I don’t agree with every little tidbit of his speech, but I do think he’s right. The deny, avoid, ignore pattern is so prevalent when it comes to race, and it doesn’t serve the interest of racial justice at all.
Here’s a quote about Holder’s speech, and a link to the entire article:
In a speech to Justice Department employees marking Black History Month, Holder said the workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.
In the speech, Holder urged people of all races to use Black History Month as a chance for honest discussion of racial matters, including issues of health care, education and economic disparities.
“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder said.
Race issues continue to be a topic of political discussion, but “we, as average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”
Holder’s speech echoed President Barack Obama’s landmark address last year on race relations during the hotly contested Democratic primaries, when the then-candidate urged the nation to break “a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years” and bemoaned the “chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.” Obama delivered the speech to try to distance himself from the angry rhetoric of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Holder cited that speech by Obama as part of the motivation for his words Wednesday, saying Americans need to overcome an ingrained inhibition against talking about race.
“If we’re going to ever make progress, we’re going to have to have the guts, we have to have the determination, to be honest with each other. It also means we have to be able to accept criticism where that is justified,” Holder told reporters after the speech.