Ercille I. Christmas
Eric Holder’s Correct...But Not in the
Way He Thinks
March 4, 2009
A mini brouhaha erupted when Attorney General Eric Holder declared that Americans are "a nation of cowards” when it comes to racial matters. Many were outraged that he dared level this insult. There was righteous indignation that the first African American Attorney General in US history – appointed by the first African American president to govern our "melting pot” – appeared, metaphorically, to be spitting in the faces of those "courageous” Americans who voted for the candidate precisely because of the color of his skin, in order to prove that skin color does not matter. The people who went out on that limb, seemed to feel that Mr. Holder’s remark was ingratitude of the first magnitude.
I am not indignant about Mr. Holder’s remarks, and, in explaining why, intend to be as politically incorrect as my skin is brown! I may be a coward in some areas, but it ain’t in racial matters!
Ironically, Mr. Holder’s remark was made at a meeting held in celebration of Black History Month. The fact that there is a Black History Month may be proof of Mr. Holder’s thesis. Why is there Black History Month, but not even a half-day to celebrate our Founding Fathers? I am black and quite happy to hear about the achievements of black people, but I don’t need a full month to prove that white America is not racist, or that there is equality between the races. "White” America can prove that it is not racist, by treating me equally, not differently because of my blackness. I am being treated differently when I am offered "affirmative action” to affirm that because I am black, equal standards should not apply.
If there were not this cowardice on the part of white America, white Americans would stand up and say: "Enough is enough. I am finished paying for the slavery in which a great-great-great-great white person whom I never knew went out and purchased a black to work on his farm.” If that display of courage became the norm, perhaps all of American history would be celebrated equally, and not packaged in boxes of "color.”
More evidence of "cowardice” needed? That would be the father who buys his son a CD by an "artist” who disparages women by labeling them "hos,” thus exposing the boy to the skewed morals in the lyrics rather than be labeled a "racist.” Yes, sacrificing Johnny’s character on the altar of racial political correctness is yet another misguided attempt at racial "harmony.”
Still not convinced? How about white businessmen and corporations headed by white men and women who make "voluntary contributions” to black self-appointed "leaders,” knowing full well they’re participating in a "shakedown?” At these "negotiating” sessions, "race” is never mentioned, but like the air we breathe but cannot catch, it is there with its carbon monoxide-like qualities, preventing the spineless white negotiators from simply saying: "Here’s the door. Don’t let it hit you on your way out!”
Who are the other players in this "danse macabre of white guilt and black feelings of inferiority, this color and hue Paso Doble? We of darker complexions are. We have to stop viewing ourselves as victims, deserving of "reparations.” I am not even speaking of the monetary awards that are supposed to erase the fact of slavery. Slavery was vile. Black men were lynched. Black women were violated. But are we to feel a lot better about slavery if our fellow Americans gave us about $5 grand each? Personally, if I were given any amount of money to salve my imagined psychic wounds, I would donate it to a school. After all, it is the kids who are becoming the forgotten ones in this debacle of spineless adults.
So, my fellow Americans who are black, if you want to exhibit some real courage, I suggest you say "no” to affirmative action. Start recognizing that this program is a slap to black people because it assumes that you have so little intelligence and such a poor work ethic, that scholarships should be awarded, based on the color of your skin – and not the "content of your brains!” Tell those self-congratulatory do gooders to take their patronage and patronizing attitudes, and stuff it! You deserve better recognition of your intellect than that.
Black students – stop falling for the idiotic notion that you are "acting white” if you have a love of learning and want to excel. You are not acting "white,” you are acting "godly,” as in taking the talent that God gave to you and using it to show His glory by contributing to the lives of your fellow citizens!
Do what I am doing. I am writing as an American citizen concerned for the welfare of the entire country, not my "race.” Actually, I am concerned for my race…. the human race. Someone with the same skin tone does not automatically become "family” because of that skin tone. That person is "family” because he or she is God’s creature, a fellow member of the human race.
Here is another "no” in which you can indulge. Have the courage to say "no thank you” to the welfare check. Make yours one less contribution to the stereotype of black Americans passing on a legacy of welfare from one generation to the next. If you really want to honor Black history – every month – learn the history of your forefathers as they emerged from the bonds of slavery, created families and "preached education.” They went to any length to make education of their children a major priority, so that those children could integrate into the rest of society. They had no welfare check showing up at their doorsteps. The newly- freed slaves did not need courses to build self-esteem.
Blacks became highly educated in the years following slavery. One example of a highly educated black was Booker T. Washington who founded Tuskegee Institute. The only "affirmative action” that went his way was affirmation by his fellow citizens, that here was one smart dude! We are digging into that jar of peanut butter because of another smart dude, chemist George Washington Carver. I get the sense that these two brilliant gentlemen would have been offended at the mere hint that they were excelling, because some well-meaning White was paving their way by lowering standards!
Today, too many blacks, who never experienced slavery first-hand, are still enslaved because they carry around a feeling of not being good enough, a feeling created not from slavery but from the institutionalized structures put in place because of white guilt. The law states that because we are black, we are to be treated differently. We allowed this to happen and to be perpetuated because we mistakenly believed that if we kept making someone "pay” for the past, we would feel better. Did we succeed? No. All we did was cement the stereotype of blacks never being able to compete unless there was "equality of outcome,” as John C., a very wise man, phrased it. It entrenched our inner lack of self-esteem.
Take a leadership role in learning to "just say "no” to drugs. Like the "drug” of the welfare check, illegal drugs are an almost ironclad means of keeping you in slavery. If you really believe in the God Who created you, you would not be dulling your brain and killing off your brain cells by allowing yourself to be enslaved by this ‘master.” Before you begin yelling that I am accusing all black people of being drug addicts, I am not. I am addressing the stereotype that you have willingly allowed yourself to inherit. Prove the stereotype wrong. I dare you.
I dare all of you, my fellow Americans – red, yellow, black, brown, and white. Prove Mr. Holder wrong in labeling you "cowards,” hanging out on weekends in your "race-protected cocoons.” I personally spend at least one day of the weekend not cocooned, but definitely protected in the company of folks who speak at least ten different languages, are of varying shades of skin color, but we are all united in the love of God.
Step out in bravery and treat one another as equals, instead of tiptoeing around racial differences, acquiescing to rude and stupid behavior because of skin color, and paying a "ransom” in order to maintain racial harmony. Bid a less-than-fond farewell to the race-baiters. They are unleashing the darkness of their souls on your willing psyches. Don’t let them.
God made us all different colors. Learn to appreciate the beauty of the different colors, and revel in the common beauty of the soul. "Content of character,” as defined by Dr. Martin Luther king, is an impeccable yardstick of the measure of a man, or woman. When we get to the point where we can critique one another without fearing that we have offended, not by logic, but because of color of skin, that’s courage!