Jul 15, 2009
Let's add a little spice.
Sonia Sotomayor is being grilled about her ability to impartially apply the law in cases that will be brought before her. The “concerned” Republicans are worried she may be “racist” because she made a comment about being a wise Latina and how that might just give her an advantage in reaching sound decisions.
As usual, the Republicans fail to apply any test of basic logic to their "outrage" before they trot it out for the press. First, I'm not really sure they understand what racism means .... and isn't that telling. Awareness, and discussion, of the fact that some races are treated differently is not racism. The first step in eradicating the affects of racism is identification of the inequities. Racism is not the awareness of, or discussion about the existence of different “races”. Embracing differences, (to use an oft quoted catch-phrase) requires acknowledging differences. Differences are good, not taboo subjects. A person is racist when they believe that racial differences mean one race should be treated differently than another.
Another flaw in their argument is the way they simplify the judicial process. Laws need interpretation because they are applied to real life situations involving real people. That’s what judges do. If you think the human element doesn’t enter into it, you are sadly mistaken. The reason for the judiciary system is that application of law is not a cookie cutter process. People are subjective, situational creatures. We constantly change our minds and are known to disagree with each other, you know, dissenting opinions and such. Otherwise we would just build a computer to apply justice.
Ironically right next to the Sotomayor confirmation article on MSN was an article titled, “Who’s getting hit most by layoffs?” The answer to that question depends on your age, race and gender. I'll give you one guess as to who is affected the least. But first let me explain an anomaly with the results. It seems women are affected less than men. The reason is women are paid less than men and they are in the lower paid professions that are not being hit as hard, like health care. Removing gender as a consideration and only considering ethnicity, the results are predictable. I don't even have to write them here, you know what they are.
This, my Republican friends, is why we need this wise Latina's valuable and unique perspective on our highest court. Sotomayor's comment sounded like ethnic pride to me and a tongue in cheek poke at the established power base. (Here’s a secret ---- it’s still mostly middle aged, white men.) The more perspectives we can add the better off we'll be in dispensing even handed justice for all.