Thursday, May 28, 2009

Opposing Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor is seen as achieving a historic landmark by being set to be the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court. Anyone who wants to oppose her nomination is supposed to feel awkward about standing in the way of an ethnic milestone being achieved. Although I understand the idea of an ethnic group taking pride in the achievements of one of its members, the mainstream media is a bit hypocritical in doing their ethnic-gender tallies.

Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain. Seldom was her ascent to that post lauded as a victory for women. Apparently, political conservatives can not be counted as women. Clarence Thomas was similarly stripped of his African American status for daring to leave the liberal ghetto on America's political spectrum. The National Black Republican Association is similarly relegated to the sidelines of political discourse. After being empowered to vote, African Americans and Hispanics are told by the liberal establishment, "Be glad you live in America, where you're free to do whatever I want."

Sonia Sotomayor seems to have read the political winds and said what she needs to get ahead. when she was among "friends" she gave a wink and a chuckle to the idea of legislating from the bench noting that appeals courts are "where policy is made"(see video below) Most offensive is her comment about white men that was blatantly racist. She promoted her own fitness as a judge as follows.

"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

There is a uniquely human ability to project oneself into the shoes of another person. There were white Republican judges in the American South who slammed their gavels on segregation. Lyndon Johnson was a white male who presided over a seismic shift in the civil rights landscape. The biggest problem with stereotypes is finding people who will conform to them.

Sonia Sotomayor is also a member of the National Council of La Raza (the race) which is the first major third party to form on ethnic lines. This raises questions about ethnic fragmentation in American politics, which many believe to be a negative development.

I feel that Sotomayor should be questioned about her attitude towards judicial activism. She should be taken to task for negative stereotyping of white men. Her record should be examined. She should not have a coronation hearing. She should be exposed to a tough grilling. Senators should not shy away from casting votes against her. Even if she is approved, the heated debate about her beliefs and judicial philosophy should serve as a reminder to her during her time on the bench of the concerns of millions of Americans.

It is convenient to those who favour judicial activism to have ethnic "cover" for their agenda. There are millions of socially conservative African Americans and Hispanics who are not politically useful to the liberal establishment in our country. The unwritten message in the liberal media seems to be that if an African American or Hispanic is "uppity" enough to break out of the political ghetto in which they are expected to reside that the power on the microphone at their podium will mysteriously be cut.

There are a lot of independent minded African Americans and Hispanics who just won't say what they are supposed to. I don't think it is likely that any such individuals will be nominated to the Supreme Court any time soon. And that's a shame.
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