Monday, February 23, 2009

Yes We Are

(TRENTON, NJ – Feb. 20) This week, Attorney General Eric Holder said “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial, we have always been and we -- I believe continue to be in too many ways essentially a nation of cowards.” Well, allow me to take the rare opportunity to agree with Mr. Holder. Sorry folks, yes we are.

When people are uneasy about a black person making jokes about black people in general (and it’s the tamest of jokes,) we have a problem. If ethnicity is brought up in conversation and someone tries to diffuse it by saying, “I do not see Black and White, I see American,” that’s a problem. When people are afraid of disagreeing with someone because of their color…for example, when some Whites disagreed with Obama and it had everything to with his policies is not his race. They were afraid to speak out because they would have been labeled a racist. In my case, I would have been labeled a sellout. That is a BIG problem.

When people say, “Why do we need to talk about having a dialogue on race, we always have this whenever something racial happens?” Complaining about talking about race is a problem, and here is why we need to have the dialogue. For starters, the people who don’t want to talk about it anymore would like to avoid the issue, either because the wrong people have been using race for their own personal gain OR because they are afraid to be labeled as a racist (as stated in the example in the last paragraph.)

There also has not been an honest dialogue about it in my opinion. America needs to acknowledge that its past has been super ugly, and I don’t mean mention it casually and brush it aside as if all is right with the world. The truth is that America has a long way to go to achieving racial harmony. This has been proven recently where The New York Post can draw a cartoon in poor taste. While it is the New York Post’s right to publish the cartoon, it is equally everyone’s right to be offended by it. In addition to that, both sides of the aisle have been guilty at times with using the resentment of Blacks and Whites for political gain.

Let’s go back to the recent election, where many people in general were afraid to show dissent against then-Presidential candidate Obama. If Whites dissented, they would have been viewed as a racist. If blacks (like me) did not agree with President Obama, we get called with sellouts or self-haters. I was recently told to finish my Clorox bath when I reminded the unapologetically Black community that President Obama was running things, not us.

Everything is not a racial incident. When we are afraid to disagree with policy because of racial concerns, then we are indeed wimps about the subject. America has some pondering to do, before we accuse Holder of trying to stir the pot.

P. Kenneth Burns is a broadcaster and the editor of Maryland Politics Today. His email is


Daniel said...

Forgive me, Mr. Burns, but I really don't understand how I am a coward concerning race.

Would you explain it please?

Anonymous said...

How is this for cowardly not taking a stand:

From: Senator Ben Cardin>
Sent: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 2:56 pm
Subject: Re: Stop the Employee NO Choice Act

Dear Ms. K:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concern over the Employee Free Choice A ct.

The Employee Free Choice Act would amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish a system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, and to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts. In cases where there are a majority of workers who sign authorizations, the bill would require employers to recognize the union. In cases where there is some question as to the desire for a union, such as in cases where only a minority of people have signed authorizations, there will still be votes conducted. It is and will remain illegal for anyone to coerce employees to sign union authorizations.

The Employee Free Choice Act was introduced on March 29, 2007 by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. On Tuesday, June 26 th , 2007, a motion to end debate on proceeding to the bill failed by a vote of 51-48, nine votes short of the 60 required to invoke cloture.

I thank you for sharing your views on this important issue and hope that you will contact me again with any other concerns you may have.

Dear Senator Cardin:

Does the email reply below indicate you are in support of this bill? I would hope you would reconsider. Simply, this bill would put an end to secret ballots. There is nothing positive about that for any American. Please see this letter sent from members of congress to Mexico extolling the benefits of a secret ballot:

Furthermore, SEIU and ACORN/Project Vote share the same office and phone number. This information is disconcerting in the least in addition to the Acorn voter fraud being investigated in many states. The fact that these organizations are in support of such a bill raises serious questions of integrity.

Please let me know how you address these issues if you are indeed in support or state your position otherwise. Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to your reply.


wind river said...

Holder is working for the BIGGEST COWARD in America. Obama sat in a church listening to a racist black separatist preacher and said NOTHING until it was politically advantageous to do so.
It is the like of Holder who will destroy those who speak the truth of race. It is his kind who believe in thought crimes and hate crimes. It is his kind who want to bring the weight of the government if we print a cartoon of a monkey if it has any connection at al lto a black man. (only of it is a democrat)
I have no problem talking about race and what I feel are the problems with both races. I AM limited in where and when I can do that of course because there are still SO DAMN many who would call out the RACIST term at the first sign of speaking of the fatherless rate or the criminal rate of blacks. so you see how it can difficult to hold an honest discussion on race.

P. Kenneth Burns said...

Wind River,

That is exactly my point. It is those ready to scream "red" or "racist" that is keeping the honest discussion of race from happening. I will say what I need to say with no shame whatsoever. If you been labeled certain terms, your world view is that you have nothing to lose. In any event, at some point, you have to take a stand, you can not be lukewarm.

I would suggest to anyone a book written by Harry R. Jackson Jr. called, "The Truth in Black and White."

Duke hoops fan said...

Mr. Burns -

I do not consider myself a coward concerning race and will not be painted by broad strokes. Our society as a whole has been dumbed down and numbed considerably by the media and race baiting hucksters who would have us blindly believe their rantings and accusations. If you want proof check out the video of the Fox reporter calling out the ACORN spokeswoman.

Thank you

Daniel said...

Truly an AHA moment then, for me at least.

Thank you, Wind River & P. Kenneth.

I just wasn't positive if there was another message in there.

I happen to agree fully with Wind River.

P. Kenneth Burns said...

Duke Hoops Fan...

Whenever we are backed into a corner by racial pimps and do not speak out against the whoring of resentment and stereotypes, we are wimps.

The people who need to speak out against any for of legitimate racism, do not. The people who need to speak up for those being victimized by illegitimate racism, do not.

Sorry, we are racial wimps for the most part.