Eric Holder’s Racial Concerns
The Obama presidency thus far has been anything but post-racial. Rather, Americans have been reminded by Obama’s representatives that anyone feeling “over” the subject lacks courage. At the Huffington Post, Rinku Sin posits that Americans prove Eric Holder’s point when the deny that America is racist:
Smartly, Holder noted that our goal should not be to move beyond our racial past, and for the press to turn a blind eye to racial realities is the wrong way to go. He focused instead on raising the question of whether the nation’s attitude toward its diversity will give us strength or take us down. I especially loved his note about how we manage to get along in the workplaces, but as soon as we can, we retreat to our racial corners on the weekends. That’s because the diverse people of this country hold unequal power, which often dictates where and how we live.
I’m not sure I accept this premise. But let’s examine what she says anyway. About 12% of the population is black. The vast majority of Americans are white. I would say that it would take effort for black people to “retreat to [their] racial corners”. Every corner in America is white, number-wise except where minority people decide to gather in that corner. Why aren’t blacks living in every corner?
If a black were to live in every corner, there is a great likelihood that he would be living in a white community. And this is, in fact, happening more and more.
Also, as intermarriage and the adoption of minority children increases, it belies the fact that people are going to their corners. Well, they might be going to their corners, alright, but they end up married and with kids:
In 1960 there were about 150,000 interracial married couples(1) in the United States. This number grew rapidly to more than 1.0 million in 1998. In 2000, they numbered 1.46 million.
Integration happens more and more and will continue to increase. Still, there are natural divides in America along cultural and ethnic lines because we are, and continue to be, a nation of immigrants. It is not racist to live in a neighborhood where Italian is still the main language because the neighborhood was built around Italian immigrants.
Every major city has a Chinatown, Vietnamese area, …name the minority, there’s a neighborhood. Are all these people racist? Do they lack courage?
No doubt, some Americans are racist. Some people lack courage to encounter people outside of their comfort-zone. That’s to their own loss, then. It’s a free country. People are free to deprive themselves of the culture around them.
To say that America is racist is to impugn the integrity of the vast majority of people who have been over racism for years. At The American Thinker, Larrey Anderson writes: [read the whole thing]
In short, I am a racist because I am not a liberal. I am a racist because I do not agree with Eric Holder’s politics. Not only am I a racist, Mr. Holder informs me, I am also a coward because I don’t want to talk about being a racist.
Mr. Holder wants me to pony up, be a man, and finally face my cowardice — and the inner hatred I may have of human beings that have a skin color different from mine.
Mr. Anderson continues:
My son is married to a very good-looking young white woman. They have two (soon to be three) beautiful sons.[ii] Maybe my daughter-in-law carries the brunt of the racism. I called her the other day, told her I was writing this article, and asked her how bad the racism surrounding her marriage was. What was it like to walk into a store with a black husband and two little mixed race sons. Was she ever threatened? Was she ever afraid?
She just laughed at the questions. (She tends to laugh at me — must be a daughter-in-law thing.)
“Never,” she replied in one word.
“Never what?” I asked.
“Racism. Never. Not once … well, my ninty-year-old great grandmother didn’t like the idea of me dating a ‘colored man.’ I remember she really hurt my feelings. But, other than that, I can’t think of anything. It just doesn’t happen. People love my husband. They respect our family. We just don’t have those problems. I don’t think people have those problems.”
She then told me about some of the mixed race marriages of some of her friends. None of them have problems either. When these couples get together, they don’t even talk about racism — because there isn’t any.
Sorry, Mr. Holder, it isn’t cowardice that keeps Americans from discussing racism — it is the fact that there is nothing to talk about. The racist America that you are talking about started to disappear at least thirty years ago.
I have black friends, intermarried friends, and all sorts of friends. Like Mr. Anderson, I don’t find this to be anything that makes me special. I’m mundane. I’m a white American with all sorts of friends. Big. Deal. That’s America now.
Maybe that’s not Eric Holder’s America, but the problem isn’t Mr. Holder’s skin color, it’s the color of the filter he sees the world through. Seeing racism and prejudice suits his political agenda and so, he sees it. He doesn’t seek to unite America or get past race. He seeks to cause discontent and and division, because divided and bitter, Americans lose but race-baiting politicians win.
America is not a racist country. But there are still racists. Far from being post-racial, Mr. Holder and President Obama’s administration seems to be race-centric. To find the closest racist, Mr. Holder need only to look in the mirror.
Cross-posted at MelissaClouthier.com