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Holder says U.S. cowardly on race
But Mr. Fitton said Mr. Holder will use the civil rights division to champion liberal causes and seek to marginalize conservatives who work there.
“The civil rights division is going to be turned upside down,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to be an alleged conservative hired by the Bush administration in this Justice Department.”
Mr. Holder said that despite high-profile gains among blacks in the recent elections, there are many more hurdles to clear.
“The fact that we have an African-American attorney general, an African-American president I think is extremely significant but it is not an indication that all of the problems that we have confronted as a nation over the years are now resolved,” Mr. Holder told reporters.
“I think we have an obligation to continue the fight of all the people who I mentioned in my speech to really kind of ultimately get this nation to the place where I think it can and should be.”
During his speech, Mr. Holder said that while the workplace is quite integrated, American life is not.
“On Saturdays and Sundays, America in the year 2009 does not, in some ways, differ significantly from the country that existed some 50 years ago,” he said. “This is truly sad. Given all that we as a nation went through during the civil rights struggle it is hard for me to accept that the result of those efforts was to create an America that is more prosperous, more positively race conscious and yet is voluntarily socially segregated.”
Mr. Holder urged frank discussion about race, including potentially “awkward subjects.”
He said “the conversation that we now engage in as a nation on this and other racial subjects is too often simplistic and left to those on the extremes who are not hesitant to use these issues to advance nothing more than their own, narrow self-interest.”
“If we allow this attitude to persist in the face of the most significant demographic changes that this nation has ever confronted - and remember, there will be no majority race in America in about 50 years - the coming diversity that could be such a powerful, positive force will, instead, become a reason for stagnation and polarization,” he said.
“We cannot allow this to happen, and one way to prevent such an unwelcome outcome is to engage one another more routinely - and to do so now.”
• Ralph Z. Hallow contributed to this report.
About the Author
Ben Conery is a member of the investigative team covering the Supreme Court and legal affairs. Prior to coming to The Washington Times in 2008, Mr. Conery covered criminal justice and legal affairs for daily newspapers in Connecticut and Massachusetts. He was a 2006 recipient of the New England Newspaper Association’s Publick Occurrences Award for a series of articles about ...
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
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