WASHINGTON (CNN) - America is "a nation of cowards" when discussing race. That sentiment from the country's first African-American attorney general, Eric Holder, has stirred up pundits, bloggers and readers.
"Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we - I believe continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards," Holder told Department of Justice employees at an event Wednesday celebrating Black History Month.
And that impression of race in America has set off a firestorm of criticism.
"Holder doesn't want an honest dialogue about race. In the Age of [President] Obama, 'talking enough with each other about race' means the rest of us shutting up while being subjected to lectures about our insensitivity and insufficient integration on the weekends," conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote.
Stephan Tawney, writing on the American Pundit blog, said a glimpse at the national political landscape - namely the country's first black president - suggests otherwise.