Saturday, July 25, 2009

White is the new neutral

I've been following the Sotomayor hearings with interest and wanted to share an excerpt from a New York Times editorial Life Lessons Should Count on Top Court.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the engaging South Carolina Republican, lectured the Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor last week that if he had made a comment like hers that a “wise Latina woman” often reaches better conclusions, it would have a been a career-ender.

The cable-news commentators concurred and the nominee, playing the create-no-waves confirmation game, expressed regret. Actually, her remark was rational and Mr. Graham’s analysis flawed.

Suppose, for example, he had said: “I would hope that a wise, white Southern male with the richness of growing up in South Carolina would more often than not be more sensitive on the issue of race relations than a white Northerner who hasn’t lived that life.” While some might have disagreed, most of his constituents would have agreed, and his future would be as bright as ever....

What endures, however, is the spectacle of middle-aged, white Republicans lecturing the first Latin female nominee about the irrelevance of race, gender and life experiences for a judge. Even Mr. Graham, one of the more enlightened lawmakers — a strong immigration advocate and a thoroughly modern Republican — didn’t get it.
And if you don't have time to read the editorial, you can always watch the Colbert Report's take on the Neutral Man's Burden:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Neutral Man's Burden
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford


  1. Thanks for these links, Rixa. The confirmation has been really frustrating to witness in this regard. I feel bad for Sotomayor having to sit there and take it... even though I think she will be a fine justice. I guess a lot of people's diss topics are being generated right now ;).

  2. I am begining to really love Stephen Colbert...Thanks for the link.

  3. Love it! Some of the Sotomayor hearings have been so teeth-grittingly frustrating. Trust Stephen Colbert to tell it like it is...

  4. So so racist and ridiculous.

  5. Quite honestly, both sides always grill perfectly capable judges for no reason. I dislike Sotomayor's politics (and I particularly dislike her ruling in the firefighters case), but I think she is perfectly capable of being on the Supreme Court, she meets all the criteria (as did the judges the dems didn't want to be on the court).

  6. My 2C on the subject, research her role in the reverse discrimination case against the firefighters.

  7. Sorry, but I've gotta call a big "BS" on this Colbert thing, based on the quote you had in the post.

    Remember Trent Lott, former Senate Majority Leader, from Mississippi? He was forced to step down from his leadership position (and many thought he was positioning himself to run for President in the future), because he made some nice comments about an old guy (Strom Thurmond) on his 100th birthday. Yeah, we reelected Lott as Senator, and would probably have done so until he died, but "as bright a future" is not accurate. And if Graham had said those racist things, not all of his constituents would have gotten upset, I agree, but he would have been tarred and feathered in the national media, unlike Judge Sotomayor.

    The problem is that the Republicans play nice when Democrats are in office -- if the roles were reversed -- in fact, WHEN the roles were reversed, and Pres. Bush wanted to nominate many federal judges, the Democrats threatened filibuster, and a lot of nominees (including many who were just as qualified as Sotomayor, and one I know of for sure who was Hispanic) were non-starters, because of the fit the Dems pitched. Then we have these mealy-mouthed Republicans who go along with the appointing activist judges, then whine about them once they start legislating from the bench. Well, whadja expect? And when Republicans and conservatives express reservations about certain nominees who happen to be female or not lily white, we get the epithet of "racist" or "sexist" thrown in our teeth. But when Republicans nominate minorities, liberals and Democrats go all-out against them, and nary a word is said about their sex or the color of their skin. Anyone who thinks the media is non-biased is incredibly naive at best.

    The whole political scene about makes me sick.



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