The Race to Judge

Attorney General Eric Holder made a speech this week in which he said America was a “nation of cowards” for failing to discuss race. At first, I was incredulous to the point of offended. My favorite uncle was among the 101st Airborne that escorted the children to school as they integrated Little Rock. I loved those pictures and thought he was an American hero. Another memory is singing “eenie meanie minie mo…” and it was not a tiger we caught by the toe. I can’t remember when it morphed from the “n” word into tiger. But it did never to return to my vocabulary.

Recently, I was in a small store in Washington, DC where all the employees but one was black, all the customers but me were black. I felt ignored and treated with less care, limited eye contact was made, and I was dismissed as soon as the minimal amount of effort was put into my service. Was that as I perceived it, did race influence that and on whose part? Was I treated poorly because I was a middle-aged white woman by a young black male or was I influenced by the Obama lovefest that had invaded the town, is on every corner, in every window, and I was feeling overtly white and left out? I’m willing to be objective rather than subjective…could have been either.  Did race have anything at all to do with it?  I went back the next day and was treated very well. Same scenario of race. Different staff and experience. Hmmmm….. 

So, what is it about race and bias? Is it all or nothing? Is it perception or reality? Harvard University has a test based on the 2008 election as part of Project Implicit. Did it influence the election?

We all must admit there is racial bias. It is not the wholly owned subsidiary of any group or culture. We do need to talk about race. We do need to talk about bias. In that conversation we do not need to allow a specific Race to Judge others, or determine which Race to Judge, or be in a Race to Judge. To do anything else is cowardly…..and demeaning to all.


  1. The New York Times liberal columnist Maureen Dowd:

    “Eric Holder, who showed precious little bravery in standing up to Clinton on a pardon for the scoundrel Marc Rich, is wrong. We have just inaugurated a black president who installed a black attorney general.

    We need leaders to help us through our crises, not provide us with crude evaluations of our character. And we don’t need sermons from liberal virtuecrats, anymore than from conservative virtuecrats.

    In the middle of all the Heimlich maneuvers required now — for the economy, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, health care, the environment and education — we don’t need a Jackson/Sharpton-style lecture on race. Barack Obama’s election was supposed to get us past that.”

Leave a Reply