Holder’s care for our plight as African-Americans was never in question. He was stable, hardworking and trusted by many in the country and by our President. He was ruthlessly unapologetic about who he was as a person. He wasn’t scared to get in the fight.
The first African-American in the office and the United States’ 82nd Attorney General, he would have been the third longest serving Attorney General in history had he stayed on until the end of the year—his original plan.
Upon his arrival, he made it a priority to revive the Justice Department’s civil-rights division, which had pretty much gone doormat during the George W. Bush administration.
And his battle for sentencing reform for drug offenses that had afflicted young Black men at alarming rates – along with his working on guidelines to prevent racial profiling – will affect Black men for generations to come.
My hope was that he would be the Janet Reno of this era, an Attorney General that would not leave until that very last day of this administration, a man that would continue to lead us through the continuous tricky balancing act of race in this country.
Who can replace him? The first African-American Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, has already said she doesn’t want the job. Can you blame her?
“The resignation of Attorney General Eric Holder is met with both pride and disappointment by the Civil Rights community,” National Action Network President and MSNBC Politics Nation host Reverend Al Sharpton said in a released statement.
“We are proud that he has been the best Attorney General on civil rights in U.S. history and disappointed because he leaves at a critical time when we need his continued diligence most.”
While the president often took heat for refusing to speak more fervently or forcefully on race, Holder didn’t seem to care. He once even called the United States “a nation of cowards” when it came to racial matters.
For me, Holder has been that holdover to the many men and women before him that broke down racial barriers so that I can be in the position that I’m in today.
As a lawyer, with an Ivy League pedigree, I’m sure Holder will go on to do many great things. He’s already said he hopes to continue to fight for the civil rights of African-Americans.
Not only will the Obama administration miss him, the nation, despite its divisions, will, too.
Zack Burgess is an award winning-journalist, who is the Director/Owner of OFF WOODWARD MEDIA, LLC, where he works as a Writer, Editor and Communications Specialist. Twitter: @zackburgess1
Black Americans Should Be Sad About Eric Holder’s Resignation…But We Understand was originally published on blackamericaweb.com