By Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
Black American leadership too often is taken for granted. Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation from office not because of malfeasance or wrong doing, but because of his resolve to leave office after serving six years, the third-longest tenure in history. Being the nation’s top law enforcement officer was not an easy job, yet he stood tall for the principles of equal justice and fairness.
I have personally known and witnessed the evolution of Eric Holder’s outstanding career over the past 30 years. The justice and judicial system interests of the United States of America were served well by his contributions and leadership.
President Barack Obama explained, “I chose him to serve as attorney general because he believes as I do that justice is not just an abstract theory. It’s a living and breathing principle … That’s why I made him America’s lawyer, the people’s lawyer.”
Even after some raised objections to Holder being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become America’s first Black American attorney general, Holder was confirmed and since has been a strong advocate for freedom, justice and equality.
In a special ceremony inside the White House, Holder stated, “I have loved the Department of Justice ever since as a young boy I watched Robert Kennedy prove during the Civil Rights Movement how the department can – and must – always be a force for that which is right.”
Holder opposed suppression moves across the nation that have attempted to gut the Voting Rights Act. He also launched and directed the official Justice Department investigation about the killing of Trayvon Martin. Holder traveled to Ferguson, Mo. to amplify the demand for justice in the wake of the murder of young unarmed Michael Brown and held meeting with the parents of Brown. Holder has shown courageous leadership.
Expressing appreciation to President Obama, Holder stated, “I hope that I have done honor to the faith you placed in me, Mr. President, and to the legacy of all those that served before me.”
We believe that Eric Holder kept that faith and exemplified the best example of law enforcement national administration.
As we rapidly approach the November national elections, it will be important that the U.S. Department of Justice remains committed to protecting the voting rights of all Americans, and in particular Black American voting rights. We hope that President Obama will nominate another freedom fighter for equal justice to replace Holder.
In the meantime, we all should pause to say thank you to Attorney General Eric Holder. One of the best ways to express our gratitude to Holder is to make sure we have the largest Black American voter turnout in American history this November. That would be a great and lasting tribute Brother Holder.
Benjamin F. Chavis, is the President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and can be reached for national advertisement sales and partnership proposals at: firstname.lastname@example.org; and for lectures and other professional consultations at: http://drbenjaminfchavisjr.wix.com/drbfc