Why Holder was Right on Race

Attorney General Eric Holder raised some eyebrows in a recent speech where he called America, in matters of race, “a nation of cowards” and criticized voluntary segregation. Many noted how different his tone was from President Obama’s in his famous “race speech” during the campaign, but writing for The Root, Dayo Olopade writes that Holder’s speech was actually the better of the two: “In the Philadelphia speech, Obama prettified the sentencing disparities, employment discrimination and affirmative action battles that are the province of the U.S. Justice Department. He spent more time explaining Chicago’s Trinity United Church, the subject of the uproar that prompted his address. ‘Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety—the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger,’ he said. However charming (or disarming) it seemed at the time, Holder’s point is more relevant—most churches today are still all black or all white, and in 2009, such voluntary segregation isn’t going to move America forward.”