John Ransom

Attorney General Eric Holder has a strange view of American history.

Speaking of the tensions happening in Ferguson, MO where a black man suspected of a crime was shot dead by a black police officer, Holder, the nation’s highest law enforcement officer, said: “This is something that has history to it and the history simmers beneath the surface in more communities than just Ferguson.”

He’s right of course, but as usual, he’s right for the wrong reasons.

He thinks he’s entitled to speak on this subject because he’s a black man with a black man’s experience in America. He believes in legitimatizing black mistrust of America instead of removing mistrust between the races.

“I understand that mistrust,” said Holder, “I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man.”

I’m wondering who needs the remind on the AG gig. Him? Or us? Because too often Holder acts like the chief community organizer with the justice department as an outreach program.

Holder would be better—and the country would too-- to leave race to history.

I am a writer. But I’m also an Irish Catholic male, a kind of European equivalent of the black male, whose ancestors were denigrated, denied work, suffered the indignities of all the maladies that come with disenfranchisement including crime, alcoholism, high unemployment, absentee fatherism.

That still doesn’t entitle me to speak for the Irish.

The fact is that we all know prejudice in some form or another. But prejudice isn’t the worst of all crimes or the first of all crimes. Because what removes prejudice is accomplishment. And what prevents accomplishment is lack of opportunity.

The black community has a lot of needs, but what they need most is opportunity, not history lessons. If our leaders spent more time on solutions to actual problems in the black community rather than on phony civil rights issues like the War on Women, gay rights, the right to a minimum wage, or a union card; if instead of giving Wall Street a trillion dollar golden parachute, our leaders had come up with a sensible plan to lift up the concept of black fatherhood, for example, opportunities would come of natural course.

This is not the America of the 1900’s.

A black man is in the White House. Black men routinely occupy the highest positions in commerce and government. They do so because somewhere along the line they had opportunity and generally made the most of it.

Allen West, Herman Cain, Ben Carson, Colin Powell all are signs of the progress America has made in race. And the progress would be better, were in not for the progressive progress pushed by Holder and Obama who tap into hatred instead of hope.

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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