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norman kelley

norman kelley
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Norman Kelley is an independent journalist, author, and former segment radio producer at WBAI 99.5 FM Pacifica Radio. He has written for Society, L A Weekly, The Brooklyn Rail, The Village Voice, The Nation, New York Press, Newsday,, The Black Star News, New Politics, Black Renaissance/Noir, and The Bedford Stuyvesant Current. He is also the author of the "noir soul"/ mystery series that features "Nina Halligan" in Black Heat (Amistad), The Big Mango (Akashic Books), and A Phat Death (2003). Norman Kelley was also a contributing writer to Brooklyn Noir (Akashic Books, 2004) and DC Noir (Akashic Books, 2006) and Gig: Americans Talk About Their Jobs at the Turn of the Millennium (Random House 2000). He edited and contributed to R&B (Rhythm and Business): The Political Economy of Black Music (Akashic Books, 2005; 2002).

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APRIL 28, 2009 10:41AM

Is President Obama a Leader of a "Nation of Cowards"?

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During Black History Month, Attorney General Eric Holder caused a bit of a stir when he said that Americans were a "nation of cowards" when it came to confronting race.

Given that, according to the New York Times, "Sixty-two percent of Americans share Mr. Obama’s view that [Congressional torture] hearings are unnecessary," is the president a leader of a nation of cowards, people too afraid to hold their leaders and themselves accountable to the law, too afraid to learn the truth?

Is it possible that since the nation has often ducked the truth about race, it is also too willing to duck the truth about the torture allegations?

Contrast and compare this with another poll that says the opposite. 

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The American people would have followed if Obama had the courage to lead on this issue. Sadly, he didn't.
Quite frankly (and with tongue only slightly in cheek), rather than the leader of "a nation of cowards" it seems to me that he's more a leader of "a nation of ducks". We duck the truth about race. We duck the truth about torture allegations. We duck the truth about greed. We duck the truth about health care. We're a nation of ducks.
Your's is an excellent point and point of view.

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