Holder: America Should Be 'Color Brave,' Not Color Blind
Due to 'Echoes of Injustice'...
7:14 AM, Jul 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Martin Luther King dreamed that one day his children would "be judged on the basis of the content of their character, not the color of their skin." This week, the current head of the Justice Department said that "given the disparities that still afflict and divide us," that dream will have to wait.
Eric Holder addressed an audience at Howard University Tuesday as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. After recounting the horrific struggles of the civil rights movement and heroic efforts of many who fought to extend those rights to all races, Holder suggested, as is his wont in such speeches, that "significant challenges remain" and there is "a great deal more to do." He went on:
As it stands, our society is not yet colorblind; nor should it be, given the disparities that still afflict and divide us. We must be color brave and must never forget that all are made better and more prosperous if all are given equal opportunities...
The term "color brave" was either coined or popularized by Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments, who used it at a TED [Technology, Entertainment and Design] conference talk in May of this year. TED's website describes her remarks:
Holder himself famously declared in 2009 that "in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." Holder seems to be offering "color brave" as a contrast to the "nation of cowards":
In his Tuesday speech, Holder made clear that not only will he continue to talk and aggressively act as attorney general to right the racial "echoes of injustices" as he sees them, but the injustices based on sexual orientation and gender identity as well, the new frontiers of the modern civil rights movement. What is less clear is when Holder believes King's dream might be achieved and justice can truly be blind.
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