Eric Holder fights back
[Speaking Truth To Power]
Yes Joe Scarborough, There’s Still Racism In America
This week Republicans introduced a bill to withhold pay from federal officials who have been held in contempt of court—in the aftermath of last week’s testy testimony by Attorney General Eric Holder who was attacked and accused by Republicans during a heated House hearing.
Some Right-wing Republicans complained that Mr. Holder “played the race card,” because of comments he made after the hearings—when he stated he and President Barack Obama had faced “unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity” from Republicans in Washington.
Haven’t the Republican agenda—against the Obama Administration— from day one, been a war of attrition where some have used the “race card” as their trump card?”
On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) produced legislation that would terminate pay from federal officials who’ve been held in contempt of court. The bill comes on the heels of the House Oversight Committee’s contempt citation of IRS official Lois Lerner, who refused to testify about the alleged targeting of non-profit conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status
“The American people should not be footing the bill for federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials’ bad behavior,” said Mr. Farenthold. “If the average American failed to do his or her job, he or she would hardly be rewarded.” Rep. Farenthold’s bill may well be a response to try to punish Mr. Holder for strongly defending himself from unproven accusations leveled at him by Republicans.
The action comes in the aftermath of the acrimonious meeting between House Republicans and the attorney general. Mr. Holder locked heads, on a couple of occasions, with Republicans including Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). When Mr. Gohmert claimed the attorney general didn’t seem to care about being held in contempt, Mr. Holder attacked the remark saying “You don’t want to go there buddy.”
The attorney general also added “You should not assume that that—being found in contempt—was not a big deal to me. I think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust, but never think that that was not a big deal to me. Don’t ever think that.”
A few minutes later, Mr. Gohmert told Mr. Holder “I don’t need lectures from you about contempt.” To this the attorney general retorted “I don’t need lectures from you either.”
Then, speaking at Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Mr. Holder said “The last five years have been defined by significant strides and by lasting reforms even in the face, even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity. If you don’t believe that, you look at the way — forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee — has nothing to do with me, forget that. What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”
Some Republicans and their right-wing mouthpieces took umbrage to Mr. Holder’s complaints.
MSNBC’S Joe Scarborough argued the terrible treatment of Attorney General Holder and President Obama has nothing to do with racism. “We’ve been hearing this for six years, suggesting there’s race behind everything—no, no,” Scarborough said. “There’s really not. This is what happens in Washington.”
Then there are those paragons of the press over at the “fair and balanced” Fox News Network.
“This strikes me as kind of crybaby stuff from Holder,” said Fox Television host Brit Hume, with a straight face. “My sense of that this is that both Eric Holder and Barack Obama have benefited politically enormously from the fact that they are African-American and the first to hold the jobs that they hold…To those two men, race has been both a shield and a sword that they have used effectively to defend themselves and to attack others.”
It always interesting to hear White men of privilege pretend racism is mostly a figment of the imaginations of Blacks. What makes them think they even know what racial discrimination is?
Do they have any experience regarding being denied for jobs and housing? Were they ever passed over for loans to go to college, buy a home or open a business? Were they ever tracked in stores or other businesses because of their skin color? How about being stopped, harassed or killed by members of police?
People like Scarborough and Hume don’t know a damn thing about institutional racism. Haven’t many of them benefitted from White privilege? Who are they to say what “real” racism looks like?
To be fair, many Republicans in Congress probably don’t hate Attorney General Holder and President Obama because they are Black. However, it is certainly true that they are using the racial animus of their bigoted base to impede the agenda of the Obama Administration—in an attempt to achieve their political objective of regaining the White House. The reality is many Republican voters harbor profound prejudice for those who don’t look like them.
Mr. Scarborough claims there is nothing abnormal about the treatment received by the president and attorney general. This notion is beyond absurd and hopefully deep down he knows it too.
When last have we seen a president called a liar—as Congressman Joe Wilson did during a State of the Union address? How about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer waving her finger in the face of President Obama—while cameras were rolling? And when has any president, repeatedly, had his citizenship challenged?
Think of it, President Obama was forced to publically produce his birth certificate in an attempt to silence those Birther elements—several of whom are elected “leaders” of Congress. This shameful spectacle should’ve embarrassed fair-minded Americans, regardless of their party affiliation. But, in spite of all this, many are still claiming the president is some sort of resident foreigner.
Awhile back, the Secret Service stated that the threat level against this president is unprecedented. We also know—thanks to people like those at the Southern Poverty Law Center—that racist militias, like the Oath Keepers, are on the rise. And we know there are people talking about taking the “country back.”
Where do such people want to go back to? A time when “uppity” Negroes knew their place and stay in it? Or, back to the Jim Crow Era when beatings, burnings and lynching went hand-in-hand with picnics and entertainment for Whites?
Isn’t the politics of prejudice a primary platform position of Republicans on Capitol Hill? Isn’t the attack on Welfare, Food Stamps, and other government benefits done to appease the bigoted conservative constituency of Republicans? When these hypocrites—who give globs of goodies to the wealthy—cry about handouts who are they really taking about? Who are these voter suppression schemes meant to silence?
Is there any need to talk about the cartoons depicting the president with all the racist imagery as a: ape, banana-eating monkey, cannibal, thug, terrorist, pimp—and a most disgusting one where he is shown raping Lady Liberty?
The truth is the talking heads never tell the truth when it comes to racism. It would be an act of courage they can’t summon.
Moreover, so-called liberals and White “progressives” are also guilty of downplaying racism. Many of them complain President Obama hasn’t “done enough”—but stay silent about the virulent hatred he faces, from some White Americans.
However, Republicans are the masters of cultivating racism to achieve their political goals in Washington. They have been doing so for decades now.
Time moves on and no one can stop change.