February 19th, 2009
12:58 PM ET
6 years ago

Bloggers blast Holder for 'nation of cowards' remark

Attorney General Eric Holder helps celebrate Black History Month at an event Wednesday at the Justice Department.
Attorney General Eric Holder helps celebrate Black History Month at an event Wednesday at the Justice Department.

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.

Watch: Holder says America is a "nation of cowards"

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.

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Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (80 Responses)
  1. Clyde

    Does Mr. Holder say those things as a national leader. There are always going to be views that prefer to reference past instead of focusing on going forward. It does seem that his comments are certainly not in keeping with the majority, unfortuately there is always going to be narrowed minded individuals.

    February 19, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Paris

    Mr. Holder, if we are “The nation of Cowards” that makes you what?

    The courageous lawyer that defends Terrorist that Attack US interests and innocent people.

    Really, what does that make you? An appeaser.

    February 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. AWH

    This guy should hide under a rock as he is not liked by the public in the first place. He is not recognized as being a somebody and now he has to snake out from behind his hiding place and insult the people only to get some attention. Do it again and we the people will stomp your head off like any other snake.

    February 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Debby

    Oh please you don't hear Jewish public servants like Lieberman, Cantor, etc. talking about the Holocost constantly. What is it with this race issue. We elected a half black President isn't that enough for Holder, Sharpton and Martin to shut up already.

    February 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. dave

    When did telling the truth hurt? I think he said something that needed to be said. As a person of color I don't remember going over to one of my white co-worker house even though I have been ask numerous times. So he was telling me to drop my racial sterotypes and really get to know and understand orthers.

    February 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Bob the Observer

    There is a personal responsibility that comes with attaining a position of authority. You can't just say the first thing that leaks out of your brain any more. Mr. Holder may have a valid complaint from something he's observed, but he no longer speaks for one man, one group, one race, one social class. He now speaks for the US Department of Justice, and as such, his speech should reflect the professionalism and maturity that is expected of someone in that position.

    February 19, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Mike

    case in point... the true has and always will hurt.
    at the same time it has and always will set you free!

    finally...
    the best source is healing is exposure to light...

    February 19, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. maxoutkast

    We ARE a nation of cowards, and not just on this issue. Its refreshing to hear honest comments like this, sorry. The fact that so many people are crying about it is just further proof that we need everything sugar coated to swallow it. We need to break the mold, and this is our daddy slapping the taste out our mouths! ;)

    February 19, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Felicha, Florida

    UUMMM NOT ONLY DOES THE TRUTH HURTS BUT IT WILL ALSO SET ONE FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I THINK THAT OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL NEEDS TO KEEP ON TELLING IT LIKE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WE DON'T ONLY HAVE TO WAIT FOR OUR PRESIDENT TO GIVE US A GOOD SPEECH I THINK MR.HOLDER AND HOLD HIS OWN AND MY GOSH THE MAN IS SEEING IT AS HIS FIRST TERM IN OFFICE LIKE OUR PRESIDENT IS!!!!!!!!!!

    PRESIDENT OBAMA AND GENERAL HOLDER I THINK YOU BOTH MAKE A GOOD TEAM....

    JEEP TELLING IT PLEASE.............

    February 19, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Wedge

    Odd how so many people jump on every thing Chairman Steele says, when they're not remotely as insulting as referring to the nation as a bunch of cowards like the new Attorney General... You know, if it was a Bush appointee who'd said that, imagine how people wouldbe up in arms about it.

    February 19, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. BOISE, ID

    I STRONGLY AGREE WITH HOLDER

    February 19, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. 1/20/13

    Is that Mr. Burns from The Simpsons????? Hello Mr. racist, any issues in Texas lately or pardonsyou want to talk about.

    February 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. Rick Sutter

    This is simply exposing the heart of liberal politicians. If there is no victim class to "protect" then there is no need for them. Their power goes away. Oddly, liberals or more vested in continuing racism (and most other "isms") than are conservatives.

    February 19, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  14. BEAUTIFUL MICHELLE

    bloggers get over it, we are a nation of cowards.

    February 19, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. I'm just sayin'...

    The truth hurts...

    February 19, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  16. dr.mimi de la cruz

    HOLDER IS RIGHT !!!

    FACING OUR SINS IS THE FIRST STEP TO REDEMPTION.

    WE HAVE TO OWN THE TRUTH. THEN WE CAN CHANGE IT.

    WE ARE DOING MUCH BETTER. AFTER ALL, WE ALL, ELECTED

    OUR NEW PRESIDENT. WE ARE ON BOARD OF THE CHANGE TRAIN.

    February 19, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. jay

    Bloggers need to get over themselves is what Iknow as truth...the AG was so right on with his talk to his agency, too bad haters, sorry, i mean bloggers are so so self involved...go blog your protest elsewhere!

    February 19, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  18. david goldman

    HOLDER IS STATING THE OBVIOUS.

    HOWEVER WE HAVE ELECTED PRESIDENT OBAMA

    AND HOLDER IS OUR AJ. WE AIN'T DOING SO BAD.

    February 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. You know the Republican party is toxic when ... Palin bails on NRCC & CPAC

    Grow up, America! You are so used to being told when and where to put on your big boy and big girl underwear that you've lost the ability to think rationally for yourself. You are now free from the tyranny of the Bush admincastration!!!

    February 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Mike

    *

    case in point… the true has and always will hurt.
    at the same time it has and always will set you free!

    finally…
    the best source of healing is exposure to light…

    February 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is essential that ALL American understand what role hate played in this country and find ways to stop it. We still have yet to live totaly up to Martin Luther King's dream of everyone being judge by their character (or lack of one). I think Holder is wrong in describing this country as a melting pot; it should be more of a tossed salad with dressing and melted cheese - we are seperate, but we still have connections (hence the salad dressing and melted cheese).

    February 19, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. dumbocrat alert

    in the year 3428, there will still be racist like holder around, still whining.

    February 19, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Iguana Victim

    I thought he was right on. But then again, I don't have deep-seeded racism I'm trying to hide to fuel the fire of relf-righteous grand-standing.

    February 19, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Michael

    So this is how Obama and his administration will unite America.
    Obama is and always has been full of you know what.

    February 19, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. New Day

    I happen to agree. and not just because of race, either. After 9/11 most of you couldnt wait to line up and give away your rights for the illusion of "safety." If any of the founding fathers saw us today, they would take out a musket and kill us all.

    February 19, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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