Mr. President: Hold on to Holder
Don’t let Eric Holder resign.
Contrary to the generally-accepted narrative, black people aren’t really expecting all that much from you. They’re happily surprised when you can get through big programs that can make a positive impact on them, like your healthcare law. That’s icing.
What they do expect from you is that you be a strong symbol, in victory and in defeat, and especially for their children, to let their progeny know that they should strive harder and that there is no reason for them to be tippy-toe about winning — something many Black people see as the one still elusive freedom they have yet to achieve.
This is like Joe Louis, or Muhammad Ali, when Blacks invested all their emotions in them winning. They didn’t expect Joe or Muhammad to send them a dime; they gave Black people all they needed by beating all from that group who did not wish them well.
This is to say that you can’t let them make Eric Holder go. Black people may know, or they may not know, the attorney general is fighting for them when he fights for voting rights and affirmative action. They may know, or they may not know, he didn’t arrest the Panthers in front of that polling place in Philadelphia even though Bill O’Reilly ordered him to. They may include themselves among the number who criticizes him for not taking down the Wall Street bankers who brought us the Great Recession or for not going after Bush and Cheney for war crimes, or for not going after Karl Rove for … something.
What’s important to black people is that Holder looks his detractors in the eye, like Joe did with his opponent, like Ali did, and takes them on. In those hearings, he doesn’t back down and Black people like that. How many black people can tell off their haters, ever so politely but no less pointedly, to osculate their ebon behinds and keep their jobs? They don’t expect a dime from Eric either. He’s given them much more in the performances.
Black people have televisions, too. They see the Republicans going after Holder to get to you through all these, uh, “scandals.” But they know, too, that this ain’t nothing that you — nor he, nor they, themselves — ain’t already dealt with.
Just hang tough. What can’t kill you makes you stronger. This, too, shall pass. Whatever bromide you need to cling to, Mr. President, you cling to it, and you do not give in. Don’t let him resign to ostensibly spend more time with the fam — or for the alleged greater good. If that happens, there will be, for black people, little greater good left to salvage.