Eric Holder: American ‘Greatness’ Never Really Existed

Appearing Wednesday evening on MSNBC, former Attorney General Eric Holder told Ari Melber he believes the notion of American “greatness” never “really existed.”

A partial transcript is as follows: 

ARI MELBER: There’s a lot of talk about American being a leader as a democracy, quote unquote, in the 1800s when women and African-Americans couldn’t vote. What kind of democracy is that?

ERIC HOLDER: Well, that’s exactly right and that’s why I hear let’s “Make America Great Again,” and I think to myself  “when did you think America was great? It certainly wasn’t when people were enslaved. It certainly wasn’t when women did have the right to vote. It certainly wasn’t when the LGBT community was denied the rights to which it was entitled.

MELBER: Does that phrase echo as discrimination in your ears?

HOLDER: It takes us back to an American past that never in fact really existed, this notion of greatness. You know, America has done superb things, great things, and it has been a leader in a whole range of things, but we’re always a work in process. Looking back, “Make America Great Again” is inconsistent with who we are as Americans at our best where we look at the uncertain future, embrace it, and make it our own.

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