Holder: Forget 'Hateful Rants,' Real Racism Lurks Quietly Cites disparities in sentencing, voting, education as far more damaging By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted May 18, 2014 7:29 AM CDT 194 comments Comments This April 17, 2014 file photo shows Attorney General Eric Holder speaking in Overland Park, Kansas. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File) (Newser) – Eric Holder dismissed the likes of Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy and their very public brouhahas, and focused on "policies that disenfranchise specific groups" as "more pernicious than hateful rants." His commencement speech yesterday at Baltimore's Morgan State University marked his most pointed commentary on race since early in his tenure when he controversially derided the US as a "nation of cowards," reports the LA Times. "A criminal justice system that treats groups of people differently—and punishes them unequally—has a much more negative impact than misguided words that we can reject out of hand." Holder hammered the point over and over again, contending that "the greatest threats do not announce themselves in screaming headlines." He also swiped at the Supreme Court's recent decision on affirmative action, citing Sonia Sotomayor's dissent that we must not "wish away, rather than confront" racism. His comments came on the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The Washington Post has a complete transcript.