On Why Eric Holder Shouldn’t Play the Race Card

20 Dec

Eric HolderI really don’t know what to make of this comment by Attorney General Eric Holder:

“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”

It just strikes me as a play for sympathy. Maybe the Right wing is unfairly impugning Holder’s Justice Department, but to what extent does the right actually matter? The right wing is a core constituency of the Republican Party and doesn’t, at least not yet, have the power to seriously derail anything on Holder’s agenda.

This is why Holder’s deference to race is a bit of a smash and grab in the sense that Holder knows there are serious issues with the way he’s running the Justice Department, all of which should be met with serious answers. Throwing the red meat of race into the debate cheapens it and allows Holder to skirt away with a cheap political win that he really didn’t pay for, not with currency that counts or matters anyway.

If the right or left is behaving increasingly erratic, it may have a bit more to do with Holder’s unprincipled stand on issues than race baiting. Take for example Holder’s decision to renege on his promise to respect state law and not prosecute state marijuana sellers, the F.B.I.’s raid on homes of several non-violent activists across the Midwest, the A.T.F.’s  “Fast and Furious” gunrunning scandal, or Holder’s inability to plot a way forward for prosecuting terror suspects.

If ever Eric Holder is able to formulate a consistent approach to federal law, one that reflects both American principles and the spirit of the 2008 Obama campaign, then he can cry foul about unwarranted and unearned criticism. Now, however, he’s deserving of every scrap of criticism that flys his way.

On both the right and the left, there is a veritable potpourri of reasons to question both Attorney General Holder’s integrity and ableness. I suspect that in either case, race is far down on the list of considerations.

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3 Responses to “On Why Eric Holder Shouldn’t Play the Race Card”

  1. Otis L Griffin December 20, 2011 at 12:50 am #

    ala Herman . I changed my mind, can u brothers help me?

  2. Otis L Griffin December 20, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    he earned the criticism

  3. Bolo December 20, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    I think Mr. Holder in saying what President Obama is afraid to say. I believe Mr. Holder would have sought criminal indictments for much of the Bush era crimes and large bank frauds if it weren’t for Obama backing him down. Mr. Holder is probably at the point where he will decide not to continue on as U.S. Attorney General because Obama lacks the heart to talk openly about the huge racial divide that exist in this country and much of it is directed at him. Obama needs to step up and stop kissing ass, period.

    Ms. Carnell in all of her greatness, in my opinion, is feeding into what the republican bigots want. That is to say, when a American (I don’t believe in putting people in boxes, so I will not call Mr. Holder Black, African-American, ect.) such as Mr. Holder speaks as a free man, he should be supported. The fact that Ms. Carnell is a female and has not walked the halls or justice in the capacities as Mr. Holder, makes her comments seem somewhat sophomoric, at best. Mr. Holder is well aware of the backlash he will get from the republicans, democrats, President Obama, and cowardly others for his comments. I would almost bet that his wife, Dr. Sharon Malone, whom grew up dealing with bigots in Mobile, Alabama and is an OB/GYN, supports him and is proud that he has spoken truths that they probably talk about every night. Ms. Carnell should let men of Mr. Holder’s political stature deal with these bigot men as only a real man can. Stop playing the Willie Lynch deck of cards!

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