“Quick Takes” offers a mix of news, opinion, and research related to race, privilege, and inequality.

Today’s “Quick Takes” includes the costs of immigration measures, the evolving nature of marriage, black farmers poised to receive long-overdue justice, and Sarah Palin on racism and racial justice.

Readers are encouraged to share these stories and to offer their thoughts at the end of the post.

Sarah Palin on racism and President Obama. In her new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin comes out strongly against charges that the Tea Party movement and other conservative groups are racist. She argues that the Tea Party only appears racist to those who mistakenly believe that the United States is still “a fundamentally unjust and unequal country.” As holders of this view, she singles out President Obama, Michelle Obama, and Attorney General Eric Holder (because he called us “a nation of cowards” for failing to discuss race honestly). Palin does not acknowledge the fact that the U.S. does remain in some ways “unjust and unequal” in terms of race, if arguably not “fundamentally” so, or explain what that fact says about how to evaluate the attitudes of the Tea Party and the First Family.

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, in a speech recognizing Black History Month, has told employees at the Justice Department that the U.S. is “a nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations.

Holder, the first black attorney general in the nation’s history, explained that “this nation has still not come to grips with its racial past” and that, if we are to make progress in race relations, “we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us.”

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