Everyone knows about Fast and Furious, the ATF’s debacle of selling guns to Mexican drug lords that has resulted in at least one death of an American law enforcement officer, and who knows how many Mexican nationals. Holder told the New York Times over the weekend in a front page Sunday story, A Partisan Lightning Rod Is Undeterred, that the House investigation of Fast and Furious was just election-year politicking, and that critics were just playing “Washington gotcha games.” He further offered that much of the animus was racially motivated. “This is a way to get at the president because of the way I can be identified with him,” he said, “both due to the nature of our relationship and, you know, the fact that we’re both African-American.” So, the real issue in this debate is–race. Really?
I have no doubt that there exists racism in America. I have seen recent articles describing what it is like to be young and black (or hispanic) in some parts of New York City, and I have no doubt that racism rears its ugly head somewhere every day in America. I was raised in a family with many racists (but not everyone), but was also fortunate to have been a young teenager when MLK was making a lot of sense on the nightly news. I took a stand for what I thought was right. My stand has had its tests, but it has stood. I am sensitive to racism myself as I have a black son-in-law and grandchildren whose color is closer to their father’s than to their mother’s, and I have caught the odd stare or under-the-breath comment in a public restaurant. I have seen racism all my life, growing up in a community that was half-white, half-hispanic, and I know it is there yet.
But the concerns over Holder are not racially motivated. I did not vote for Barack Obama nor do I support his politics, but there was a part of me in 2008 that was proud that Americans now could at least elect a black president. I happened to wish it had been a different black president! But it was clear that we had passed a milestone. Florida Republican Rep. Allen West, himself black, accused Holder of playing the race card, and “the last card in the deck” (see this article in the Daily Caller: West: Holder\’s Race Card Is the Last Card in the Deck), and indicated that this is just an intimidation factor to fend off criticism from whites who don’t want to be viewed as racist.
The problem is that the impact of Fast and Furious is too profound. Too many have died. Someone has to pay for that policy, and the one who has to pay is the guy in charge of the government office that authorized the program. If Holder did know what was going on, he should be fired. If he did not know what was going on, he should be fired. That is bottom line.
We live in a nation of laws. As a Christian I believe that people have to be held accountable for their actions. As a Christian I also believe that God has broken down all barriers that divide us, whether Jew/Gentile or black/white. As a Christian with a mixed race family I also know that racism can be a subtle thing. But what happened in Mexico was not subtle.
It is not a black and white issue. It is a right and wrong issue. Eric Holder should be ashamed of himself. Is this what Martin Luther King died for, so that inept politicians could play cards with the American people? I don’t think so.
Chad Owen Brand