Dear Mr. Holder,
I see that the verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman has prompted you, once again, to call for an “honest” discussion of race in America. I welcome that discussion.
Let us start with your recent comments before the NAACP, in which you said that the verdict compelled you to have a talk with your 15-year-old son about how to deal with the police. I fail to see anything in this verdict that would provoke such a conversation, particularly considering that Mr. Zimmerman was not a policeman.
However, I assume you brought up the allegations that Mr. Zimmerman took a special interest in Trayvon Martin because he was black. Those allegations are unproven, but let us assume they are correct. I hope you explained to your boy that Mr. Zimmerman had excellent reasons for being suspicious.
I would imagine you used statistics from your own Justice Department to show that blacks are at least seven times more likely than people of other races to commit violent crimes, and that young black men are the most dangerous people in America. I hope you explained that Americans will be suspicious of blacks for as long as they continue to commit so many crimes. This may be unfortunate for law-abiding blacks but the fault is not with the police or with neighborhood watchmen; it is with other blacks.
I assume you also explained to your son that the evidence in the case very clearly suggests that if Mr. Zimmerman was suspicious of young blacks his suspicions were richly, painfully confirmed. Trayvon Martin appears to have attacked Mr. Zimmerman, broken his nose, and pounded his head into the pavement simply because he thought a “creepy-ass cracker” was following him. Unfortunately for Mr. Martin, Mr. Zimmerman was armed and defended himself.
Now, perhaps, I understand why you had this conversation with your son: to explain to him that it is not only potentially dangerous but a serious crime to attack someone just because he is following you. I assume you explained to him that he should also refrain from attacking policemen, and if he was unaware that such behavior is unwise, I commend you for having this conversation.
On a different matter, your department is now investigating Mr. Zimmerman with an eye to charging him with a hate crime. According to news reports, your staff has already grilled three dozen of Mr. Zimmerman’s friends and acquaintances about what he thought of black people. Why? A state jury has already found that Mr. Zimmerman acted in legitimate self defense. Is it your view that if Mr. Zimmerman had “racist” views he is guilty of a “hate crime,” even if he acted in self defense?
Let us assume that your investigators had learned that Mr. Zimmerman liked to use “the N-word”—that he liked to use it almost as much as Trayvon Martin did. Would that mean that the very same actions on his part—actions a jury found to be legitimate self-defense—would now be a hate crime?
This is not an academic question, Mr. Holder. I hold unorthodox views on race and have expressed them publicly. Does this mean that if I am attacked by a black and have to defend myself with lethal force you will investigate me? What if it could be proven that I am the wickedest racist in America? Does that mean I have forfeited my right to defend myself against a black attacker? I hope you understand my dismay, but this is very clearly the logic of your investigation: that I will lose very important rights if I have views of which you disapprove.
Finally, on an entirely different matter, you seem to think that blacks and whites are precisely equal in ability and temperament, and that if there are any differences in outcome between the two groups, it can only be due to white “racism.” In the interest of the honest discussion you want, I invite you to reflect on the fact that American blacks have an average IQ of 85 whereas whites have an average of 100. I also invite you to consider the huge body of evidence that suggests this difference has a substantially genetic cause.
May I be so bold as to suggest that you will never understand race in America if you refuse to consider racial differences in ability? I would be pleased to present the evidence for this at a mutually convenient time and place. Indeed, there are many subjects we could usefully explore in the name of the honest discussion we both desire.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Jared Taylor, President
New Century Foundation