All the Times Eric Holder Kept It Completely 100

4. That time he said it doesn’t make sense for nonviolent drug offenders to serve out their lengthy prison sentences.

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Attorney General Eric Holder

There is no sensible argument to be made as to why nonviolent drug offenders who received lengthy prison sentences back in the Reagan era should serve out their bloated sentences, when comparable offenders today are getting a fraction of their time. Holder said as much last August and introduced a series of policies that would allow several convicts to come before judges for their cases to be reviewed and their sentences reduced. He also put a needle through the war on drugs:

“As the so-called war on drugs enters its fifth decade, we need to ask whether it, and the approaches that comprise it, have been truly effective.”


5. That time he joked about Obama’s basketball skills.

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

No one trash-talks like a New Yorker. And so it’s no surprise that Holder found it preposterous that anyone would suggest that a guy from Hawaii, President Barack Obama, was better at basketball than a baller like himself, from the mean streets of Queens, N.Y.:

“He’s from Hawaii. I’m from New York. You figure out who has the better game.

6. That time he said it was ludicrous that black people are incarcerated much more heavily than whites for similar offenses.

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Attorney General Eric Holder

Keeping in line with his criminal-justice reform work, Holder also called foul on how black people are jailed much more aggressively than whites for similar crimes:

“We also must confront the reality that once they’re in that system, people of color often face harsher punishments than their peers. … Black male offenders have received sentences nearly 20 percent longer than those imposed on white males convicted of similar crimes,” he said in a speech to the American Bar Association.

“This isn’t just unacceptable—it is shameful.” Well said, Mr. Attorney General.

7. That time he explained how institutional racism is alive and well.

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Attorney General Eric Holder

When the nation was making a fuss about Donald Sterling’s comments on that tape, Holder took the time to remind folks about the harsher travesties that affect black people, like the criminal-justice system and how it’s damn near carrying out the mission of the Jim Crow South: making black men and women disenfranchised and unemployable at greater rates than whites.

8. That time he was one of Obama’s most loyal Cabinet members.

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President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder

They say when the party is all over and the dust settles, it’s who you still have in your corner that counts the most. And through all the pomp and circumstance and the ups and downs, Holder is one of only three members of Obama’s original Cabinet to still be serving in his administration.

Now, that’s ride or die.

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