Okay Mr. Attorney General, let’s talk turkey about race….
Recently the brand spankin’ new US Attorney General, one Eric Holder, addressed an audience in Washington and declared that We The People are actually cowards when it comes to talking about race relations. Me? A coward? What exactly did I do? I’ve never met the AG or anyone who knows him personally or has ever even seen him. I suspect the same for him with I. How exactly does one label someone they never met as a coward? Kind of rash if you ask me. So much for all the love and longing of the new administration’s honeymoon.
So, Mr. Holder wants to talk about race? Let’s talk about race.
I was born in 1962, far too late to have participated in slavery, the slave trade, Jim Crow laws, the KKK, lynching, the civil rights marches, the civil rights riots, or any of that. My ancestors, by and large, didn’t even get to America till the early twentieth century. One notable exception, my mother’s father’s family were American citizens since at least the Civil War, as my great grandfather joined the Union army at age 14 with his brother and their father, fought the duration (came down with a serious STD in the process, it’s amazing the kind paperwork the federal government retains), and came back to begin a family that included at least three wives (fortunately not at the same time) and several children, my grandfather being the youngest, born when the old war horse was 72. When my grandfather was 12 his father took him back to Gettysburg and showed him where he fought on Little Round Top, while providing a serious history lesson for a federally licensed guide.
I am not a racist. I do not categorically dismiss any individual human based up race, creed, gender, hair style, tattoos, or lack of sense of humor. Rather I wait till I get to know a person as an individual, and then decide if they are worth my time. At that point, a sense of humor is very important. So does gender, marital status and breast size. I do not deem it appropriate to rattle off a list of my “racial friends,” as proof that I’m not a racist, because doing that actually does make one a racist. It reduces human individuals to single characteristic.
And let’s take a look at what exactly Mr. Holder did, shall we? He used a racially designated month, to speak about racially divisive issues, such as, how I’m a coward for……what? I consider Martin Luther King Jr. one of the greatest Americans who ever walked God’s green earth. It takes real guts to lay one’s life on the line for their beliefs. Considerably rarer is when someone who does so posseses beliefs worthy of that action. He had it.
“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
That says it all as far as I’m concerned. Thomas Jefferson is attributed with writing one of the most profound statements in the history of the world, putting to paper, the hopes and dreams of all humans, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He owned slaves till the day he died. But I still believe that King quote would have brought him to his feet in applause, at least in spirit.
So Mr. Holder. I stand here (actually I’m sitting, have you ever tried to type while standing?) and I am judging you not on the color of your skin, but on the content of your character (and that ain’t much). You are an asshole.