Are We Still Cowards on Race?

In charge: U.S. Attorney Eric Holder at the European Parliament in 2011. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Justice Department

It’s time to call a spade a spade. Thanks to lapdog congressional leaders sucking up oxygen from the lack of common sense, racism has now wedged a deep spot on Capitol Hill. Racism didn’t cease to exist just because President Barack Obama was elected as our commander-in-chief four years ago.

Bigotry didn’t all of a sudden slip its way out the back door when President Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. In fact, one can make the argument that it has gotten worse.

What can’t be denied is how blatant and more in-your-face the ugly head of racism has become. It has become exceptionally noticeable in verbal attacks against President Obama. From the unpatriotic Tea Party movement to the ridiculously asinine birther onslaught from congressional lawmakers, trying to decipher the politics-as-usual business from covered up bigotry has become much clearer these days.

That racist tone went up several notches when the U. S. House of Representatives voted to hold U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt. Holder is the first and only U.S. attorney general to ever be brought up on criminal contempt charges. Gee, is it a small coincidence that Holder just happens to be the first black U.S. attorney general the country has ever had? No, I think not.

Politics as usual has taken on a new pitch when you have the first black sitting president and the only black attorney general in U.S. history working side-by-side of each other. It has to be extremely difficult for those working in the House of Representatives and U. S. Senate to see two black men occupy two of the most powerful positions in this country.

When I listen to people like Sarah Palin, Republican leaders and members of the vocal Tea Party shout out that they want their country back I can’t help but wonder about a couple of things. I wonder if voting out President Obama in this fall election and ousting Holder out of his powerful post is what they mean when they utter those ridiculous words.

I can’t help but wonder if people like these individuals are so scared of minorities being in position of power or fear that the good old days are now behind them when everybody they know look like them, talk like them and act like them. I wonder if this scenario pushes those folks into the reality that they have no choice but deal with the new America, which is a terrific rainbow of ethnic cultures and unique melting pot of races.

It is difficult in the fact that when a club is used to having all of its members look alike, think alike and speak alike, an invasion by perceived outsiders can shake things up and make things a bit uncomfortable. This is what is going on in Washington. It is appears many members of Congress are not okay with a black man being the leader of the free world.

Nor are they sitting and clapping their hands that another black man reign today as the nation’s top cop.  What President Obama and Atty. General Holder have done is shake things up. And there are plenty members of Congress that don’t like the fact their apple cart has been turned upside down.

President Obama and Atty. General Holder operate differently to the way things have been done in the nation’s capital. It’s very obvious both men don’t look like, sound like nor act like everyone else. Both men carry an agenda to help America become a better place to live. President Obama does his thing through the executive branch of the government.

President Barack Obama at a Hollywood fundraiser in 2011. Photo Credit: Dennis J. Freeman

Holder makes it happen at the Justice Department, cracking down on all sorts of complaints affecting civil and human rights liberties.

“As Attorney General, I do not look to do that which is politically expedient – on behalf of the American people whom I am privileged to serve, I seek justice,” Attorney General Holder said in an excerpt of a released statement.

Because of their principles as individuals and public servants, both men have been unfairly and unjustly criticized. From day one, President Obama has been wrongly accused as being a socialist. Holder has been getting heat for the last four years since he spoke out on what the United States has not done to improve race relations in this country.

“We are witnessing the great lengths to which Republican leadership will go in an attempt to discredit the Attorney General and embarrass the President of the United States of America,” said Emanuel Cleaver II, chairman of the Black Congressional Caucus.  “The Republican leadership’s actions are destructive, election-year politics–plain and simple. This kind of divisive posturing hurts Americans who need their leaders focused on fixing real problems.”

Shortly after President Obama made Holder head of the Justice Department, the former deputy attorney general under President Bill Clinton, issued a statement about the country’s inept history on dealing with race that echoed with reverberating affect.

Without pulling punches, Holder referred to the United States as a “nation of cowards” when it comes to righting the ship on its dormant execution to combat racism and long-standing bigotry. By making those comments, Holder knew he was putting a big bull’s-eye target on his back.

Since making those remarks, Holder has faced an onslaught of criticism from the Republican Party. Perhaps it is because Holder has been able to see through the lies and masquerade of deceit the Republican Party and other idealists have tried to do to disguise what is seen as new voter laws across the country.

Holder is the one cat the Republican Party fear as the biggest hurdle in their quest to suppress citizens’ rights to vote in this election cycle.

”I believe that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had it right when she stated recently that these attacks and threats to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt are a veiled attempt to smear his name in the court of public opinion with the goal of distracting him from doing one of his critical jobs as attorney general —and that is to protect the Voting Rights of all Americans. Attorney General Holder has been very strong in fighting against voter suppression laws being passed in Florida, South Carolina and other states across the country,” said “Melanie Campbell, president and CEO National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

The Republican Party, even some Democrats, want America to return back to the days of Ozzie and Harriet, whereas Holder has been trying to assist President Obama in moving the country forward in race relations. He’s been able to do that by launching an aggressive agenda against civil rights perpetrators.

Holder caught a lot of flak from those comments he made. Holder shouldn’t have had to apologize for a statement that was both factual and relevant. He’s seen Americans show up and are allowed at political rallies, carrying around assault weapons. He’s witnessed sitting members of Congress denounce President Obama’s birth certificate as fake.

After watching a U. S. representative (Joe Wilson) callously and blatantly disrespect the first African American president during a State of the Union address, it’s kind of hard not to see that racism is still alive and kicking.

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