Eric Holder has been one of the most consistent Democratic operatives in the last two decades. And by operative, we don’t mean the stereotypical, smarmy, back-of-the-room dealmaker and fixer (see Donald Trump’s inner circle), we mean repping Democratic principles and getting in the mix when those principles are threatened, most notably as the first African-American attorney general under President Barack Obama, the first black president. Holder walked a precarious line as AG and experienced firsthand the backlash that ripped through the nation.

Holder stood fast against police abuse and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. (He told The Root: “Shelby County is one of the worst decisions that the Supreme Court has ever made.”) Those who will oppress took over local and state legislatures, and governorships, which trickle up into national and federal power. In the meantime, they are able to push through draconian laws to further enshrine their sway. These fools is playing chess. And so, those on the other side, the Jedis, must be vigilant and slay it. Or at least hold them off.

That’s why instead of running for president, Holder decided to take on the issue of gerrymandering as head of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, to help redraw the lines of voting districts and, in turn, help restore the balance of power.

During the National Action Network convention, The Root got to speak with OG Jedi Eric Holder about reparations, superstar Stacey Abrams, and Shelby County v. Holder.

Watch an edited conversation above.

About the author

Angela Helm

Ms. Bronner Helm is a Contributing Editor at The Root. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.

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