Shut Up and Speak Honestly

James Taranto, Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder sounded a familiar theme in his first public comments after George Zimmerman’s acquittal. “I believe that this tragedy provides yet another opportunity for our nation to speak honestly about the complicated and emotionally charged issues that this case has raised,” Holder told the annual Social Action Luncheon of Delta Sigma Theta, a historically black sorority. “We must not–as we have too often in the past–let this opportunity pass.”

The comment echoes, albeit softly, Holder’s famous 2009 declaration that “in things racial,” America is “a nation of cowards.”

As if prompted by Holder’s exhortation, Richard Cohen of the Washington Post weighs in with a column on the Zimmerman case:

I don’t like what George Zimmerman did, and I hate that Trayvon Martin is dead. But I also can understand why Zimmerman was suspicious and why he thought Martin was wearing a uniform we all recognize. I don’t know whether Zimmerman is a racist. But I’m tired of politicians and others who have donned hoodies in solidarity with Martin and who essentially suggest that, for recognizing the reality of urban crime in the United States, I am a racist. The hoodie blinds them as much as it did Zimmerman.

Cohen goes on to say that “the problems of the black underclass are hardly new” and that while their origins can be attributed to slavery and Jim Crow, “for want of a better word, the problem is cultural, and it will be solved when the culture, somehow, is changed.”

One may agree or disagree with Cohen’s point of view, but one cannot accuse him of dishonesty or diffidence. He is, just as Holder urged, expressing himself honestly about complicated and emotionally charged questions.

Michael Calderone of the Puffington Host reports on the reaction:

“Richard Cohen’s not a racist, he just thinks it’s reasonable to assume young black men are all criminals,” tweeted Slate’s Matt Yglesias.

“I totally recognize the hoodie uniform,” tweeted The Washington Post’s own Ezra Klein. “I wore it at UC Santa Cruz. Weirdly, no one thought I was dangerous.”

“Washington Post is scared of young black men,” tweeted Circa editor-in-chief Anthony De Rosa.

And Washington City Paper editor Mike Madden tweeted his own summation of the piece: “Post columnist Richard Cohen: ‘. . . I am a racist.'”

The Washington Post’s editorial page editor, Fred Hiatt, defended running the column in an email to The Huffington Post [sic] on Tuesday.

“If I had not published the column, just as many people would be asking why the Post can’t tolerate diverse points of view,” Hiatt said.

“I think if people want a ‘conversation about race,’ as is frequently suggested, they should be open to a range of views and perspectives. We already have published multiple such views–not only Richard Cohen’s, but Gene Robinson on the same page, Ruth Marcus and Jonathan Capehart and our own editorial the day before–and we’ve got more coming,” Hiatt continued. “If people don’t like a particular opinion, my feeling is they should respond to it, not seek to stifle it.”

To be sure, the smug mockery of twits like Yglesias and Klein, while it does not contribute to the honest conversation Holder claims to want, is not much of a detraction from it either.

On the other hand, the “racist” label is intended as a conversation-stopper. {snip}

{snip}

But an honest conversation requires more than honesty. It requires a willingness to engage constructively with people who hold views with which one disagrees, or that one finds disagreeable. In that regard, Cohen measures up while his detractors fall short.

If America is a “nation of cowards,” it is likely because many people with views similar to Cohen’s prefer to avoid the subject rather than endure the unpleasantness and potential serious repercussions that come with the accusation of racism. Holder’s call for honest conversation would have some force if he exhorted fellow liberals and fellow blacks to be sensitive to the reasons for these inhibitions. Absent that, it’s more lecture than conversation.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Creepy as a cracker!

    I have been banned from posting over on CNN’s web-site. That tells me that they are not interested in the truth, they are only interested in promoting their progressive agenda.

    • The__Bobster

      Just go back there using a proxy. I’ve been banned from dozens of sites for speaking the truth. Of course, the “tolerant” liberal ones are the most intolerant of any dissenting views.

      • You guys aren’t the only ones.
        This my my most recent Violation Notice Email, dated just a couple days ago:

        Hello D.B. Cooper
        You have posted content to Yahoo! Answers in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. As a result, your content has been deleted and 10 points have been deducted from your points total. Community Guidelines help to keep Yahoo! Answers a safe and useful community, so we appreciate your consideration of its rules.
        Question: How should we thank those 6 Florida women for finally doing something right?
        Deleted Answer: Well, if blacks feel threatened, I can name several countries on planet Earth where blacks are over
        90% of the population, from A to Z (Algeria to Zimbabwe). Feel free to move there and chart your own race’s destiny.

        Violation Reason: Misuse of the question
        and answer format

        In Yahoo! Answers you must phrase questions
        in question format, and your answer must attempt to answer the question.
        Questions or answers must be written in a comprehensible way, and must be written in the language specific to the Answers site to which it is uploaded. You may not post conversational content without an attempt to post a meaningful question or answer a question or otherwise misuse the question and answer format.

        • bigone4u

          What a nonsensical BS reason for disciplining you. I’ve probably been banned by several sites, but didn’t know it.

        • Luca

          I’ may be dyslexic but I say: Yuck Fahoo.

        • IstvanIN

          What nonsense.

      • I go back to places using a proxy, but I am as vicious and deliberately insulting as I can be, seeing as how they appear to dislike reasoned arguments. At least some poor moderator has to read them.

        • bigone4u

          Sorry, but I don’t know what a proxy is. How does one create a proxy or proxies?

          • Dummy up another Yahoo account and use a fake name. Since Yahoo is free, why not? Instant disposable account. The user names I pick for these are always sick puns.

          • Nick Gherz

            Sick puns? LOL

          • GeneticsareDestiny

            All you have to do is google “proxy” and you’ll find tons of sites where you can enter the web address you’re trying to reach, and it will bring you there. It will route you through a different computer, masking your IP address, so if you had an IP ban at a website, you can get around it.

            (At least, I’m fairly sure this is how it works. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me, anyone.)

          • Use the computers at your library and go downtown for that. You could get the whole library banned if you’re lucky. You could also mess up Wikipedia articles about folks like Tim Wise, but not even I would do that. I edit lots of Wiki military history articles, and am well-trusted precisely because I deliver the straight goods. I explained why Frank Link-Crawford’s wings structurally failed in his last dogfight in 1918, and even gave the build number for his defective airplane. There’s too much good in Wiki for anyone to be worried over the bad.

          • Alexandra1973

            One library wouldn’t let me view AmRen. After I sent them a firm but polite e-mail, I was able to access it again.

    • John Smith

      The liberal media is very bias and prejudicial against opinions that don’t conform with ‘The Long March’ of cultural Marxism.

    • [Guest]

      That’s no surprise. If you’ve ever been honest about racial issues, you’ve been shouted down or banned.

      The people who scream “Tolerance!” and say everyone’s opinion matters are often rabidly intolerant and quick to shut you up if they can.

  • Of course we’re a “nation of cowards.” Official America rewards cowardice and punishes truthful and honest conversation about race.

  • sbuffalonative

    I’ve said it many times. Blacks don’t want a conversation on race. They want a confession of racism.

    When a black man says, ‘we need a dialog on race’, what he means is ‘shut up white man and let ME do all the talking’.

    AR certainly isn’t allowed to partake in this mythical dialog on race.

    • [Guest]

      I’ve had my fill of public racial dialogue because approximately 100 percent of the time it’s a monologue.

      I’ve often wondered whether the continual stifling of racial truth won’t one day explode into widespread violence.

      • I’ve been hoping it would explode into violence for approximately the last 24 years, or just over half my life.

        • sbuffalonative

          I think for it to explode is going to take a unique set of circumstances.

          The Zimmerman case wasn’t really a good flash point because the black, ‘progressive’ left apologists were forced to concede that there was some degree of ambiguity.

          I see two things needed to happen to cause an all-out race war but it’s unlikely the two could ever happen.

          First would be that a known racist white man deliberately attacks and kills a black man just because he’s black. There can be no question of his beliefs or his motive.

          The second event would have to be that this racist white man was freed because of a technicality or exonerated during a trial.
          Now the first incident could happen. However, because of our laws and justice system, it would be nearly impossible to fulfill the second requirement.

          IF these two things happened together, I believe blacks would go on a national rampage.

          • Tim_in_Indiana

            If that were enough for the Big Race War then we would have had one after the L.A. riots. No, for a race war, the economy will have to collapse so far it will make the Great Depression seem tame by comparison. Millions of white people will have to lose their jobs. Millions more will have to be living on the streets. Think of the worst apocalyptic movie and you have a picture of what I think it will take. Things have to get very bad for most whites before they snap out of their delusion.

          • connorhus

            I don’t think it has to get that bad. It only needs to get bad enough that the government can no longer afford to pay all the leftist factions off.

          • sbuffalonative

            I was generally speaking to the people who believed that the Zimmerman case would be a trigger for direct confrontations. As dramatic as blacks tried to make it appear, it wasn’t anything that would cause wide spread unrest.

            I agree an economic collapse would be the most likely spark.

            White people are resourceful and resilient. They are able to take a hit but keep their cool. Any future confrontation is going to have to be accompanied by a US government that can’t pay her bills. When the money for domestic aid is cut off, it will be hand to hand combat for food and security.

            We’re close to a collapse but our government and those ‘modern economists’ keep finding new ways to hide debt and delay the inevitable. That’s why they keep pushing this notion of ‘economic growth’ so they can maintain the current system. It’s just one new band-aid to cover a slit artery.

            I think the economic bookkeeping shenanigans is reaching it’s limit. Debt spending is unsustainable. Allowing millions of illegals to become citizens so they can start paying taxes is just another band-aid with devastating future political consequences. It’s just another quick fix that won’t address long term issues.

          • IstvanIN

            But whites would beat their chests with cries of ‘the riots and killings are justified’.

    • JohnEngelman

      They want whites to listen with the expressions of children who are being scolded for having done something they knew was bad.

    • A Freespeechzone

      Spot on!

    • English Sparrow

      The time will soon come when they do want a meaningful dialog on race.

      It will be too late then.

  • The__Bobster

    The comment echoes, albeit softly, Holder’s famous 2009 declaration that “in things racial,” America is “a nation of cowards.”
    __________

    Well, then put down your race card and let’s engage in a fair fight. There’s no way that we should lose our jobs for speaking the truth while you get rewarded for speaking lies.

  • Dave4088

    Taranto seems to think constructive dialogue with the virulently anti-white, fringe left (is there any other kind?) is possible. It is not and that should be obvious by the tenor of editorials from left wing blogs and web sites regarding the George Zimmerman trial.

    The anti-white left is not interested in the facts or dialogue of any kind. They want their jaundiced view of America to be codified into law and white people disenfranchised. For anything less is “white supremacy”.

    The racial and ideological chasm between black and white and left and right continues to widen at breakneck speed and are in the early stages of a cold civil war. We will never be a united nation again.

    • Sick of it

      We haven’t really been one nation since…the 1840s I think.

  • Jefferson

    We Whites have statistics on our side. That is why we would destroy Blacks in a racial debate.

    Jared Taylor for example would wipe the floor with Eric Holder in a verbal debate about race.

    • Funruffian

      Jared reams pretty much everyone in a debate. Holder wouldn’t dare engage in a debate with Jared lest he is willing to be ripped a new one.

      • Sick of it

        More than that, he was making eerily accurate predictions on what would happen in this country 20 years ago. Read the old archives.

    • sbuffalonative

      Well, that’s our problem. Our schools aren’t teaching them (and most aren’t capable of understanding) math so they can’t understand the statistics.

      You can’t cite facts to someone who can’t understand facts.

    • Evette Coutier

      The special needs kid down the street would destroy Holder in a racial debate.

  • Spartacus

    “Richard Cohen’s not a racist, he just thinks it’s reasonable to assume young black men are all criminals”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Finally, a jew I can agree with.

  • I have no intention of engaging those who disagree with me constructively: not for any reason, ever. When have any of them ever shown me the courtesy of constructive engagement?

  • [Guest]

    >>>But an honest conversation requires more than honesty. It requires a willingness to engage constructively with people who hold views with which one disagrees, or that one finds disagreeable.

    My, isn’t that a nice, palatable declaration!? Who wouldn’t say he agreed with those sentiments? It’s almost as if we’ve heard them a thousand times before.

    No, Mr. Taranto, we do not need more talk about black dysfunction, and we do not need to hear still more from members of the dysfunctional group or from their excuse-making “anti-racist” champions. And we do not need to “engage constructively” with the dysfunction.

    That weak-kneed, a-place-for-everyone-at-the-table poison has already put this nation on its deathbed. The last thing we need is still more of it.

    • A Freespeechzone

      The only solution is for Whites to move out of cities that contain large populations of blacks and minorities leaving them to cannibalize themselves with violent crime.

      Whites can take their skills, establish businesses and grow local economies, only hiring THE MOST QUALIFIED.

      Defacto segregation will occur naturally.

      • ms_anthro

        Except that they will follow, with help from our tax dollars. Section 8 and “affordable housing” will spring up anywhere we land.

        There is nowhere left to run. Why should we abandon our beautiful cities to the savages? We went to the moon but can’t control a population with an average IQ in the 80’s? We know what we need to do, but no one is willing to do it yet. That’s the real problem.

    • Sick of it

      So far those roundtable discussions and ‘moderate politicians’ have decidedly been moving our country towards something akin to Communist tyranny. It always goes in one direction, not the other. Validates one point of view, not others.

  • JohnEngelman

    In any real conversation on race high rates of black crime and illegitimacy and evidence of inferior black intelligence need to be discussed without fear of sanctions.

    It needs to be permissible to discuss those persistent black characteristics without blaming them on white racism. It needs to be safe to blame them on genetics.

    • Romulus

      They’ve been trying to solve the problem of genetics by miscegenation with our women. The problem, however, is that it’s bringing us down in total numbers, passing on hereditary diseases and lowering I q.

      • JohnEngelman

        If white women prefer black men it is probably because of factors I won’t discuss for fear of bringing a blush to the cheeks of Courtney from Alabama. It is also their prerogative.

        White – Oriental marriages do not seem to have any problems at all.

        • Sick of it

          Factors which seem exaggerated, following statistics on the matter. Plus it ignores such a quality amongst white men.

          • Romulus

            Im beginning to believe that J.E. Is struggling with his allegiances and hasn’t come full circle yet.

        • Romulus

          White women do not prefer bantus. If you cross the St. in DC and go to health and human services or get a breakdown of demographics or even speak with an associate from the WHO,all the major ethnic groups still overwhelmingly breed with their own races. It is the media distortion that has you brainwashed otherwise. Our females have been culturally,socially and media conditioned to miscegenation with the blacks. I question where you acquire your “facts”.

          • JohnEngelman

            First you say that “white women do not prefer bantus.”

            Then you say, “Our females have been culturally, socially and media conditioned to miscegenation with the blacks.”

            These statements cannot both be true.

          • Romulus

            Percentages John!!!, percentages.

          • Sick of it

            Though still a minority, I have seen a number of mixed couples in my own state and elsewhere. They’re becoming pretty common today. And yes, it is the brainwashing. I live in a more ‘vibrant and diverse’ part of the country.

          • George

            When you see the fat white woman with a mulatto or two in a stroller, a sotto voce ‘coal burner’ as you pass by is entirely appropriate.

          • anarchyst

            Engleman, the jew is expected to “toe the party line” and promote miscegenation for ALL “goy”. It’s a jewish thing–you wouldn’t understand.
            Multiculturalism and diversity for thee, but not for me . . .

          • Romulus

            Following our dialogue on this thread, J. E. Claims to be a nordic gentile, I have my suspicions. He repeatedly gives a thumbs down to any discussions involving Jewish people. So as I stated, he’s either a poseur or a liar.Example, a groid or middle eastern Arab that moves to Germany or Scandinavia, are not their people, PERIOD. It doesn’t make a darn bit of difference whether they learn the culture or not. Likewise for interracial mixing. If a nordic looks Terry Hogan over thousands of years, any combination thereafter, is not the original stock. This rule also applies to the uden. It doesn’t matter that they are also caucasoids. All orientals are asiatic, but not all Japanese are Chinese. The genome changes, however, very slowly. Biologically,evolution takes forever, despite the lies of the PC pseudo-scientists. Miscegenation is unnecessary if you have an equal number of breeding pairs with the same mutations and allow the good to breed. Their has always been enough diversity within the fair and red Bavarian gene pool to keep it viable. Over the course of history , so many of their men have been killed, it’s been becoming harder to pass on their line. Take America,for example,the north dakotans,Appalachians, and Penn Dutch have pretty much had the same mutations historically, but saw themselves as different (culturally) and thus didn’t commingle like they should have.

  • JohnEngelman

    The fact that it is possible for James Taranto to get this opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal is a hopeful sign. Now let’s see if he keeps his job.

  • Funruffian

    Cohen is a liberal of the highest order, but at least even a bleeding heart pro-Black person like himself can see the dire double standard and racial bias exhibited by Blacks who protest for Trayvon. Perhaps this is a step in the right direction, folks. If the liberals can see the twisted logic in these protestors then maybe they will entertain our viewpoints.

  • bigone4u

    The idea that we need a national conversation on race is Marxist from the git go. What we need is that blacks stop following us into our neighborhoods, stop bleeding us dry to pay for their benefits, and stop victimizing us with their attitudes and criminal acts. No conversation needed, just decent behavior by blacks.

    • George

      ‘Just decent behaviour by (the) blacks’…
      Seriously, bigone4u, you don’t ask for much.
      Perhaps, whilst we’re at it, we can ask NASA to bring the moon down to Earth so Disney can build a low-gravity theme park. Perhaps we can convince Michael Moore to endorse a straight GOP ticket and surrender his CCW. Perhaps we can eliminate the trade imbalance with China and bring peace to the Middle East. Perhaps we can have every illegal alien leave the country willingly and at his own expense.
      Or, perhaps, the uproar will be stilled in a few weeks and lie under the surface until the next negro cause celebre.

  • WR_the_realist

    Open letter to Eric Holder: Come right over here to Amren and have that conversation. We dare you.

    • Sick of it

      To throw in a pun – We VDARE you. Really, having a conversation like that anywhere but in the mainstream media would be nice.

    • I would prefer it if the moderators would not delete Holder’s posts. Of course the mods would be expected to hold us to a higher standard.

  • IKantunderstand

    No one has a “get out of jail free” card, when it comes to the subject of race. And, by “no one”, I mean anyone White. That includes Red Sea pedestrians. Depending on your popularity, acumen, and finesse, some Whites can in fact squeak by “negative” comments, as long as they are somehow couched in double speak, and in fact, could be interpreted to mean the opposite of what was said. Despite all the rhetoric about having a discussion concerning race, it is of course, pablum. There is no point to a discussion about any subject, when it has been predetermined what the result of that discussion should be. Allow me to sum up the “correct” opinion on race: Anything wrong with Blacks, no matter where on the Earth, is the fault of White people. Regardless of whether or not said Blacks have ever even been around a White person, somehow, some way, Whites are responsible for their ignorance, poverty, cannibalism, superstitions, stupidity, savagery, quick to anger violence, disrespect for accomplishments, sexual promiscuity and inability to be civilized. Bottom line in terms of this racial discussion? What they really think should be discussed? Exactly how much more money should be siphoned from smart, hardworking Whites to these dimwitted, shiftless Blacks. How much more of our hard earned assets can be diverted to the most unproductive members of not only this country, but to those countries inhabited by same? How many more jobs can be channeled to these cretins? How much more can we spend on providing academic assistance to Blacks in remedial courses in college? This is not a discussion about race! It’s a discussion of how much money they think we are willing to have appropriated from us. That’s what Holder is talking about. NO MORE DISCUSSIONS. Oh, and we are not “cowards”, we are just trying to protect our families from this rapacious culture, which has cast Whites as the villain. We Whites are not the villains of the world. We are the saviors.

  • bigone4u

    Hilarous little ruse you have going. I love it.

  • Romulus

    Our species makes me laugh out loud these days. Racism is nothing more than an extension of in group/out group think based on ….. You guessed it!!! RACE!!!!
    In multiracial societies, race is incidental as you already have different races living in very close proximity. The blacks are just following the playbook laid out before them from the other historic victims.

    • Sick of it

      These people also conveniently ignore racism/ethnocentricity among populations of multiracial origin. The Middle East is filled with racism. Latin America is filled with racism. It doesn’t go away when someone gets rid of pure white people. Their entire viewpoint is based on nonsense.

  • Evette Coutier

    Eric Holder thinks we are a nation of Cowards? Is this not the pansy that hid behind Obama’s apron stings when Congress asked him to testify in the Fast and Furious scandal?

  • NeanderthalDNA

    His avatar is the red skull…
    Politeness not to be expected, lol!

  • Triarius

    Been doing this for years. Sure is fun, huh?

  • George

    Also gay, and I thoroughly disagree with you.
    What is the likelihood of a person being robbed, assaulted or shot in a gay neighbourhood, compared to the risk of the same in any black neighbourhood? There are areas of every large city where whites instinctively know where not to go, especially after dark.
    Blacks are dangerous. They are seven times more likely to commit murder than whites. A white person is 134 times more likely to be robbed by a black than vice versa. Thousands of white women are raped every year by blacks, whereas virtually no black women are raped by whites. White teens do not attempt to rob a black woman and then shoot the infant in her stroller because she doesn’t have any money to give them.
    Where were the white riots when OJ Simpson was acquitted of murdering his white ex-wife and her houseguest? There was a massive swarm of the blacks outside the courthouse, ready to run riot if he had been found guilty.
    We are tired of being held hostage to black demands and threats of riots and violence.
    Long story short, most heterosexuals may or may not like gay people, but they generally have little cause to fear us. Blacks, on the other hand…well, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Table 43 tells you everything you need to know.

  • Sick of it

    The public school system has been pushing this sort of thing for decades now. It has been pushed since desegregation. The media has been pushing it for years. Universities have been pushing it for years. It’s hardly a choice when the only thing you hear are arguments for such a thing since childhood.

    • JohnEngelman

      It is not true that “race is only a social construct.” Nevertheless, the existing human races are similar enough that people of different races look attractive to each other.

      Interracial dating and marriage is increasing because there is no obvious disadvantage to it, other than the disapproval of a dwindling minority of the population.

      • Sick of it

        Engineered attractiveness in some cases. But I suppose we should ignore the popularity of modern thug culture amongst young white people as well as the effects of hearing something like ‘I wanna f*** a thug’ over and over and over again.

      • David Ashton

        There is a difference between an immediately “obvious disadvantage” to individual participants, and a long-term widespread social disadvantage, in the same way that south Asians see no genetic disadvantage in cousin marriage.

        Serious research into black x white mixture was effectively closed during the later 1960s, since which the trend i.e. fashion has been accelerated by the entertainment and advertising media, with effective restrictions on countervailing argument and action as “racism”.

        • JohnEngelman

          I favor more scientific research in every aspect of human races and racial differences.

          American blacks average 20 percent white ancestry. Nevertheless, they average 15 more IQ points than African blacks. They certainly do not seem to be disadvantaged by miscegenation.

          In the very long term miscegenation is beneficial because it increases genetic diversity. The good genes last. The bad genes pass out of existence.

          The modern humans who left Africa 60,000 years ago had some children by Neanderthals. The Neanderthals were much less intelligent than the modern humans – who most closely resembled the Bushmen of southern Africa. Nevertheless, several Neanderthal genes were worth having, so we still have them.

          • David Ashton

            The disappearance of “bad genes” in these circumstances would be a prolonged, uncertain and unnecessary process. You ignore the probability of outbreeding depression caused by the hodge-podge of genes previously long adapted for diverse environments. And to turn your own argument around, American whites would be disadvantaged by miscegenation with African blacks.

  • MrGJG

    Don’t hold your breath there. That’s the proverbial third rail of any discussion on race. When you’re considered a racist for just RECOGNIZING that there are disparities between the races, offering reasons beyond the politically correct versions (slavery, Jim Crow, poverty, etc) will get you publicly flogged.

  • hastings88

    Why do you have to constantly justify your personal choice to people on AmRen, Engleman? Most of us want our people to continue to exist as Whites, not as the hybrids you advocate for. Go ahead, make hybrids. You aren’t coming with us.

    • JohnEngelman

      I would rather spend my time with an intelligent cultivated Jew or Oriental than a stupid, poorly educated white person who can hardly read.