About that “honest” discussion on race …

I have to wonder if this is what AG Holder was talking about when he urged “cowardly” Americans to have “real” and “honest” discussions about race:

The Reverend Al Sharpton is putting the smack down on the New York Post, suggesting racism could be a factor in a political cartoon featured in this morning’s edition.

The cartoon (by Sean Delonas) comes in the wake of yesterday’s national news story about the cop who shot and killed a rampaging chimp in Connecticut. But the controversy in the comic comes from the dialogue between the two officers — which reads, “Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”

Before most of you woke up, Sharpton already fired off a statement saying, “The cartoon in today’s New York Post is troubling at best given the historic racist attacks of African-Americans as being synonymous with monkeys. One has to question whether the cartoonist is making a less than casual reference to this when in the cartoon they have police saying after shooting a chimpanzee that “Now they will have to find someone else to write the stimulus bill.”

“Being that the stimulus bill has been the first legislative victory of President Barack Obama (the first African American president) and has become synonymous with him it is not a reach to wonder are they inferring that a monkey wrote the last bill?”

The NYT helpfully points out that Sharpton’s not the only prominent figure to come out and condemn the cartoon. There are now calls for “boycotts” and “apologies” etc.


In a rare moment of disagreement with his side of the aisle, Jon Chait says, well, sometimes a monkey is just a monkey:

But, look, obviously the point is that the stimulus bill could have been written by a monkey. The monkey doesn’t look like Obama and is in no way suposed to represent him. And it incorporated violence because the monkey in the news story was, in fact, shot — and the punchline depends on the monkey being dead and thus unavailable to write further legislation. Again, while it’s a mediocre joke at best, Obama supporters shouldn’t be looking for racial slights around every corner. So far there have been very few of them.

I hope like heck that the NY Post stands firm and doesn’t offer the slightest apology for this non-racist cartoon, because if it does, it will just mean that white people will once again have to take a back seat (no pun intended) to race hustlers like Sharpton whose forms of “discussion” on race equate to them talking, and you listening.

Malkin made some excellent points in her post today on the issue of “cowardly” Americans and the race issue:

Funny. When I think of racial cowards, I think of Barack Obama at Jeremiah Wright’s church, sitting there week after week, year after year, saying nothing about the separatist demagoguery echoing from the pulpit to the pews.

When I think of racial cowards, I think of all the navel-gazers who fret about poisonous racial dialogue, but say nothing about “My President Is Black” bigotry.

When I think of racial cowards, I think of the people cowed by mau-mau-er Al Sharpton — now attacking the NYPost over a cartoon lampooning that crazy dead chimp.

When I think of racial cowards, I think of the folks who enable p.c. thugs to cry racism over “That One” and “Thug Thizzle” and “tricked out.”

Holder doesn’t want an honest dialogue about race. In the Age of 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.


Obama himself did everything he could to avoid race during the campaign — aside from the occasional insinuation that target=”_blank”McCain’s a bigot — until the Wright uproar forced his hand. He could have used his platform to push the issue front and center but he decided he’d rather get elected. Holder owes his job to that, ahem, cowardice.

Point taken, although just as a slight correction Obama actually did bring up the race issue during the primaries – in a subtle way of course. It was documented early on how he and his campaign bogusly played the race card on both Bill and Hillary Clinton back in January during the run-up to the crucial SC primary vote. TNR’s Sean Wilentz wrote about that incident, and others that happened after that here.

Obama administration non-transparency watch

Like so many other Obama campaign promises, this one’s been broken, too (via Memeo):

In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.

The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.

They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.

A Politico review of Federal Register issuances since Obama took office found three executive orders, one presidential memorandum, one presidential notice, and one proclamation that went unannounced by the White House.

Two of Obama’s actions on regulatory reform were spotted by bloggers, lobbying groups and trade publications after they emerged in the Federal Register.

There was no apparent rhyme or reason to the omissions. A proclamation Obama issued on February 2 for African-American History Month was e-mailed to the press and posted on the White House web site. But another presidential proclamation the same day for American Heart Month slipped by.

Such notices were routinely released by the White House press office during prior administrations — making their omission all the more unusual given Obama’s oft-repeated pledges of openness.

Most of the documents were posted to the White House web site Tuesday night, after Politico inquired about their absence. “It was a simple oversight,” a spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said.

Uh huh.

Ed Morrissey responds:

Another EO halted review of regulations in federal agencies, pending the installation of a new review process. That seems less controversial, as most administrations have their own regulatory procedures. However, since the EO stopped review altogether, transparency would have called for disclosure of that fact and of the EO itself.

Most Transparent Administration Evah? More like the same old, same old.


Here’s more, via the WaPo (h/t: ST reader Neo):

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, railed against a provision [in the stimulus bill] that he said would undermine the independence of watchdog agencies within the government. The bill sets up a new panel, the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which has the authority to request “that an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.”

“Any new limitation on the independence of inspectors general is dangerous,” Grassley said.

Now that’s change you can believe in.


Via AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder says the United States is a nation of cowards on matters of race.

In a speech Wednesday to Justice Department employees marking black history month, Holder said that many racial issues remain unresolved and average Americans “simply do not talk enough with each other about race.”

The nation’s first black attorney general, Holder said the American workplace is largely integrated but Americans still self-segregate on the weekends and in their private lives.

He urged people of all races to use Black History Month as a chance for frank talk about racial matters.

The irony that the first black AG in our nation’s history – who was nominated by our first black president in history – is the one making these claims should not escape anyone.

Who’d have thought that someone Obama picked to serve in his cabinet would sound a little like Obama’s spiritual mentor Rev. Wright? 8-|

(Hat tip: ST reader Neo)

Update 1: Here’s a more detailed article on Holder’s remarks.

I wonder if Holder understands that in terms of people in this country “not talking more about race,” that most of it has to do with the fact that anytime a white Republican talks about the issue he or she is branded a racist by Democrats, both white and black? That’s a way of trying to shut down the debate, and if Holder has big issues in any breakdowns in communications, he should start with his own party.

Update 2 -4:47PM: Here’s a transcript of Holder’s remarks.