November 29, 2009

Why Race Still Haunts Politics

Clarence Page, Detroit Free Press

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He takes it back. In a recent interview Attorney General Eric Holder conceded that, if he had it to do over again, he might have chosen another less incendiary word than "cowards" in his now-notorious Black History Month speech to describe the way Americans tend to avoid candid talk about race.

I wasn't surprised. Public backlash over his use of the C-word gave him a fast lesson in why so many of us Americans have become too cowardly to talk candidly about race. We're afraid of being called "politically incorrect" or outright "racist."

Yet, we can't shrug off the baggage of history that easily. Questions about race keep coming up, since race continues to be a subtext of our politics like little land mines of "gotcha" moments -- like the one Holder stepped on.

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