By Julissa Catalan
On Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder said that ‘there’s a racial animus’ toward the Obama administration.
In a sit-down interview with ABC News, Holder addressed his previous comments about race and clarified his stance. Most notably, he said he and the President are “treated differently.”
Though he does not feel that race is the only reason for the pushback from Republicans, Holder does say that he believes Republicans made up their minds early on to not cooperate with this President.
“There’s a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that’s directed at me [and] directed at the President,” Holder said. “You know, people talking about taking their country back. There’s a certain racial component to this for some people. I don’t think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there’s a racial animus.”
Holder is the first Black attorney general, serving under the first Black President in the nation’s history.
“We’ve made lots of progress,” he said, addressing his and the President’s achievements. “And that has to show that we have made a great deal of progress. But there’s still more we have to travel along this road so we get to the place that is consistent with our founding ideals.”
“I’m very optimistic this country will get there … but I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues,” he added.
Holder is not one to shy away from discussing racism. During his commencement speech at Morgan State University this spring, Holder addressed a multitude of race and discrimination issues, specifically noting that everyday discrimination cuts the deepest, as opposed to “intolerant public statements” like those Donald Sterling made around the time of Holder’s speech.
During his speech, Holder also addressed 2009 comments in which he controversially referred to Americans as “cowards who segregate themselves on weekends, including by going to the ‘race-protected cocoons’ known as malls.” He told ABC, “I wouldn’t walk away from that speech. I think we are still a nation that is too afraid to confront racial issues.”
Watch the interview with ABC News here: