In a blunt assessment
of American race relations at a Justice Department ceremony honoring
Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder called the U.S. "a nation of cowards" that has "still not come to grips with its
racial past, nor has
it been willing to contemplate, in a truly meaningful way, the diverse
future it is fated to have." He urged "a period of dialogue" between
races that remain, still and all, divided.
This will be, at first, a process that is both awkward and painful, but
the rewards are, I believe, potentially great. The alternative is to
allow to continue the polite, restrained mixing that now passes as
meaningful interaction, but that in reality, accomplishes very little.