Attorney General Eric Holder, who has come under heavy scrutiny for his involvement in matters ranging from Fast and Furious to the New Black Panther voter intimidation scandal, has not been getting proper defense from the White House, according to several black journalists. On Roland Martin’s show on TVOne, Martin asked, “is this White House doing enough to protect the attorney general? And also, where is black leadership? I mean, here you have Eric Holder, who has been — first of all, he was a high-ranking official in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton. He becomes the black, first African-American attorney general. He has been very aggressive on many issues. But some folks are saying that look, he’s been taken to the woodshed and he is not getting the kind of support that you would think he would be getting.”
Martin isn’t the only one questioning whether the White House has thrown Holder under the bus over his race. MSNBC contributor Karen Finney says that the White House should send out surrogates rather than Holder to protect him. “I think there’s a way to be defending Eric Holder and substantiating the points that he’s making because he’s making some very important points in terms of legal precedents, which we’ve heard it in the past from other administrations. And I think that’s the time when you need other validators on the outside.”
The criticism by black journalists of the Obama administration poses a significant threat to Obama’s base. He has thus far been able to uphold his support in the black community largely by appeals to racial solidarity – hence his African-Americans for Obama campaign group, as well as commercials that appeal solely to the black demographic. But if he begins to be perceived as a sell-out on other black administration members, he may find himself in the uncomfortable position of having to defend his lack of support for black politicians like Eric Holder and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).