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And to Think That We Got This Guy Now Instead of Michael Mukasey

February 20, 2009

The more the French Cowboy learns about Eric Holder the more he misses Michael Mukasey. Mukasey is not only intelligent but also wise and beyond that he is courageous. He’s one of the rare people one really likes listening to. M Holder, on the other hand, gave the impression of talking without thinking when he gave his “nation of cowards” speech two days ago. What was the purpose of this speech? Did he really intend to be provocative or did he just yak on about race whatever and said the kind of things you might say at a dinner table surrounded by sympathetic friends without giving much thought to it but not in a public speech as the Attorney General? My guess would be the latter.

There are two things very wrong with this speech. First of all, the claim that Americans don’t talk enough about “race” is the equivalent of saying that the forever money-gobbling-without-improved-results public education system needs more cash. It might even be that the constant “discussion” on race has passed its point of helpfulness. It tends to make people hypersensitive about all things race and keeps them from being “colourblind”. Holder says that America is “more positively race conscious and yet is voluntarily socially segregated.” The French Cowboy suggests to replace the “yet” with “therefore.”

(Of course, the very people whose jobs depend on a certain level of perceived racial discrimination or the threat thereof have a strong interest in keeping up said level. Where would the staff of the “Bureau for Racial Fairness, Equality, and Peace on Earth” go once their mission is accomplished? In this sense the French Cowboy agrees with Holder when he says that some “are not hesitant to use these issues to advance nothing more than their own, narrow self-interest.”)

But M Holder’s complaint seems to be targeted at the private conversations of people which brings me to the second point. To put it bluntly: It’s not the Attorney General’s business what Americans choose not to talk about in their private conversations. The same is true about with whom Americans prefer to spend their weekends. You can be saddened that you seldom find the “correct” racial mix on any given social scene outside of a Disney movie. But Holder makes it sound as if he wished he could force racial quotas on private citizens’ circles of friends.

Maybe the Attorny General intended to provoke Americans to discuss “race” with this weird speech. The effect on the French Cowboy is as mentioned above: missing Mukasey. The White House, meanwhile, has voted “present” on the issue: “The White House had no official response to either the comments or the caterwaul.”

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