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February 24th, 2009
10:58 AM ET

Americans aren’t cowards on race

Tara Wall
CNN Contributor

First, we're a nation of whiners; now, we're a nation of cowards.

The coward comment comes from none other than President Obama's newly minted attorney general, Eric Holder.

The remarks were part of a speech Holder delivered for Black History Month. Yet, even in that context, the words came across as arrogant, condescending and not at all becoming a statesman.

One dictionary definition of coward is "lacking courage." Stinging words for a country at war, where white and black soldiers are shedding the same color blood. Are they cowards?

Ironic too that Holder's remarks come at a time when the nation has just elected its first black president and witnessed the confirmation of its first black attorney general (Holder himself). Forget that more whites than blacks cast their ballots for a black man to lead the nation. So this is how Holder says thanks?

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Filed under: Race in America • Tara Wall
October 27th, 2008
02:57 PM ET

ACORN's actions threaten integrity of voting

Early voters wait in long lines in Gary, Indiana.

Early voters wait in long lines in Gary, Indiana.

Tara Wall
CNN Political Contributor

Under FBI investigation, with about a dozen active and open state investigations for accusations of voter registration fraud, ACORN has got some explaining to do. And now even The New York Times has chastised the organization for "vastly overstating" its voter registration numbers.

ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, had set up in 800 poor neighborhoods across the country, targeting minorities, mostly blacks, to register to vote.

It is a noble enough goal to combat past efforts to suppress the black vote and prevent voter "disenfranchisement." But just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions - the good intentions of some is leading to an all-out path to destruction of the soul of our electoral process.

One Cleveland, Ohio, woman - black, 20-something, first-time voter, being interviewed on television - reported that she was "harassed" and "preyed upon" by ACORN workers each time she got off the bus. Each time she told them she had registered already and each time, they told her it was OK to do it again.

Eventually, she had registered six times and didn't realize she had done anything wrong until an election official noticed the discrepancy and called to notify the woman that her ability to vote could now be in jeopardy because she had registered so many times. What a travesty! Talk about disenfranchisement.

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Editor's note: Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Times, is a political contributor to CNN. Before joining the newspaper, she was a senior adviser for the Republican National Committee and was appointed a public affairs director in the Department of Health and Human Services by President Bush. Read her columns here.


Filed under: Raw Politics • Tara Wall
October 14th, 2008
08:30 AM ET

Obama and Bush are not so far apart

Editor's note: Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor and columnist for The Washington Times, serves as a political contributor to CNN. Before joining the newspaper, she was a senior adviser for the Republican National Committee and was appointed a public affairs director in the Department of Health and Human Services by President Bush. Read her columns here.

Tara Wall
CNN Contributor

Since Barack Obama incessantly makes the case that a John McCain administration would equate to another Bush term, it's worth looking at just how much Sen. Obama himself is in agreement with the unpopular president.

Does that mean that he, too, would be a repeat of President Bush? If one were to apply his logic, maybe so.

Here are 20 reasons why:

1. Abstinence: Bush expanded community-based abstinence education during his term, including a $28 million budget increase for 2009 in an effort to "Teach both abstinence and contraception to teens." Obama concurred in April when he said: "We want to make sure that, even as we are teaching responsible sexuality and we are teaching abstinence to children, that we are also making sure that they've got enough understanding about contraception."

2. Affirmative action: Bush said of the 2003 University of Michigan affirmative action case: "I strongly support diversity of all kinds, including racial diversity in higher education. But the method used by the University of Michigan to achieve this important goal is fundamentally flawed" - because it depended solely on race. Bush has said other factors, such as socioeconomic status, should be considered, which would include poor white students.

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