While praising significant achievements in our country's racial history, Mr. Holder claimed that "in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." He further noted that there is "no significant interaction" between people of different races outside the workplace, and that much in this regard hasn't changed in 50 years ago.
Here's the relevant excerpt from his remarks:
As a nation we have done a pretty good job in melding the races in the workplace. We work with one another, lunch together and, when the event is at the workplace during work hours or shortly thereafter, we socialize with one another fairly well, irrespective of race. And yet even this interaction operates within certain limitations. We know, by "American instinct" and by learned behavior, that certain subjects are off limits and that to explore them risks, at best embarrassment, and, at worst, the questioning of one’s character. And outside the workplace the situation is even more bleak in that there is almost no significant interaction between us. On Saturdays and Sundays America in the year 2009 does not, in some ways, differ significantly from the country that existed some fifty years ago. This is truly sad. Given all that we as a nation went through during the civil rights struggle it is hard for me to accept that the result of those efforts was to create an America that is more prosperous, more positively race conscious and yet is voluntarily socially segregated.
Do you agree with the new Attorney General? Are we a "nation of cowards" in matters of race? Are we much more integrated in the workplace than in the housing and social arena? If so, why do you think this is the case? What can or should be done to foster understanding and end segregation?
What do you think?