In a speech marking Black History Month, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday labeled the United States “essentially a nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations.
Is he nuts? Leave aside for a moment Holder’s purely decorative call for a “frank” conversation about race. The Clinton-era Conversation also purported to be frank, and we know what that meant: a one-sided litany of white injustices. Please raise your hand if you haven’t heard the following bromides about “the racial matters that continue to divide us” more times than you can count: Police stop and arrest blacks at disproportionate rates because of racism; blacks are disproportionately in prison because of racism; blacks are failing in school because of racist inequities in school funding; the black poverty rate is the highest in the country because of racism; blacks were given mortgages that they couldn’t afford because of racism. I will stop there.
Not only do colleges, law schools, almost all of the nation’s elite public and private high schools, and the mainstream media, among others, have “conversations about . . . racial matters”; they never stop talking about them. Any student who graduates from a moderately selective college without hearing that its black students are victims of institutional racism—notwithstanding the fact that the vast majority of black students there will have been deliberately admitted with radically lower SAT scores than their white and Asian comrades—has been in a coma throughout his time there.
resident Obama, could you set the record straight? Tell us that your attorney general is mistaken and misguided. Tell us, please, that he ought to know better.
Tunku Varadarajan, a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School and a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, is executive editor for opinions at Forbes.
The House Oversight Committee let loose with a scathing assessment of Eric Holder in a recent report, accusing the Barack Obama-era attorney general of outright misleading Congress on its investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.
Terry, of course, was killed in December 2010 by a firearm believed to be part of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Operation Fast and Furious program.