might open him up to critics eager to accuse him, probably unfairly, of receiving a free ride, Mr. Kabaservice said.

"Anyone who is a minority and who's come up partially through the meritocracy " getting into good colleges, and subsequently good law schools " is going to come under suspicion that there was some kind of affirmative action boost," he said. "I suspect this is an area of discomfort for Obama."
***************************************************************



0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:27 pm
@genoves,
No- I guess it's not racist to ask the question, if you're sincerely curious and have no preconceived notions about what his answer will be, as in,'I KNOW a black guy couldn't have gotten into Harvard Law without help.'

Because that's obviously bullshit. He's obviously a very bright guy. Going by what I know my own SAT scores to have been at around the same time - I guarantee you he probably scored higher- I bet close to fourteen hundred, if not higher.
He wouldn't have NEEDED any help or affirmative action to get into a school.
And if you assume that he would - just because he's black - then that's when it becomes racist.
Because you're assuming there's something inherently less competent about him because of his race.

In terms of his undergraduate career - a lot of young guys **** up the first semester or so - maybe he partied too much and then pulled himself together later.
Who knows? Why do you care so much about that detail that's way, way, in the past. You're talking about someone who was only 18-22 years old for goodness sakes.
genoves
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:29 pm
@aidan,
The reason that Obama almost certainly received AFFIRMATIVE ACTION is listed in the article. Columbia indicated that he did not have HONORS graduation. Now, I know something about SAT's <LSAT's and University Grading. Even if Obama ACED the LSAT( the other major part of the numerical assessment for Harvard Law applicants) he could not have matched the literally hundreds of other Harvard Law School applicants who, for the most part, had VERY HIGH GRADES--SUMMA AND MAGNA RANKINGS IN UNIVERSITY.

Therefore, as the article said( you did read it didn't you) Obama admitted taking Affirmative Action.

Why do I care?

When I hear someone say--We must have transparency and honesty, I expect him to follow his principle. If not, he is only another sleazy politician.
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:35 pm
@genoves,
I did read it - it only said he acknowledged benefiting from affirmative action in the past - it didn't say to get into school.
Maybe he meant that he benefited from it in a general sense- in that he came of age at a time when opportunities were opening up for young black men in terms of education and careers.

But anyway - why would this bother you? Don't you think that things did need to change so that minorities could begin to access education and jobs on a more equal basis?
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Feb, 2009 04:49 pm
@genoves,

Quote:
When I hear someone say--We must have transparency and honesty, I expect him to follow his principle. If not, he is only another sleazy politician.

Okay, yes that's true. But don't you think, especially if he's admitted he benefited and if it's known that he didn't achieve high honors, he may think he's addressed the issue sufficiently? Why beat a dead horse?
0 Replies
 
revel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Feb, 2009 07:48 am
More than likely Obama did get into Harvard by affirmative action since he did not graduate at Columbia with any honors. However, it seems he made up for that once having getting to Harvard and excelled enough to have made it to the head of Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude.

Quote:
Mr. Miller acknowledged that Mr. Obama displayed academic achievement at Harvard, where he graduated magna cum laude and led the Harvard Law Review.


Quote:
Adj. 1. magna cum laude - with high honor; with high academic distinction; "a magna cum laude graduate"
worthy - having worth or merit or value; being honorable or admirable; "a worthy fellow"; "a worthy cause"
Adv. 1. magna cum laude - with high honor; "he graduated magna cum laude"

source
0 Replies
 
 

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