Recently, I was reading an article by Devlin Barrett, of The Associated Press, about U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks Feb. 18. The Attorney General said, "Though the nation proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and, I believe, continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."
What gives this man the temerity to brand a nation of people, individuals who during the course of our nation have given their lives, their property, their families, their time and their money, to make this the greatest nation on earth, as "cowards?" These same individuals were not all one color, nor spoke the same dialect of language, but they came together - rich and poor, strong and weak - to build an ethnic-rich nation. We are not "cowards" as Mr. Holder proclaims, but perhaps he is. Perhaps, he speaks of this without a proper understanding of this nation's rich history.
Mr. Holder also began another observation with the words: "In a country founded by slave owners ..." What? My family never owned slaves - only the wealthy or well-off could afford a slave. Mr. Holder's slam against who owned slaves, (historically white, wealthy plantation owners), is off the mark. A rough figure of the percent of slave owners, whether Caucasian, African-American or other, would be 2 percent. So, it apparently is Mr. Holder's position that a mere 2 percent of the people living in America in 1776 founded this nation.
Mr. Holder probably should look at a history book before accusing most Americans of being either descendants of slave- owning families, or cowards. It is common knowledge that slaves routinely were sold into slavery by people in their own communities. Race no longer should be a subject of fear in this nation. We as a people have overcome those hurdles and have proved we can live together in peace, each race welcomed by all other races, each race given the opportunity to learn from the other races, members of each race able to adhere to their own beliefs.
If President Obama really wants this nation to move beyond race, perhaps he should start with his own Cabinet.
John Buckland resides in Steamboat Springs, is a graduate of the University of Maryland-European Division and is a decorated veteran of the United States Air Force.