- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 22, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Let’s be frank. I am a politically conservative Republican, and I wholeheartedly welcome Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s provocative remarks on “things racial.” As an aggressive activist, I agree with him that we are a “nation of cowards.” Debate with intellectual honesty is very healthy.

(Corrected paragraph:) To start things off, Mr. Attorney General, would you agree we should dismiss the deranged and racist laws involving so-called hate crimes? We need to follow one Constitution and one set of laws for everyone. If I rob a wallet on a weekend from someone across town of another race, I don’t want to be prosecuted more severely than if I rob my neighbor’s wallet on a Wednesday.

I hope our liberal Democratic neighbors across this great nation agree with Mr. Holder that “we must feel comfortable enough with one another and tolerant enough of each other to have frank conversations.”

It would be edifying to discuss the argument that many problems blamed on racial divides are really caused by socioeconomic divides. That is, the politically privileged versus the underprivileged. For example, we can talk about how, as deputy attorney general, Mr. Holder played an integral role with power broker Jack Quinn in winning a pardon for the biggest tax fugitive in American history, Marc Rich. Mr. Rich - who is worth about $1.5 billion and ran away to Switzerland - is white. Mr. Holder is black. I would like to hear his in-depth explanation as it relates to, as he puts it, “things racial.” I probably would beg to differ - it’s about clout, power and money.

I think a better indicator of us cowards is not race but money.

CARL SEGVICH

Republican Committeeman, 11th Ward

Chicago

• • •

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has no moral authority to determine anyone’s courage or cowardice. His actions as deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration deprive him of that authority.

He engineered the pardons of Puerto Rican terrorists even though they didn’t request pardons and of a fugitive on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, Marc Rich. The former was done to help Hillary Rodham Clinton garner Puerto Rican votes during the New York senatorial campaign, and the latter was done because of past and hoped-for future donations to the William J. Clinton Presidential Center from Mr. Rich’s ex-wife and Mr. Rich himself.

Mr. Holder kowtowed to Mr. Clinton’s wishes without regard to the injustice of such pardons. He circumvented the established pardon procedures to avoid the uproar it would cause from the career prosecutors in his own department who never would have agreed to these pardons. When he wants to look cowardice in the face, he should look in the mirror.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

• • •

It ill behooves Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to describe the United States as a “nation of cowards” in any context. This nation includes, among many other non-cowards, millions of brave men and women who have placed themselves in harm’s way serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

As one who has served in both the Marine Corps (1964-68) and the Justice Department (1992-2008), I particularly resent Mr. Holder’s condescending remark. For one who apparently places such a premium on guts, Mr. Holder has a record from which military service is notably absent. He attended Columbia University while legions of his generational peers accepted the risks of service during the Vietnam War.

As to willingness to confront racial issues, many Americans - myself included - would be glad to confront Mr. Holder concerning his continued support for racial preferences when blacks control the presidency, the Justice Department, the House Judiciary Committee, the District of Columbia and numerous other critical power centers in Congress and elsewhere. Of course, Mr. Holder doesn’t really want to pursue genuine race-related anomalies like the one just posed. The racial dialogue he contemplates is nothing more than perpetual reaffirmation of the divisive preferential canards that have dominated government policy for more than 40 years.

GEORGE SMITH

Annandale

• • •

I found Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. calling the United States a “nation of cowards” despicable and inappropriate for a person in his position. I would like to remind the attorney general that the Civil War is over, and this nation has apologized enough for its wrongs against minorities. It’s time to get on with more important issues facing our country.

Mr. Holder mentions President Lincoln, who united our country in very difficult times and brought about the end of slavery. It seems to me that the attorney general is in the process of opening up old wounds and is making race an issue once again. What will be the next step - to have the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton appointed as advisers to the attorney general?

DOUG GOODGION

Falls Church

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