Eric Holder's Boring-Ass Speech On Race

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I'm sure the diarrhea merchants are having a field day with that "nation of cowards" line. I understand the desire amongst white folks to not be typecast as the scheming, sniveling villain. It's simplistic, and dehumanizing. It reduces individuals into an indistinguishable, robotic mass.

That said, you could only be offended by that line if you think "the nation" only includes white people. For the record, given the behavior of a lot of "black leaders"--and black people--pre-Iowa,  cowardly ain't exactly wrong. Anyway, I really have no idea what Holder meant, beyond what he literally said. I found his speech unremarkable and vague. But I can only take that line as it was--a statement about the entire nation.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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