Dear Attorney General Holder:
Somehow I knew you would ultimately break up with the Justice Department. I understand but it still makes me sad. I understand because of the way you have been vilified by this Congress and their minions throughout the media. I understand because they would not stop until they dragged you in front of them to respond to a contempt citation. I understand because I heard the Congressman say that you did not think the contempt citation (the first ever in history for an Attorney General) was a big deal. I understand as you quickly interrupted that foolishness by saying he was wrong and you did indeed believe it to be a big deal. After all, they did not issue a contempt statement to Richard Nixon’s Attorney General John Mitchell who ended up in jail for his involvement in the Watergate Scandal. They did not issue a contempt statement to Alberto Gonzales who tried to coerce a semi-conscious John Ashcroft to sign documents reversing a ruling that put the Bush White House in a bad light. Yes, I understand.
But, Mr. Attorney General I’m still sad. I’m sad because for 6 years yours has been the voice of courage and integrity. The Washington in-crowd had no idea who they were getting when you were appointed. Oh, they knew your resume. They knew you were New York born and bred. They knew you had a Columbia education. They may have even known that you were a member of the Afro-American Student Association at Columbia and that you participated in a peaceful protest of the ROTC building in hopes of getting the name of the lounge changed to the Malcolm X Lounge. They may have chalked that up to youthful exuberance.
But I wonder if they understood that you married the younger sister of Vivian Malone and Vivian Malone along with James Hood were the first two African American students to enroll in the University of Alabama despite segregationist, racist Governor George Wallace’s declaration that no Black student would ever enroll there. I wonder if they understood that you drank deeply from the springs of justice.
You drank deep enough to fight for marriage equality when others would not touch the issue. You drank deep enough to continue to fight for voter’s rights, investigate Arizona’s restrictive immigration laws, and to speak out and tell the world that on issues of race we were a “nation of cowards.”
I believe you intend to break up with the Justice Department because you love justice more than anything. I think you are not excited about compromising when it comes to justice. I think that although you could not do much about the miscarriage of justice in the death of Trayvon Martin, the case of Mike Brown, Jr. was probably too much to take. I think when you arrived in Ferguson, MO and looked into the faces of the African American youth you met there it was just too much. I think when you looked into the eyes of Mike Brown, Jr.’s parents it sent you over the edge. You love justice too much to settle for anything less.
I know you are leaving but you are also leaving in an incredibly smooth way. You have told the President that you will not leave until another Attorney General is CONFIRMED. You know that as much as Congress hates you, they hate the President even more and while they will probably try to make confirmation difficult, they will be cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Holding up the nomination means they still have to deal with you! And, they will be dealing with a freer, fiercer you. They will be dealing with a you that has already said, “Take this job and shove it!”
You’re breaking up with the Justice Department because you’re in love with justice…I get it but I’m still sorry to see you go and I STILL love you!
Stay Black & Smart!