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Posted at 11:34 AM ET, 03/ 3/2011

Predictably, conservatives distort Holder's testimony on New Black Panthers Case

By Adam Serwer

Testifying before a House appropriations subcommittee two days ago, Attorney General Eric Holder told Texas GOP Rep. John Culberson he was offended by Culberson's suggestion that the New Black Panther voter intimidation case was comparable to the discrimination faced by blacks in the South during Jim Crow. In so doing, he used the phrase "my people."

As expected, conservatives grossly mischaracterized Holder's comments, suggesting that what Holder was actually saying was that civil rights laws don't protect white people. Jennifer Rubin writes:

The House Judiciary Committee gives Attorney General Eric Holder the third degree on the New Black Panther case. And he sort of proves the critics' point by showing such resentment over the notion that civil rights laws used to protect what he calls "my people" against racism could be used to prosecute African Americans who intimidate voters. That, in the trade, is called an admission against interest.

Likewise, the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto complained that when Holder "spoke of 'my people' and meant only a subset of Americans, it confirmed the suspicion of bias that he was trying to counter." The Washington Times editorial page accused Holder of "playing the race card."

Think of the absurd, politically correct double standard employed here. Conservatives have spent the last two years blithely accusing Obama and Holder of being racist against white people. But when Holder takes personal offense to an absurd historical comparison, conservatives whine that he's "bringing race into it." Taranto is frustrated that Holder referred to a "subset of Americans" -- as in, the subset of Americans forced to live under a system of racial apartheid? 

This is the actual context in which Holder used the term "my people":

"Think about that," Holder said. "When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate....to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people," said Holder, who is black.

Holder noted that his late sister-in-law, Vivian Malone Jones, helped integrate the University of Alabama.

"To compare that kind of courage, that kind of action, to say some Black Panther incident is of greater concern to us, historically, I think just flies in the face of history," Holder said with evident exasperation.

Understand the difference? Holder didn't say voting rights laws didn't protect whites, he suggested that comparing the NBPP case, which has yet to involve a single voter who claims to have been intimidated, to the decades long bloody struggle for black voting rights in the South was offensive. Do conservatives actually think that an event like the 1965 Bloody Sunday March in Selma, during which protesters were beaten and tear gassed by local law enforcement, is comparable to two NBPP members standing outside a polling place in Philadelphia? Because that's what Holder found objectionable.

I'm guessing they don't, or at least they don't want to make that argument, because otherwise they wouldn't have deliberately mischaracterized the context of Holder's "my people" remark. But you don't have to be black to take offense at this gross distortion of history. Abigail Thernstrom, the Republican appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights who pegged the Commission's New Black Panther inquiry as "an effort to topple the Obama administration," found the comparison similarly ridiculous in a piece she wrote for National Review last year:

The actions of two Black Panthers in one Philadelphia precinct in 2008 were not remotely equivalent to the effort to keep blacks from exercising their democratic rights throughout the South; the equation is breathtakingly ignorant. The Panthers are a tiny fringe group -- a handful of racist nuts. The KKK was a serious criminal conspiracy that terrorized millions of black Americans, and only massive intervention by the federal government could stamp it out. No competent historian would possibly endorse McCarthy and Bull's contention that the actions of two Panthers in one little corner of Philadelphia were more blatant than what went on in Mississippi in the 1960s. If this ludicrous and poisonous idea gains acceptance in conservative circles, it will do more damage to American race relations than anything the Panthers could possibly do.

Now, Rubin and Taranto haven't exactly embraced the "poisonous idea" that being white in America today is like being black in the South during segregation so much as avoided it by pretending that Holder was saying something else entirely. But plenty of other conservatives have.

That said, is it really surprising that a black person, particularly someone like Holder who is old enough to have some personal memory of segregation, would take personal offense to trivializing black history in this manner? That he might feel particularly indebted to those who literally sacrificed their lives to ensure that black people had the right to vote, let alone someday serve as attorney general or president of the United States? Would we really be having this conversation if say, a Jewish politician referred to the suffering of "his people" in the context of historical anti-Semitism?

No. The problem is that Holder's remarks forced conservatives to approach the NBPP case with some sense of historical perspective on the suffering of black Americans under segregation, after two years of conservatives employing outlandish rhetoric identifying themselves with historical examples of harrowing persecution. They resent being forced to confront the reality that the complaints of Republican poll watchers in Philadelphia in 2008 are not comparable to heroism of protesters on the Edmund Pettus bridge.

By Adam Serwer  | March 3, 2011; 11:34 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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Comments

This "my people" comment has the radical right in a tizzy.

I'll post some cr@p from my email lists a bit later, for entertainment value if nothing else.

God forbid the guy has an appreciation for his own ethnic background. Truly unbelievable how disgusting and unhinged these right wingers are (especially over race matters).

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 3, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

What is also going on here is a conscious or unconscious attempt to discount, really trivialize, the struggles that black people went through to get full civil rights and the massive oppression by the white political structure of black people. Part of it seems to be an inability to come to terms with our racist past and it's persistence, part a kind of "oppression envy" by people who want to say they have been oppressed too. But above all it is just part of the scheme to denigrate the Admin and play on the insecurities of the people the GOP relies on to keep them in power. We seem to have an awful lot of very insecure people in this country.
A

Posted by: Mimikatz | March 3, 2011 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of no fly zones, I have an idea that doesn't involve Libya...

"President Barack Obama expressed "deep regret" over an air strike in Afghanistan that killed nine children, the Afghan presidency said Thursday." Reuters

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I suppose it goes without saying, but I really can't stand John McCain and Joe Lieberman.

"In a verbal jab at Pentagon chief Robert Gates, Sen. John McCain endorsed consideration of establishing a "no-fly" zone over Libya to protect rebel forces and said it does not amount to "loose talk."

...In supporting comments, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut said another possibility would be to provide U.S. air defense weaponry to the rebels and train them in their use." AP

Some people never learn.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Truly unbelievable how disgusting and unhinged these right wingers are..."

Haven't you heard? There's a BLACK man in their WHITE house!!! Not only that, but he's got a BLACK lawyer too!! OMG! OMG! OMG!

Posted by: converse | March 3, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

just so everyone is aware. this argument form conservatives, black people have been hearing and have been openly joking about for years. Youd be surprised or maybe not to know that we find all of this just as ridiculous but we chose to mock them. Why is there a BET why do you need a black history month, what if there was a white NAACP REVERSE RACISM I TELL YOU!!! its all very mind numbingly silly. When your in the majority you dont have to fight for your rights are just granted them. So my suspicion is that conservatives dont have the same history of overcoming oppression or being treated as second class citizens, so they draw crazy analogies to puff themselves up.

Posted by: Allamr18 | March 3, 2011 12:05 PM | Report abuse

"There's a BLACK man in their WHITE house."

He'd better not be having sex on massa's bed, they don't call it the Master Bedroom for nothing, Lincoln's bed room, sure.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The more racist they are, the more they will take offense to the mere idea of Holder and find any excuse to batter him over racial matters.


Watc Jake/clawrence when he sees this -- he's a mighty aggrieved white man.

Posted by: fiona5 | March 3, 2011 12:10 PM | Report abuse

It is always interesting to "see" which bugaboo gets more play in our "society", the "black man bugaboo" or the "white-supremacist bugaboo". For example, the "white supremacist bugaboo" behind anti-immigrant legislative initiatives gets an overwhelming "oh well," for in the end, it will just let the Courts who decide the legalities; but, anything to do with the "black man bugaboo" seems to have lasting "fear and loathing-like" reverberations behind every closed door in the mind. So, funny. But it psychologically works for Republicans who want to get rid of that Black Man in the White House.

Posted by: dozas | March 3, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Republicans believe Obama was elected as a result of "white guilt". It couldn't be because (1) we were sick of The Clintons and (2) McCain/Palin was a horrible ticket, no it was "white guilt".

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

You can say what you want, but Holder's comments reflect that he is inclined to believe that non-blacks are in a different category when it comes to being protected from violations of the Voting Rights Act. Maybe that view is warranted, but is not consistent with a color-blind application of the voting rights laws, which is the supposedly the position of the civil rights division.

Posted by: jpfred | March 3, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

@ shrink -- I know it's stupid, but i know more than a couple of people who voted for Obama out of some sense of making amends for past wrongs. they supported him b/c of your 2 points, but bonus points for the sticking it to racists. or something like that.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | March 3, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

The only convicted attorney-general, in our history, was Nixon's first, John Mitchell!
He was a disgrace to my country, my race and my gender.
Let the Republicans keep him!
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | March 3, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

OT (as usual) but this is an example of the problem with the, "sure the ACA is flawed, but we can fix it as we go along." argument. The more it gets fixed, the less health reform will occur. Real HCR has to involve an alignment of incentives which means a fundamental change in the business model. It turns out, Americans don't seem to want that to happen and they are willing to pay the price for the relentless growth of this model they grew up with, no matter what.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/03/03/business/AP-US-Tax-Surprise.html?ref=aponline

"Businesses already must file Form 1099s with the IRS when they purchase more than $600 in services from a vendor in a year. The new provision would extend the requirement to the purchase of goods, starting in 2012.

The requirement would hit about 38 million businesses, charities and tax-exempt organizations, many of them small businesses already swamped by government paperwork, according to a report by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent watchdog within the IRS.

"If we wonder why we have a high unemployment rate, it's because of provisions like this," said Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La. "The president thinks it's bad, Democrats think it's bad, Republicans think it's bad, even the Senate thinks it's bad. It's taken long enough to move on this. Let's do it. Let's get it done."

Not so fast...this is a political football now, even though everyone wants it gone, no one agrees on how to make up the lost revenue. I imagine, we won't, the ACA will become even more of an underfunded mandate, shifting more and more costs into M&M, SSDI and other public payment silos...business as usual.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 12:35 PM | Report abuse

If the President was elected because of white guilt, that will be the reason for his reelection in 2012. The second wave of white guilt?

When will the reason become "because we like him"? Or its corollary "because we like him better than [fill in the blank]"?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 3, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

@jpfred-

How do his comments reflect that?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | March 3, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

WAKE UP!

The only distortion is by the author of this article and by Holder himself.

The Attorney General seemed to take personal offense at a comment Culberson [Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas)] read in which former Democratic activist Bartle Bull called the incident the most serious act of voter intimidation he had witnessed in his career.

Think about that,” Holder said. “When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia

What does that have to do with anything?

Since the quote was referring to what he (Bartle)had witnessed in his career and, according to my research, Bartle Bull was born in 1970 and Culberson graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 1981, then what does what blacks “endured in the South in the 60s” have to do with anything?

All Holder demonstrated was his irrationality and bias.

Posted by: Speedport | March 3, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

NoVA, maybe so, but if the Republicans had been able to put together a ticket like the one they will put together in 2016, Obama would have been trounced.

This is to say that for all of the people who may have voted for him because of his provenance (and after all, he is not a descendant of slaves - a fact not lost on the Jesse Jacksons and Andrew Youngs), there were at least as many who voted against him for that. People who say he was elected because of white guilt also say he was an affirmative action hire. They are telling us about their own fears and nothing about the politics of Obama's election.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

OT:

Issa losing credibility by the minute.......

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) wants Democrats to be involved in Rep. Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) investigation into leaked committee e-mails.

...

Issa doesn’t seem open to the idea. He told POLITICO Wednesday that the committee won’t “add insult to injury by having your e-mails go public.”

http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/0311/Dems_want_a_part_in_Issas_email_probe.html

ISSA WON'T EVEN SHARE EMAILS WITH MEMBERS OF HIS COMMITTEE!

"Govt Oversight" my bones. Not while GOP's in charge.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | March 3, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

People who say he was elected because of white guilt also say he was an affirmative action hire. They are telling us about their own fears and nothing about the politics of Obama's election.
--------------------------------------------------------------
There has to be some explanation why there are people who cannot see any of the President's virtues. If you described this man to a million people without identifying him by name or race, maybe a million people would say he is smart, well educated and accomplished. Give his name and show a picture and he becomes an affirmative action hire. This says nothing about the President, but speaks volumes about his critics' blind spot.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 3, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

(even more) OT

"Iraq's prime minister asked the Kurdistan Regional Government Thursday to remove thousands of troops surrounding the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk without central government permission, a cabinet source said.

The government of the semi-autonomous northern region moved the heavily armed peshmerga troops into position around Kirkuk last week to secure the city from threatened attacks during mass protests, a senior Kurdish official said."
Reuters

This is a wonderful book I imagine most of you have read..

http://www.garretwilson.com/books/peaceendallpeace.html

The partition of Iraq is inevitable. It isn't a country and it is on a path to failed state status or partition. The surge didn't work, we didn't win, apart from the fact that Saddam is dead.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Hah! Just imagine the uproar if George Bush would have used the term "my people".

Or any white man or woman of importance.

Can you say, DOUBLE STANDARD ??

Of course, you can.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"There has to be some explanation why there are people who cannot see any of the President's virtues. If you described this man to a million people without identifying him by name or race, maybe a million people would say he is smart, well educated and accomplished. Give his name and show a picture and he becomes an affirmative action hire. This says nothing about the President, but speaks volumes about his critics' blind spot.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain"

Yup, some explanation. I wonder what it could be...

Posted by: DDAWD | March 3, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

White guilt is the factor that got Obama over the top in 2008 but there were other factors that guaranteed his success over John McCain.

McCain, himself, was a factor. He is an old, RINO fuddy-duddy hated by many on the right. His only credential was that he wasn't Obama.

Obama had about a gazillion dollars contributed to him by just about everybody on the left.

The mainstream media, propaganda machine had relentlessly pounded George Bush and all Republicans for eight, long years and it finally worked.

Obama enjoyed a media suck-up fest never before seen in history. The Obama media bobbleheads were having orgasmic spasms over their beloved idol.

High gas prices. Iraq fatigue.


Given the above scenario, it would have been a miracle if Obama had lost.

Even so, it was a modest win and nowhere near a Reaganesque landslide.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 1:29 PM | Report abuse

White guilt is the factor that got Obama over the top in 2008 but there were other factors that guaranteed his success over John McCain.

McCain, himself, was a factor. He is an old, RINO fuddy-duddy hated by many on the right. His only credential was that he wasn't Obama.
-------------------------------------------
What're you going to say in 2012 when Obama wins again. That Romney is an old, RINO fuddy-duddy hated by many on the right?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 3, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention the fact that B.O. was the first African-American, presidential candidate that talked and acted white. Throw in the fact that Obama is fully half white, himself, and BINGO!.......

.....we got a winnah!!

Hey! It's not politically correct truth.

But it's real.

Posted by: battleground51 | March 3, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I read the quote three times. If it's right, ERIC HOLDER DID NOT SAY "MY PEOPLE".

Plesae don't buy into the right-wing "gotcha" and refer to it as such. He didn't say it. (Not that the right wing noise machine will admit it.)

Posted by: slackoff | March 3, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

{Hah! Just imagine the uproar if George Bush would have used the term "my people.}

I think most people would have assumed that he was speaking about all Americans.

You see, it's just not the same. Holder has every right to point out the absurdity and offensive nature of the comparison.

Posted by: Alex3 | March 3, 2011 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"What're you going to say in 2012 when Obama wins again"

1) White people must feel really really guilty.
2) NoVA's friends wanted to stick it to the racists one more time.
3) White people were so worried they voted for Obama because of feeling guilty, they did it again, just to show they really do think he is qualified and they are not racists and not feeling guilty.
4) Anything, absolutely anything other than that he is a better candidate for the job than the competitors.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 3, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

If a Native American spoke of "my people's history" would anybody have a problem with it? I don't think so.

Posted by: Beeliever | March 3, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Can you say, DOUBLE STANDARD ??"

You must be talking about the all-too-obvious double standard, racism, which has plagued this country for centuries. The double standard of racism that allows people(?) like you to revere an idiot like dubya, yet castigate an intelligent, forthright president like Obama. Seriously, you should just go put on your white hood and drink beer with your red neck buddies.

Posted by: converse | March 3, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

slackoff: I read the quote three times. If it's right, ERIC HOLDER DID NOT SAY "MY PEOPLE".

Holder did say "my people", hear it for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OeAmIIQTbXc

Posted by: Speedport | March 3, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

[Beeliever drooled: "If a Native American spoke of "my people's history" would anybody have a problem with it?"]

If an aboriginal-American was the US AG discussing a case involving aboriginal racial-separatists who were intimidating voters at a polling place?

*you betcha'*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Holder should be congratulated for sneering "my people" without insulting disabled voters, like Barry "short bus" Obama or his "F*n retard" former Chief of Staff.

*wicked smaht*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 3, 2011 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"White folks' greed runs a world in need." - Barack Obama approvingly quoting his adored mentor, Rev. Wright, in "Dreams From My Father" But you see, it's the white people who are racist scum and who must be slandered and dismissed.

Constant sneering at white men by Hollywood, the establishment news media and the Democratic Party. A ban on scholarships for white men while women and other minorities are promoted and advanced simply for NOT being white men. Constant PC harassment in the work place.

Sorry liberals, white men are coming out of their coma and not checking off on your BS anymore. It's not about being racist/sexist/homophobic against others, it's simply recognizing what malevolent racist, bigoted frauds you people on the left are.

Posted by: tweedburst | March 3, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I am loving this argument. Mainly because it makes Sargent and people like him identify themselves as supporters of this brand of racial injustice against whites.

When the time comes for our version of reconstruction, Sargent will be accountable, I am sure.

Posted by: numbersch13 | March 3, 2011 4:33 PM | Report abuse

My People?? I thought that being an attorney general, "my people" would refer to his countrymen, not his personal race? But it's obvious that these desperate politicians like Obama and Holder are once again playing race games because this is all they have!

Lets face facts here. The people don't want Obama's health care plan. They don't like his high spending and no results attitude towards governing. They don't like his intrusion on business and people's personal lives. They don't like his hypocrite attitude towards asking his opponents to show "civility", yet his own party holds up Hitler signs when these spoiled brat union workers, God forbid, have to chip in for their own benefits that everyone else pays.

He was supposed to close Guantanamo, he didn't. He was supposed to end the wars, he didn't. This hypocrite was supposed to terminate Bush's "Evil" Patriot Act, yet he extended it! Why? Because he knows it works! He wanted to prosecute terrorists in NYC and the people screamed. He was supposed to make health care affordable but instead he made it more expensive. He added over 3 trillion in debt in two years without as much of a budge of the unemployment rate and still wants to spend more. Our gas prices are going through the roof, yet he refuses to give permits for more drilling. He refuses to protect our borders allowing illegals to freely come into this country. He sues states he doesn't agree with. He wants to tax energy companies so he can redistribute the taxes to "his people" (unions) and so the rest of us will just have to "deal" with increased energy bills.

Helk, if I were Barack Obama I'd use the same race tactics too! You have nothing to lose when you know you're on course for only serving one term. What a group of sad, pathetic politicians. This president is the worst in American history and the people know it.

If telling the truth is racist then the democrat party is in BIG trouble in 2012!

Posted by: emmitfitzhume | March 3, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

battleground51
White guilt is the factor that got Obama over the top in 2008 but there were other factors that guaranteed his success over John McCain
----------------------------------------------------

What the heck is "white guilt"? Look here is objective reality. The president received 43% of the votes of white voters. That means that 57% of white voters didn't vote for the president. To me that doesn't point to some "white guilt" effect amongst white voters giving the president more support.

Also, no Democratic presidential nominee has gotten the majority of white voters' votes since LBJ I believe.

Kerry received about 41% of their votes. I think A. Gore received about 43% of their votes.

B. Clinton I think received in the mid to high 40% range of votes from white voters during his reelection, and Jimmy Carter during his first election received in the high 40% range of white voters' votes.

So given the historical record, B. Obama didn't receive an inordinate amount of support from white voters that differed much from what Democrats have gotten.

So where is evidence of this white guilt, other than the fact that B. Obama is black/biracial and was elected president?

You really don't get what that line of irrational thinking says about you.

Posted by: iamme74 | March 3, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse


"The voter intimidation in the 60's was more racist than the NBBP voter intimidation in 2008, therefore the New Black Panther hate group did nothing wrong."

Well, now we understand the thought process of a real hard-core racist.

Posted by: fury60 | March 4, 2011 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Here we go. This is what unreasonable people do. So they're focusing on the "my people" comment, and completely ignoring the inane comment that this was the worst incident of voter intimidation that this person has seen. Really? You stick 2 black guys outside a polling station and this is the worst case of voter intimidation you've ever seen? Who was intimidated? Who was prevented from voting? Nobody!!! But beware white people of the scary black boogiemen!

Posted by: Rahwaj | March 4, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Remember when Ross Perot got in trouble for saying, "You people?"

Posted by: gertie_gumdrops | March 5, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Superb Article,
Thank you for sharing.

The Fifteenth Amendment (Amendment XV) to the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States from denying a citizen suffrage based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (i.e., slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870.


Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.[1]

The sad fact is that because of the mental disease known as racism, millions of Black Americans were denied their Constitutional Right to vote, prior to passage of the Voting Rights act of 1965. Eric Holder was 14 years old at the time. Blacks, whites, and Jews, literally sacrificed their lives for that right.
Holder repeatedly acknowledge their sacrifice in his reponse.

"When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans,"
to compare what people subjected to that with what happened in Philadelphia, which was inappropriate...."
to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line for my people," said Holder,..

A great disservice indeed.

Not a single voter from that precinct were intimidated. In fact video shows Whites and Blacks going to and from the polling place with no problem. One of the men accused lived in the building and was a registered poll watcher.

Posted by: uniteusnow | March 5, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I take issue with the "my people" comment. He is not African-American. He is American, or at least should be. Why do we have to identify with race, religion, heritage or culture. I am not the color of my skin, the language that I speak, or the food that I eat. I am who I want to be, not what you want to peg me for. When Mr Holder represents the interests of the United States, he does a disservice by using terms that makes readers believe he feels part of a separate people within America. There can only be One People, or America is doomed to be eternally divided.

These words still ring true today:

"There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all... The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic... There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else."

-Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: theodore2 | March 6, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

the US attorney general should think we are all "his" people or get a new job.

I want to have an attorney general that will protect ALL the people and not pass over any race because of past history

Posted by: carriedi | March 6, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

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