Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Importance of Being White

Listening again to Senator Sessions attack on Judge Sotomayor. His witlessness leaves me sputtering but this post by Marie Coco on Alternet captures what is going on:

"It presumes that the white male experience is the only authentically American experience, and therefore the only one that could possibly be unbiased. Whatever predispositions or inclinations these men bring to the law are the valid ones. After all, they are not hampered by some silly notions they may have picked up along the way had they lived their lives as women or as members of minority groups."

Sadly, Judge Sotomayor has to engage in this disingenuous ritual where she must deny what everyone knows: that our experiences influence the way we think. Does anyone seriously believe that the Equal Protection Clause would have provided legal protection to segregation until 1954 if African-american judges had been on the Supreme Court? Or that a mixed gender Supreme Court would not strike down gender discrimination until the 1970's?

Sessions nomination to the federal bench was rejected in 1986 because of racially insensitive remarks. What did he say? Well, he thought the KKK was OK until he found out some members smoked pot, called his african american subordinate "boy" and cautioned him to be careful with what he said to "white folks," wished he could decline all civil rights cases, called the NAACP and ACLU "unamerican" and said they forced civil rights "down the throats of people," and called a white lawyer who prosecuted voting rights cases a "disgrace to his race." And a person with this record presumes to lecture Judge Sotomayor and the rest of us about prejudice?

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