A Nation of Cowards
February 19, 2009
Obama’s newly-appointed attorney general, Eric Holder, says we’re a “nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations:
“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 said at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. “Though race-related issues continue to occupy a significant portion of our political discussion, and though there remain many unresolved racial issues in this nation, we, average Americans, simply do not talk enough with each other about things racial.
In the first place, the “average Americans” were brave enough to elect the first black president in the history of the United States a few months ago. But Holder is right, when it comes to public life, as opposed to the privacy of a voting booth, Americans are much more tentative.
Is it any wonder why? Because of the amount of employment litigation in this country, combined with the forces of political correctness, we get all sorts of “diversity training” at our jobs telling us that we dare not say anything that might make a co-worker “uncomfortable.” The topic of race certainly makes people uncomfortable. And the more that Holder pursues racial harassment claims on the part of the DOJ, the more tentative Americans will become. And if people learn that they can’t talk about race (or gender differences, or religion) at work, that is going to spread to other areas of life. Eventually, political correctness imposes the silence of which Holder complains.
Incidentally, I had to suffer through one of those diversity training programs at a prior firm. The funniest part was the incoherency. The speaker noted that we’d heard of the “golden rule”, where we must treat others as we would have others treat us, but he encouraged us to go “beyond” the golden rule to the “platinum rule”, where we treat others as they would like to be treated. That, of course, makes no sense. Consider this hypothetical: I would like everyone to give me all of their money. If my coworkers are to follow the platinum rule, they must give me all of their money. If they follow the golden rule, on the other hand, they can tell me I’m being immature or greedy, as some of them no doubt would like to be told that if they were silly enough to make such a demand. In any event, the members of my firm were unable to follow the platinum rule. They certainly didn’t treat me the way I (or probably most people) would like to be treated, which is why I left…