At his press conference on Monday, President Obama recalled some of the work he did on criminal justice reform while he was a state senator.
One of the things I was most proud of when I was in the state legislature, way back when I had no gray hair and none of you could pronounce my name, was I passed legislation requiring videotaping of interrogations and confessions and I passed legislation dealing with racial profiling in Illinois.That reminded me that two years ago I wrote about a whole spectrum of work on criminal justice reform then-senator Barack Obama had done during his short tenure in the state legislature. I found it documented at - of all places - the Daily Caller, where they were horrified at the extent to which President Obama had engaged in this type of reform (i.e., "he's really a blackly-black radical!"). It is rare to non-existent to see stories about this in the mainstream or liberal media.
That's why I find articles like this one, where supposedly professional journalists project their own assumptions into their work rather than actually look at the historical record, to be nothing more than lazy reporting. The tag line reads: "Holder and Obama Differ in Approach to Underlying Issues of Missouri Unrest." They describe AG Eric Holder as a "child of the civil rights era," and contrast that with this about Obama:
He was too young and removed to experience the turmoil of the 1960s, growing up in a multiracial household in Hawaii and Indonesia. As he now seeks balance in an unbalanced time, he wrestles with the ghosts of history that his landmark election, however heady, failed to exorcise.Its true that Eric Holder is 10 years older and grew up in Queens. I'm sure the two men don't always agree about everything. But even as the authors attempt to paint them at odds on these issues, they can't ignore that President Obama chose Eric Holder as his Attorney General precisely because of their shared vision on "overhauling the justice system." In the end, this is an attempt to create a story that doesn't exist.
I would posit that what we have in this country right now are two leaders who grew up as African American males in different circumstances, but came to the same conclusion about the need for reform. Right now they have different jobs they've undertaken to produce that reform. And they're doing a mighty find job of working together to get it done!