2009 February 18 Wednesday
Eric Holder Calls Us Cowards

People who think like Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder have created a legal and social atmosphere on the topic of race which causes most people to just shut up about it. What does Eric Holder say about this silence? He calls the silent scared people cowards.

Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been, and we, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, a nation of cowards. Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial.

It is an issue that we have never been at ease with, and given our nation's history, this is in some way, understandable. And yet, if we are to make progress in this area, we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.

Tolerant enough? He's now a leader in the army of intolerance. I think what he's saying is that he doesn't want his enemies to wear camouflage.

Holder is going to hunt down corporations which reward based on performance and accuse them of racism when they reward Asians and whites more than blacks and Hispanics. Then he's going to call the masses cowards when the masses try to keep their heads down and not get noticed by his hunting club. Cheeky.

Holder thinks people should stand up and get punished without fear.

To respect one another, we must have a basic understanding of one another. And so, we should use events such as this to not only learn more about the fact of black history, but also to learn more about each other.

This will be, at first, a process that is both awkward and painful, but the rewards are, I believe, potentially great. The alternative is to allow to continue the polite, restrained mixing that now passes as meaningful interaction, but that in reality, accomplishes very little.

Imagine, if you will, situations where people, regardless of their skin color, could confront racial issues freely and without fear. The potential of this country, that is becoming increasingly more diverse, would be greatly enhanced. My fear, however, that we are taking steps that, rather than advancing us as a nation, are actually dividing us even further.

People respond to incentives and disincentives. Holder is a man of the Left. These responses frustrate him.

Imagine that for just one day everyone in America was honest about race. The following day the people who enforce the current boundaries of allowable discussion would proclaim that the previous day allowed us to air all of our misconceptions and reveal our ignorance so that now we could make progress and solve our problems involving race. They would then work to reestablish deterrence and silence people while proclaiming that the silent majority are cowards.

Update: On the other hand, If we could somehow get everyone to speak honestly about race people would feel less stressed about their race-related conversations and blacks would feel better about what they heard. At least that seems to be the results found by two Tufts U psychologists.

Self-control is one of our most cherished values. We applaud those with the discipline to regulate their appetites and actions, and we try hard to instill this virtue in our children. We celebrate the power of the mind to make hard choices and keep us on course. But is it possible that willpower can sometimes be an obstacle rather than a means to happiness and harmony?

Tufts University psychologists Evan Apfelbaum and Samuel Sommers were intrigued by the notion that too much self-control may indeed have a downside - and that relinquishing some power might be paradoxically tonic, both for individuals and for society.

They explored the virtue of powerlessness in the arena of race relations. They figured that well-intentioned people are careful - sometimes hyper-careful - not to say the wrong thing about race in a mixed-race group. Furthermore, they thought that such effortful self-control might actually cause both unease and guarded behavior, which could in turn be misconstrued as racial prejudice.

To test this, they ran a group of white volunteers through a series of computer-based mental exercises that are so challenging that they temporarily deplete the cognitive reserves needed for discipline. Once they had the volunteers in this compromised state of mind, they put them (and others not so depleted) into a social situation with the potential for racial tension - they met with either a white or black interviewer and discussed racial diversity. Afterward, the volunteers rated the interaction for comfort, awkwardness, and enjoyment. In addition, independent judges - both black and white - analyzed the five-minute interactions, commenting on how cautious the volunteers were, how direct in their answers - and how racially prejudiced.

As reported in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, those who were mentally depleted - that is, those lacking discipline and self-control - found talking about race with a black interviewer much more enjoyable than did those with their self-control intact. That's presumably because they weren't working so hard at monitoring and curbing what they said. What's more, independent black observers found that the powerless volunteers were much more direct and authentic in conversation. And perhaps most striking, blacks saw the less inhibited whites as less prejudiced against blacks. In other words, relinquishing power over oneself appears to thwart over-thinking and "liberate" people for more authentic relationships.

If we all spoke our true thoughts at the same time current mechanisms for controlling the boundaries of discussion would be totally overwhelmed. But I do not see a way to accomplish that level of coordination.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 February 18 10:32 PM  Cultural Wars Western

Ned said at February 19, 2009 6:44 AM:

Attorney General Eric Holder wants more open, honest dialog about racial issues in America. Good idea! Here are some topics we can discuss (openly and honestly, of course):

High School Dropout Rate - Whites, 25%; Blacks, 50%

Illegitimacy Rate - Whites, 24%; Blacks, 69%

Children Raised in Two-Parent Household - Whites, 77%; Blacks, 40%

In 2005, the New Century Foundation published a report, "The Color of Crime," which found:

• Police and the justice system are not biased against minorities.
Crime Rates
• Blacks are seven times more likely than people of other races to commit murder,
and eight times more likely to commit robbery.
• When blacks commit crimes of violence, they are nearly three times more likely
than non-blacks to use a gun, and more than twice as likely to use a knife.
• Hispanics commit violent crimes at roughly three times the white rate, and
Asians commit violent crimes at about one quarter the white rate.
• The single best indicator of violent crime levels in an area is the percentage of
the population that is black and Hispanic.
Interracial Crime
• Of the nearly 770,000 violent interracial crimes committed every year involving
blacks and whites, blacks commit 85 percent and whites commit 15 percent.
• Blacks commit more violent crime against whites than against blacks. Fortyfive
percent of their victims are white, 43 percent are black, and 10 percent are
Hispanic. When whites commit violent crime, only three percent of their victims are
• Blacks are an estimated 39 times more likely to commit a violent crime against
a white than vice versa, and 136 times more likely to commit robbery.
• Blacks are 2.25 times more likely to commit officially-designated hate crimes
against whites than vice versa.
• Only 10 percent of youth gang members are white.
• Hispanics are 19 times more likely than whites to be members of youth gangs.
Blacks are 15 times more likely, and Asians are nine times more likely.
• Between 1980 and 2003 the US incarceration rate more than tripled, from 139
to 482 per 100,000, and the number of prisoners increased from 320,000 to 1.39
• Blacks are seven times more likely to be in prison than whites. Hispanics are
three times more likely.

In 2005, African-American economist Walter Williams wrote:

Since black politicians and the civil rights establishment preach victimhood to blacks, I'd prefer that they be more explicit when they appear in public fora. Were they to be so, saying racists are responsible for black illegitimacy, blacks preying on other blacks and black family breakdown, their victimhood message would be revealed as idiotic. But being so explicit is not as far-fetched as one might think. In a campaign speech before a predominantly black audience, in reference to so many blacks in prison, presidential candidate John Kerry said, "That's unacceptable, but it's not their fault."

Indeed, a discussion of these facts might be beneficial. But that might be too much openness and honesty for Mr. Holder. He would probably consider it, well, racist.

dchamil said at February 19, 2009 7:05 AM:

Whites cannot possibly discuss race candidly in this country, since it is a recipe for losing one's job.

kurt9 said at February 19, 2009 10:19 AM:

Is Eric Holder suggesting that all of the human biodiversity and sociobiology discussion be brought out and discussed openly in the limelight?

James Bowery said at February 19, 2009 10:22 AM:

Oh, come on, Ned. You know very well socially significant racial differences are due to institutional white privilege. Now pay up and/or bend over. End of dialogue.

no said at February 19, 2009 10:37 AM:

Ned, 'Blacks' may commit more low level robbery according to your statistics, but Bernie Madoff as probably stolen more than all African-American thieves put together for the last 5 years.

black sea said at February 19, 2009 10:49 AM:

Wasn't it some dead white male who said "discretion is the better part of valour?"

Anon said at February 19, 2009 11:29 AM:

--- Ned, 'Blacks' may commit more low level robbery according to your statistics, but Bernie Madoff as probably stolen more than all African-American thieves put together for the last 5 years.----

That makes it OK.

hopes courtier said at February 19, 2009 12:35 PM:

We grovel and lie and flater and degrade ourselves before thease people and call it enriching, forget what we have built and celebrate those who've demolished it. Is this not how Cowards act?

miles said at February 19, 2009 5:24 PM:

Eric Holder is the Goddamned Attorney General. His job is to enforce the laws of this nation. His job is not to worry about who I go fishing with this weekend.

This reeks of a black guy who didn't get to screw *that* one white chick he had the hots for in college.

Audacious Epigone said at February 19, 2009 6:40 PM:

If nothing else, at least we can now add "I'm bringing this up because the Obama administration asked me to do so" to all of our conversations involving HBD.

Bob Badour said at February 19, 2009 7:44 PM:

Something tells me he wouldn't like it if we started referring to POTUS as HNIC. Something tells me that's not the sort of bravery he's looking for.

YT said at February 19, 2009 8:19 PM:

Another loudmouth negro:


no said at February 20, 2009 3:29 PM:

"Italy passes emergency law"

HellKaiserRyo said at February 20, 2009 5:54 PM:

How will this make them better off if people are able to say what the "truth"? Will it increase the welfare of hispanics and blacks? Will it reduce their levels of poverty?

Engineer-Poet said at February 20, 2009 7:21 PM:
Ned, 'Blacks' may commit more low level robbery according to your statistics, but Bernie Madoff as probably stolen more than all African-American thieves put together for the last 5 years.
What's the lost value of real estate abandoned because hostile minorities made it impossible to have peaceful enjoyment?  $50 billion looks like a fart in a hurricane compared to that.
Randall Parker said at February 20, 2009 9:38 PM:


The truth has enormous utility.

What do you see as the benefit of the current situation? Do you think it delivers more benefits to blacks and Hispanics by keeping racial preferences in place?

I want to know why you think lies are preferable to the truth.

Scott said at February 21, 2009 10:57 AM:

Vanishing American has some the "dialogue":http://vanishingamerican.blogspot.com/2009/02/dialogue-so-far.html

"Civil rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of white men and do not apply to them." - Mary Frances Berry, Civil Rights Commission head, 1991

"Go back to Simi Valley, you skunks! Go back to Woodland Hills! Go back to Boston! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get
out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten rats. You old white people, it is your duty to die. . . ." - Augustin Cebada, quoted by Barbara Coe, in Reconquista: The Takeover of America, 1991

"We have an aging white America. They are dying. They are ****ting in their pants with fear! . . . I love it!" - 'Professor' Jose Angel Gutierrez, ibid.

"I am writing this essay sitting beside an anonymous white male that I long to murder." - 'Professor' bell hooks [sic], from A Killing Rage

“And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem.” - African Studies 'professor', Dr. Kamau Kambon

Randall Parker said at February 21, 2009 1:45 PM:


What policies do you support that you think are protected by the lies about race?

Bubba said at February 21, 2009 5:49 PM:

I think perhaps you may be reading a bit much into this. We hear talk about the need for "a dialogue[/conversation] on race" all the time. Mostly for blacks it's a way of saying "I gotta lota shit to vent about how all of my problems are Whitey's fault."

Perhaps this is what Holder meant. Alternately, since Holder can't have too many problems, maybe what he and all the other elites mean when they make such suggestions is to pretend that race guilt-free whites are invited to the table - a way of pretending that the one way lecture is an open conversation when everyone knows it isn't.

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