February 22, 2009
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We, the cowards! - By Kay Azadabeen

On February 18, 2008, Eric Holder, the first black attorney general in the United States, labeled his country as "a nation of cowards". He argued that most Americans lack the courage to face and challenge racial issues.

If coward means lack of courage, Holder made a good point with his politically incorrect statement. Courage and political correctness do not match very well except in the case of self criticism. If blacks, Jews, or Arabs criticize their own community they are considered courageous; however, if others do it for them, the critique might indicate racism and anti-Semitism. By stating that we are a nation of cowards, Holder, was trying to be courageous and criticize his own nation. Those who felt insulted by his comment might unconsciously think as a black man he is not a true owner of America and therefore should not criticize Americans. Based on this assumption, only true Americans qualify to call themselves cowards.

The true owners of America, the Native Americans, who lost their courage, gave up fighting the invaders of their homeland, and found refuge in reservation camps, bars, and casinos, qualify to call themselves cowards. However, forced cowardice is not the same as its voluntary version; therefore the Native Americans do not qualify to be cowards at all. They were courageous people who became discouraged after their defeat.

Another discouraged group of people were the ancestors of Holder. As slaves they had to give up their courage to the force of slave merchants and slave owners. Considering they had given up their courage involuntarily, they too can not be qualified as cowards.

Since the true owners of America and the salve who built it do not qualify to be cowards, then the rest of us who migrated here for the past five centuries must be the true cowards of this nation. Whether first, second, third, or 20th generation, we all either had lost the courage to fight shortcomings in our ancestral homeland or are descendants of those who had lost their courage to do so. Because of the loss of our courage voluntarily, we the immigrants deserve to call ourselves, we, the cowards!

Since Holder had the position that is traditionally held by a coward or a descendant of a coward, he felt comfortable to associate himself with true cowards of America. However, if coward still means lack of courage, he disqualified himself to be a coward by having the courage to call all of us cowards!

The above theory can be applied to other scenarios as well. For example as Kurdish-Americans we had lost the courage to fight the invaders of our homeland and found refuge in America. Based on this theory, it is inappropriate for us to call Turks, Persian, and Arabs cowards for occupying Kurdistan. We do us a better service to be self critical first, call ourselves cowards, and ask ourselves when will we be free or kay azadabeen?


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