Thursday, February 19, 2009

Black Folks Laying The Verbal Smackdown Chronicles - Journalist Gwen Ifill And AG Eric Holder Make It Real Plain And Clear

"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." - Eric Holder. U.S. Attorney General

I absolutely love how Gwen Ifill tells folks off without getting nasty one little bit. The quiet kill. Funny as hell.

13 comments:

Moravia February 19, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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page February 19, 2009 at 8:42 AM  

E. Holder is correct, however the word "coward" does not sit well with me especially after this election.....

we have a ton of work to do, yes it has been painfully slow, but cowardess is not the right word at this moment.........

Professor Tracey February 19, 2009 at 10:18 AM  

@Page -

Why exactly do you mean by your statement - "especially after this election". I think coward is the perfect word.

White folks don't get brownie points for the continuing failure to combat racism and lack of diversity because they helped elect a black president.

The racism that occurred during the election was glossed over and overlooked because everyone that supported Obama agreed we had bigger fish to fry. And the very fact that Obama had to run a campaign completely devoid of embracing his blackness, black folks, and the issues that black people specifically face was extremely problematic in terms of race relations in this nation. That failure and problem did not change because he was successful elected.

Quite frankly you just proved the importance of Holder's words. Too many white folks now think black people owe them something because they helped elect Obama. That now we have a black president that black folks have to soften their language and demands toward the continuing failure to makes strides on race and racism. That is a false belief that is going to result in some painful moments for supportive white folks.

Black folks don't owe anyone anything, if white folks didn't support Barack Obama because of his policies, his freshness, his qualifications, shame on them. His election has nothing to do with calling folks out over their failures to really reach a real form of racial equality.

Black folks are dealing with the New York Post right now, where are all our white supporters on that? Black folks are dealing with Juan Williams calling the first lady "Stokley Carmichael in designer dress" where are all the white feminists now?

How many white folks voted for Obama, but still stiff their co-workers of color, neighbors of color, etc.... Quite a few I imagine. How many articles have you seen talking about "post-racial America" as if electing Obama ended racism. I'm sorry white folks want to turn the page on racism and race relations a little too quick for me.

We all have work to do and we need to talk. Real talk.

classical one February 19, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

America is not a melting pot. People just parrot these words because they've heard them before, they don't actually know what they are saying. America is more like the vegetable section of the grocery store- a fare amount of variety, but it's well segregated.

What's even more annoying is "post racial" what the hell does that mean? "I don't see color" really?

I would ask Mr. Holder what exactly is a national
conversation going to do? I remember diversity day as a undergraduate: Those race conversations we had did exactly no good. People self segregate because they WANT to. The truth is America is a tribal country. "Saturday and Sunday are segregated" yes... because people want them to be!

wisdomteachesme February 19, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

when i heard him say what he said i could do nothing but smile. 'bout time!
coward fits good for me.

he's right--a lot of people are afraid to speak about 'race issues'. and i mean serious conversation--not the kind that accomplishes nothing but ranting and venting.

so much emphasis is put on race when actually our existance really has nothing to do with skin color. if you fart--it stinks--if i fart it stinks.

it is a long held over made into an issue from long before american slavery times. and it was given high importance especially during slavery.

it's a cancer that just breeds from one generation to the next. and sometimes like a boil it will pop every now and then when something 'racial'happens.

i've gotten it from all sides most of my life. i'm light skin-black, a woman and i love a woman.
oh and i have a special needs child. so i have been dogged out by black people, white people, and most other groups with their looks and treatment.

there is so much more going on besides color--socio-economic issues, body size issues, pay status issues between genders..education issues--who has more than who issues, all of it leads to self-hatred and more ignorance.

i decided long ago that i would allow people that have an issue with color to have it all they want to.
i don't have time for that shallowness. i love who God created me to be more and more every day!

if i'm not accepted based on that Or anything else--well let me move on and find where i am accepted. i have never let anyone's issue with my skin color or any issue they may have with me, stop me from doing what i need to do.
They are doing me a favour when they reject me.

LOLO-shoot it does not matter what it is --if people want to hate on you they will find something and make it a problem.

when someone else has a problem with the skin i was born in it is theirs--no matter if they are black white, pink polka dot or blue.
God made us all to be different--and the more a person hates another because of color, gender, ability, talent, gifts and anointing, etc... then they are hating who God made us all to be.

i also agree that people segregate themselves because they want to. AND there are many times because they have to.
they both apply.

America is still a very young country compared to others.
we still have much growth to do.

TD1016 February 19, 2009 at 5:54 PM  

I saw it and couldn't help but to smile and say Amen, myself. I feel like people are upset with the word coward because we're in a war and they're trying to connect it to be patriotic. The two have nothing to do with each other. You can be brave as hell in one area and a complete coward in another. When it comes to race... America is.

I was watching David Gurben, Ron Christie (ick!) and Roland Martin talk about it on CNN. Gurben looked completely uncomfortable talking about it and to my suprise wasn't sticking up for the AG. Christie seem just came across as a self hating black male and I hate to call any black person self hating, but that's the only way I could describe it. My man Roland was in agreement with the AG. But it killed me that Gurben and Christie continued to say how could he say that after the country just elected a black man. Right, so does that mean everything just became right bright and sunny when that happened? And for a country that just elected a black man, he had the most threats made on his life, we saw a ton of post election hate crimes on black people and institutions, and at day 31 this man had the most scrutiny and criticism out of any president in the first 100. I don't even wanna hear about Bush because 911 (sad and tragic no matter what) helped him greatly in the first year.

The ocuntry proved to be a coward when it comes to race the day after the election was over. Legally we've made progress, but socially, we're still in the dark.

TD1016 February 19, 2009 at 5:56 PM  

Sorry, I meant David Gergen, not Gurben

msladydeborah February 20, 2009 at 1:17 AM  

I have given some serious thought to how I feel about Holder's remarks. I believe that he is correct in using the word coward to describe the reality of the situation.

On several different occasions I have had someone white imply that we were in power now due to Obama's status as POTUS.

Discussing race and race related topics is like a two edge sword. It would have to cut both ways. Otherwise the conversation is pointless.

I believe that we would have to deal with our racist attitudes towards each other. We definitely would need to discuss some topics that are very touchy-like usage of the "N" word, violence, gender attitudes as well. I could do a list but for the sake of time I'll by pass that option.

I have lived my lifetime as an America of different hues. A Negro, Black and now as an African American. Each of these eras has distinct racial and racist definement in my mind. Every one of these eras has had a point where the "majority" society has felt that we had reached the proper level of equality. Even though we knew that was far from the truth.

I do not believe that it is any different now. There is a lot that still needs to be worked out. There is no doubt about that in my mind.

I am also a realist. There is going to be a sector of the population that will never alter their feelings about race or being racist.

RainaHavock February 20, 2009 at 3:08 AM  

When he said that I was like YES! Finally someone admits it!

cinco February 20, 2009 at 12:29 PM  

I agree with so many of the previous comments. We have made progress in some areas, but there are plenty of areas that need to be addressed.

Having a black President is great, it may help some people to do better but I fear there are plenty that don't give a damn still.

I try to do my part. I always have, way before Obamamania. There are things that occur daily that clearly identify that the war on race is active and increasing.

page February 21, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

Professor Tracey - I am not saying E. holder was not correct, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. exists and will continue to exist. The word coward, not the sentiment
did not seem appropriate in the venue he spoke.

As an example, using the word coward when and where he did felt like someone walking up to me and saying "wha up nigga?" Though I loath the word… am I suppose to take that sentence as hello friend or hello someone I feel not better than the greeter or sarcastically hello I think you are sub human shit? The word just hit me like a brick. Like hearing little kids curse………….I just did not like the word coward.

---responding to your reponse---
The election of Obama in no way lets America off the hook for its racial misdeeds and continuing problems. No one gets a pat on the back for doing the right thing. Do the racism, sexism, homophobia and more ism’s conversations need to happen? Yes. But will calling a coward a coward bring them to the table or even start the dialog? No, all it does it make half the people happy saying, “yes he spoke the truth” or WTF? Or be offended because they feel no matter what they do (or who they vote for) they will always be viewed in the negative. Why didn’t you step up before now…………coward?

The people with ism’s will have ism’s until something catastrophic happens in their life to make them change or they die off. All we can do it put a good foot forward and move our parts of society for the greater good in all venues.

Professor Tracey February 21, 2009 at 1:10 AM  

@Page -

Sorry Page, but I don't buy it. Holder didn't say white people were cowards, he said AMERICA. The fact that white folks are the main ones freaking out proves that he was absolutely right. If you're doing the right thing you have no reason to be offended.

And what word would have been correct or okay? And you can't compare the word coward to a racial slur. It's nowhere near the same thing.

Race relations is a major failure in America. If folks are truly committed they will get to the table instead of making excuses.

page February 24, 2009 at 3:52 PM  

Coward and racial slur --- not a slur maybe an affront to some. You are right white folks and shufflers took this out of context as a personal affront to their view of race relations now and the progress that has been made and the election of Obama. He is neither the end nor beginning of any ‘ism’ that plagues America. E. Holder in that sentence using Coward made me feel like he was ‘challenging” someone or something to happen………..discussion / views / enforcement of laws left lax in the previous administration – something.

Coward (other than fighting worlds) implies that America is shame, scared or intimidate by the outcome of such discussions. A more qualifying word in my view would have been apathetic………….indifferent. America has no intention of ever, never ever, never ever apologizing or even cares about facing race relations past, preset or future. As long as the country is not on fire literally because of race relations …..nothing will happen on a large and meaningful scale.

Mrs. Lady America may be ready for the conversation, but this great country of ours is a schizophrenic girl. Mrs. Lady America – “give us your huddled masses” – “ Our for father brought forth on this continent” – “ I have a dream” – “give me liberty or” – “the entire civil rights movement” , etc. Mrs. Lady America is a wonderful girl and the place in the world where are dreams are possible. However, being the multiple personality girl she is, she is not the dominate personality in her own being. Her alter ego which seems to stay present more often than not is Mz Bitch America. This girl was the original America Gangster claiming to find a country that was never lost. Mz. Bitch America has been raping, robbing and pillaging since her emergence. If you are waiting on a discussion or apology from her, we should not hold our collective breaths. She has no conscience and could care less who she has run over, made down trodden or has hurt feelings... Just looking a small snippet of her internal civil rights issues, she has decimated the American Indian, enslaved white Euro peoples and tons of Africans, she had chopped of the heads of Hawaiians, out the Japanese in internment camps, blah, blah, blah and used every ethnic group that has come here by choice or force as indentured servants or 3rd class citizens.

Mz. Bitch America has long been the dominate personality here and she has no conscience or concern about anyone’s feelings. Her view of justice is a back handed compliment – “here is $24 dollars for Manhattan” and oh, “your 40 acres and a mule”, Thanks for Hawaii, we will give each native lots of land – oops did you really need it to be fertile? Equal pay for equal work - hahaha - Trickle down economics…. You can not be a coward if you have no conscience and feel you have done nothing wrong.

Mrs. Lady America when she does raise her idealistic head, it is grand and it warms our humanistic souls. She pops out at opportune times in history to make us briefly feel better and show how good we can be. If only she were the dominate personality……………………

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