Yet Cleaver calls the House vote holding Holder in contempt “silly?” The chairman of the Black Caucus should have the opposite reaction if only for concern for his own community. Illegal drugs smuggled into the US from Mexico cause havoc among black youth. According to the Center for American Progress, there have been more than 25.4 million drug convictions in the US since 1980, and one third of them were black.
To grasp what’s really motivating Cleaver, I apply what I call the “A Time to Kill” test.
In the 1996 film “A Time to Kill”, a black man in a town in Mississippi hires a white lawyer to defend him after he kills two white racists who raped and mutilated his daughter. When the lawyer makes his closing argument to the jury, he asks them to close their eyes. He describes the atrocities that were done to the girl and concludes by saying “now imagine she’s white.” His black defendant is acquitted.
So close your eyes. Consider the details about “Fast and Furious” and then picture that the Attorney General is not Eric Holder but John Ashcroft (first Attorney General of President G.W. Bush) and that the murdered border agent, Brian Terry, is black.
Would Emanuel Cleaver now call this contempt vote “silly?” Would the Black Caucus have walked out?
For the Black Caucus this is about racial politics.
Fortunately for us, for Darrell Issa (who happens to represent my home district in California) this is about shedding light on what might be broken in ATF operations.