Archive for May, 2009

So, I have determined that it is only appropriate to focus on a person’s race or gender if you are “heralding” it.  Judge Sonomayor is being “heralded” as the first hispanic Supreme Court Justice.  Barack Obama is “heralded” as the first black president.  Every month is some sort of minority appreciation month where we “herald” the contributions of blacks, pacific islanders, native americans, women, children, those with a cleft palate, the tone deaf and wiccan transgendered performance artists.  Okay, I might have made up those last few.

So, lemme get this straight.  Basing your decision on whether or not to pull someone over for a traffic stop or to give them “extra screening” at the airport based on their race or gender is BAD, profiling, ptooie, but basing your decision on whether or not someone should sit on the Supreme Court of the United States in large measure because of their race and gender is GOOD?  Hoookayyyy….

If you believe that, by nature  of her gender or her ethnicity, Judge Sonia Sonomayor has some unique and/or unmatchable ability to perform her job as Supreme court justice, you are a racialist.  She certainly seems to think so, as per her much quoted sentiment:

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.

Did she mean in general, or merely with respect to women’s issues, or Latino issues?  Which, of course, then begs the question, why do we need a special set of rules or a unique viewpoint to properly and impartially apply the law to women and/or Latinos?  How is suggesting that a latino woman is somehow inherently more capable of making the correct decision than a white man at its core any different from barring blacks from military service because they aren’t “smart enough?”

Answer:  No difference whatsoever.

There is of course that touchy-feely, squishy-guishy idea that a minority woman should be cherished and protected because of her unique perspective based on her upbringing and challenges.  Bollocks.  That’s called “coddling,” and it promotes all sorts of enabling behaviors that cause us to overlook clear and present concerns with the performance and methods of an individual or group out of some misguided sense that we should not “quell their voice.”  

Sure, let ‘em talk.  Just don’t let them make “policy” from the bench!

So, lemme ask.  Whyizzit that a white South African man who emigrated to the US last week is on his own, has to compete in the marketplace just like everybody else, and is lucky if he can avoid paying out-of-state tuition at a college, but a black man whose ancestors came to this country 185 years ago is an “African-American minority” who deserves special consideration in hiring, academic scholarships, and other  quota-based entitlements?   How long until “minorities” are required to just be “Americans,” and compete on an equal and impartial basis with the rest of us genetic misfits, especially when a lot of them would be hard-pressed to find Africa on a map?!

There is NO EQUALITY where there is PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT.

If all men (and women) are created equal with respect to the law, then they MUST be treated equally.   NOT given undue priviledge based on a real or perceived injustice now divorced from their present situation by several generations.

One would hope that the selection for a Supreme Court justice would be completely blind to race, skin color, gender or taste in music.  One would HOPE that we would simply chose the most qualified individual for the job, REGARDLESS of the nature of the adjectives one might ascribe to their appearance!

But no, it would appear that we still have a LONG way to go in the area of equal rights in this country. 

If Sonia Sonomayor is qualified for that seat on the Supreme Court, good on ‘er.   BUT.  She must be qualified because of her experience as a judge, her demonstrated performance as a jurist, and her proven and demonstrable committment to upholding the principles of established Constitutional law.

Not because she’s a latina chic.