So the Attorney General thinks we’re cowards because we don’t talk about race as much as he would like. Apparently he wants us to talk about it a lot. Maybe he does, although that is not his reputation here in Washington (he’s considered a consummate professional and a true expert on jurisprudence by his peers, including many who are Republicans).
I was offended by Holder’s remarks. I think they’re obnoxious, ignorant, unhelpful and inappropriate. An awful lot of Americans fought very hard for many years to defeat those who wanted to talk about race a lot. The whole point of that fight was, as Dr. King put it, to ensure that Americans would be judged by their character and accomplishments, and not by their “race.” That cause was considerably advanced, and embraced by most Americans. But that advance has been subverted, in large part by elite lawyers and intellectuals, in the (Orwellian) name of “multiculturalism.”
Instead of insisting on a colorblind society, these people insisted on a divided one. The classic example is the university. Holder complains that, while the workplace is integrated, once people are left to their own devices, they tend to associate with “their own kind,” by which he means that whites congregate with whites, blacks with blacks, latinos with one another, and so forth. Nowhere is that so true as on university campuses, where authorities have permitted, and in many cases required, separate housing, separate departments, and even separate eating facilities for those racial and ethnic groups, in total defiance of the whole civil rights movement. Those separate facilities are utterly intolerable as social institutions, and it is even worse than that; “separate but equal,” the racist policy against which we all fought in the sixties, now has high intellectual standing. Blacks are held to be the only legitimate professors of “black history,” Jews the only proper teachers of “Jewish history,” and so on down the line. The case that demonstrated this most clearly to me was when Harvard students protested against Professor Steve Thernstrom, arguably the most brilliant social historian in America, because, being white, he could not possibly be permitted to teach American social history insofar as it dealt with slavery and white racism. Receiving only token support from Harvard’s profs and deans, he stopped teaching it, to the detriment of a generation of students.
Although this example seems to fit Holder’s complaint, in reality it proves the opposite. For the racism embodied in those institutions and those practices is indeed discussed, in fact it’s discussed much too much, to the benefit of the racists and the detriment of those who are mainly interested in character and accomplishment. On the other hand, in (at least some of) those institutions where race isn’t discussed at all, Dr. King’s dream has been abundantly fulfilled. But I don’t think General Holder knows as much about them as he should.
I suggest he take a day and go to a Marine base. Quantico’s just down the road. If he goes there, and talks to the Marines, he will find the most “diverse” group of men and women he could possibly imagine. And he will discover–you really can’t miss it–that they don’t talk about race at all. Ever. They talk about Marines, and what Marines have to do. They have to do it together, with total trust in each other, with total commitment to each other. They cannot possibly achieve that if race is a constant topic of conversation, because that conversation inevitably divides them. Marines don’t have time for that nonsense, because they have to defeat America’s enemies, people who are trying to kill us and destroy our country. And those people, by the way, talk a lot about race. They call our president a “house slave,” which I suppose takes them totally out of Holder’s category of “cowards who avoid talking about race.”
I don’t think Holder’s little spiel would find much favor in Quantico, and that’s a very good thing. What’s so disconcerting is that a man at the top of his profession, with a wife at the top of hers, in a country that has rewarded his accomplishments and whose people have made epic strides toward the creation of an equitable society, lectures us in a way that can only divide us.
But that’s the infernal paradox of multiculturalism. It preaches tolerance but practices divisiveness. It pretends to be even-handed but imposes severe restrictions on speech. It censors brilliant scholars and independent-minded students. And then the Attorney General criticizes those who don’t want to play that self-destructive game.
That’s what political correctness has done. Time to stop listening to this nonsense and fight our real enemies. Go to Quantico, Mr. Holder, and have a look at the best America now produces. Then learn from them. Silence is golden. Just do your job.