Don Lemon: Eric Holder’s Race Comments, “Context is Everything”

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    Here we go again.

    A government leader is asked a question about the president and race and all hell breaks loose.

    This time it’s U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

    He took on the subject of race in America again and addressed the question about whether some of the opposition to President Barack Obama is based on the color of his skin.

    Holder was responding to a question by ABC News’ Pierre Thomas about why Holder once said he and the President are sometimes treated differently.

    When pressed by the reporter, Holder went on to explain more directly.

    Conservatives like Rush Limbaugh pounced on the comments.

    According to a transcript of his radio show Limbaugh says, “Not true, The Republicans bent themselves into as many shapes as they could to agree with this president. They went out of the way to praise Holder’s nomination. I’ll never forget that.”

    Limbaugh went on to say it was all an effort then by Republicans to curry favor from the Obama administration and show that they were not bigots.

    Others, accused Holder and the administration of, “playing on the fears and anxieties of minorities in hopes of scaring them to the polls in November.”

    Jason Riley of The Wall Street Journal wrote that previous quote as part of an opinion piece for the newspaper.

    And on CNN yesterday he told me that he would respond the same way that President Obama responded some years back when asked the same question as Holder.

    Meaning that in his eyes and in the eyes of the opposition the criticism of the president is based solely on what the right calls his quote, “failed policies.”

    As I always say, context is everything.

    We should keep in mind that the interview was a wide ranging interview which included other topics than race.

    We should also keep in mind that the attorney general was responding to a reporter’s questions about race and opposition the Obama administration.

    And we should keep in mind that Holder prefaced his comments by saying he didn’t know what people were holding in their hearts and that he believed that ‘some’ of the opposition was based on race – not all.

    So let’s just be honest, yes there are people who legitimately oppose the President because of ideology or they just don’t like his policies.

    But, considering the history of this country wouldn’t it, at the very least, be disingenuous to say race plays no role for ‘some’ people who oppose the first black president?

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