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Holder said some unspecified faction — what he refers to as the “more extreme segment” — is driven to criticize both him and President Barack Obama due to the color of their skin. Holder did not appear to elaborate on who he considered to make up the “more extreme segment.”
“This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” Holder said, according to the Times. “Both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.”
Holder’s accusations come as resignation calls mount from a growing list of 60 congressmen, two senators, every major Republican presidential candidate and two sitting governors, spurred on by the congressional investigation into Operation Fast and Furious.
It’s not the first time the race card has come into play in efforts to protect Holder from criticism.
For much of his life, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. carried around something peculiar. While most people keep cash, family photos, and credit cards in their wallets, Holder revealed to a reporter in 1996 that he keeps with him an old clipping of a quote from Harlem preacher Reverend Samuel D. Proctor. Holder put the clipping in his wallet in 1971, when he was studying history at Columbia University, and kept it in wallet after wallet over the ensuing decades.
What were Proctor’s words that Holder found so compelling?
“Blackness is another issue entirely apart from class in America. No matter how affluent, educated and mobile [a black person] becomes, his race defines him more particularly than anything else. Black people have a common cause that requires attending to, and this cause does not allow for the rigid class separation that is the luxury of American whites. There is a sense in which every black man is as far from liberation as the weakest one if his weakness is attributable to racial injustice.”
When asked to explain the passage, Holder replied, “It really says that … I am not the tall U.S. attorney, I am not the thin United States Attorney. I am the black United States attorney. And he was saying that no matter how successful you are, there’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal or the black doctor with the black homeless person.”