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 Racist...sexist...hmm

Op-Ed Columnist

White Man's Last Stand

 
Published: July 14, 2009

Washington

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

 

You can't judge a judge by her cover.

Despite the best efforts of Republicans to root out any sign that Sonia Sotomayor has emotions that color her views on the law, the Bronx Bomber kept a robotic mask in place.

A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.

After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They've had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.

So when Republican Senator Jon Kyl, without so much as a howdy-do, went at Sotomayor, and soon was asking her if she agreed with Barack Obama's contention, when he voted against John Roberts, that a judge's heart is important, the would-be justice was as adroit as her idol Nancy Drew.

"No, sir," she said, indicating that the only bleeding-heart thing about her was the color of her jacket. She added that "it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It's the law."

President Obama wants Sotomayor, naturally, to bring a fresh perspective to the court. It was a disgrace that W. appointed two white men to a court stocked with white men. And Sotomayor made it clear that she provides some spicy seasoning to a bench when she said in a speech: "I simply do not know exactly what the difference will be in my judging, but I accept there will be some based on gender and my Latina heritage."

The judge's full retreat from the notion that a different life experience is valuable was more than necessary and somewhat disappointing. But, as any clever job applicant knows, you must obscure as well as reveal, so she sidestepped the dreaded empathy questions - even though that's why the president wants her.

"We apply law to facts," she told Kyl. "We don't apply feelings to facts."

She even used a flat tone when talking about the "horrific tragedy" of 9/11, when she was living near the World Trade Center. And she was mechanical in explaining to a grumpy Senator Orrin Hatch that banning nunchaku sticks did not dent the Second Amendment because the martial-arts weapons' swing "can bust someone's skull."

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer gamely tried to make the judge seem even more coldhearted. Recalling the sad plight of poor families from the Bronx who sued T.W.A. after a jet crashed off Long Island in 1996, he quoted the Bronx jurist's dispassionate dissent: "The appropriate remedial scheme for deaths occurring off the United States coast is clearly a legislative policy choice, which should not be made by the courts."

Schumer also cited the case of an African-American woman who filed suit after being denied a home-equity loan, even after the loan application was conditionally approved based on her credit report.

Sonia Legree ruled that the woman's claim was filed too late, the same argument that the Supremes used on Lilly Ledbetter when she belatedly learned that her male coworkers were much better paid. President Obama has cited the Ledbetter decision as a reason the court needs a more "common touch."

"The law requires some finality," Sotomayor explained about her case, with an iciness that must have sent a chill up the conservative leg of Alabama's Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, even as it left Obama hanging out on an empathy limb.

Republican Lindsey Graham read Sotomayor some anonymous comments made by lawyers about her, complaining that she was "temperamental," "nasty," "a bit of a bully." Then he patronizingly lectured her about how this was the moment for "self-reflection." Maybe Graham thinks Nino Scalia has those traits covered.

But the barbed adjectives didn't match the muted performance on display before the Judiciary Committee. Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it's delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.

W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.'s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.

Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.

Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had "a meltdown" - a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman.

And then there's the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents - including Bush Sr. - ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.

Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/opinion/15dowd.html?_r=1

by on Jul. 16, 2009 at 1:12 AM
Replies (41-43):
resamerie
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2009 at 4:57 PM


Quoting aidans_mama:

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting resamerie:

It is absolutely atrocious in this day and age for certain ethnic groups to be granted favoritism based soley upon race. For one, a lot of minorities are being afforded a better higher education just because of their skin color. They fought for equal rights but are receiving free passes to better rights. And want to call out any person that brings out this fact as being racist,    


                good


it is absolutely atrocious that certain ethnic groups have been oppressed to the point where they are behind.  it is absolutely atrocious that certain ethnic groups don't make the same amount of money as white people for the same work.  it is absolutely atrocious that programs such as AA had to be started just so qualified minorities can get in the door.  it is absolutely atrocious that in such a prejudiced society that some would think that AA has run its course over the past several decades, like this country has completely abolished its racist views in such a short amount of time.  it is atrocious that a company is willing to hire a white man with a criminal record over a black man with a college degree.  i keep hearing about these free passes and better rights when i have yet to receive my free pass or observe even equal rights across the board.  it is absolutely atrocious that inner city schools frequented by minority youths are so underfunded and understaffed with hardly any books and little resources.  they receive sub-par educations in grade school, but yet so many are concerned with the few that get into college.   a higher education is a higher education, no one is better than the other in my opinion.  with the majority of students attending colleges being white compared to the percentage minorities attending, you are still complaining.  and the minorities that do attend receive the same kind of higher education white students do.  it is good to know that my skin color took my tests, my skin color wrote my essays, my skin color worked on my thesis, and my skin color walked across the stage.  i didn't have to do a damn thing.  i let my skin do it all. 

i like how our skin wasn't good enough to make it in this country, receive the same rights, same opportunities, but now all of a sudden our skin is making our lives so much more easier.   whatever.  and wtf is up with this 'day and age' stuff?  last i checked segregation ended not too long ago, i like how people think we are suddenly on the same page now.  there are still towns here that have whites only signs, seriously.  even with AA, minorities are not getting jobs they are qualified for, they are still struggling, and that includes women too, who are the largest recipients of AA.  we goin' to complain about that too?  the unemployment rate of blacks (since i am black, i will use black people) is twice that of white americans, and it's not because the majority of them are not looking (but a lot of you will assume so because you live around all the black people who don't want to work).  too often are studies showing minorities applying for jobs they are qualified for and not being called back, not being interveiwed, told the job was unavailable, only to have a white applicant come in and offered the same job.  hundreds of years of exclusion and discrimination and all of a sudden it's all good now?  i am trying to figure out what fantasy world some of you live in cause i would like to visit.  can i bring a friend?

yeah, we get free passes cause A FEW of us get a scholarships, boo effin' hoo.  we need better grade schools, a scholarship won't do anyone any good if they haven't even been prepared for college.  the educational gap between minorities (specifically blacks and hispanics) is atrocious.  are we going to complain about that too?  or are we only concerned with the fact that some scholarships say 'asian', or 'black', or 'latino'?  and they say minorities complain a lot, haha.  better rights, minorities are profiled more, jailed more often for longer sentences, make up the smallest percentage of the general pop. in america but are the largest percentages in prison, (we must be innately criminal beings), we have to renew the damn amendment to the voting rights that state 'blacks cannot legally be denied the right to vote', in "this day and age" it shouldn't have to be renewed.  seriously, what are these better rights?  programs designed to help minorities, women included (or do you think women are equal in this country too?) that don't even guarantee a minority a position or a spot in college?  are these the better rights?  i think people like to conveniently forget that AA helps qualified applicants (when applied correctly) obtain jobs, entrance to colleges, they have to actually be able to do the work, have decent grades, etc.  it isn't as easy as, "i'm a latino, give me the job".  and even though AA is in place for qualified minority applicants, all the employer has to say is they weren't qualified enough or that someone else was more qualified. 

it would be darn near impossible to find a successful minority in this country who did not tell you that they had to work ten times harder than a white person and experienced discrimination along the way.  i seriously doubt that without AA in place employers would give a second thought to a qualified minority applicant, hell they don't even do it now when it is in place (some institutions no longer use AA).  with or without AA, some people are still going to think that minorities got to where they are because of their race.  we were segregated because of our race, discriminated against because of our race, and now our success in this country is based on our race.  i guess.  i am still trying to wrap my head around the whole everything is equal now as opposed to four to five decades ago and after hundreds of years of oppression and segregation. 

btw, what you say isn't fact, so no need to call you racist, and it isn't even racist that you feel that way.  you just complain a lot, complaining is not an automatic indicator of a racist.  also, AA doesn't only help minority races, it helps women (largest group it helps).

245 years of slavery, about 100 years of legalized discrimination, and almost 40 years of trying to catch up.  do you really think that in this country the playing field is level after such a short amount of time with the type of history this country has?  never-mind, don't answer that.

i agree with maureen dowd, as any koolaid drinking liberal would.  

I'd have to question the part about jobs. Is it perceived discrimination? Or is it just the cold hard facts that some of the white people did better on their testing and people don't like it. Look at the firemen thatdid so good on their tests. Yes, the overwhelmig majority points that they are mainly white. Yet, Sotomayor was all for throwing out the test results because not enough minorites passed.

It is comman knowledge where I live that for any civil service exam for employment, the bar is lowered for minorities. How is that fair? Example; you have a fireman trying to save your life.If he is a minority, he gets 20 points extra right off the bat on his civil service exam because he is a minority. Does that mean that he/she is more qualified to lift me out of a burning building? I think not.





  • angel-1-1-1-2.jpg picture by kfpep
Raintree
by Ruby Member on Jul. 18, 2009 at 5:11 PM


Quoting resamerie:


I'd have to question the part about jobs. Is it perceived discrimination? Or is it just the cold hard facts that some of the white people did better on their testing and people don't like it. Look at the firemen thatdid so good on their tests. Yes, the overwhelmig majority points that they are mainly white. Yet, Sotomayor was all for throwing out the test results because not enough minorites passed.

It is comman knowledge where I live that for any civil service exam for employment, the bar is lowered for minorities. How is that fair? Example; you have a fireman trying to save your life.If he is a minority, he gets 20 points extra right off the bat on his civil service exam because he is a minority. Does that mean that he/she is more qualified to lift me out of a burning building? I think not.

I thought Judges aren't supposed to legislate from the bench, though. Wasn't she simply upholding current law in that case?

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - Michael Pollan

And while you're at it, remember that when you purchase food, you're voting with your dollar. Local farms, diversity, sustainability- all these should be positively answered by your vote. 


aidans_mama
by on Jul. 18, 2009 at 5:43 PM


Quoting resamerie:

I'd have to question the part about jobs. Is it perceived discrimination? i wouldn't doubt it in some cases. i am going off of actual studies and experiments in which there is clear discrimination.  Or is it just the cold hard facts that some of the white people did better on their testing and people don't like it. or a minority does better on  their testing, get a job and some white people don't think they deserve it, they don't like it.  it can go both ways.  Look at the firemen thatdid so good on their tests. Yes, the overwhelmig majority points that they are mainly white. Yet, Sotomayor was all for throwing out the test results because not enough minorites passed.   i dont know  enough about this case to give you an informed opinion.  was the entire exam on paper (written, multiple choice, etc.)?  or was part of the testing done in front of a panel?    It is comman knowledge where I live that for any civil service exam for employment, the bar is lowered for minorities. How is that fair? imo, it is not fair for minorities, it makes us look as though we cannot get the same scores.  same scoring levels for all people, but face to face interviews leave room for discrimination and that is what i am passionate about.  not test scores, i know minorities are capable of passing exams, i am not confident in some people's perceptions of minority applicants, especially when their perceptions determine whether or not they are qualified, not the tests.  for correctional officers, you have to go to boards to get promotions.  no matter experience, gender and color slow a person down, doesn't know me out, though, i wouldn't let that happen.  "officers wouldn't like listening to a female'', "black supervisors are too aggressive, or too passive-aggressive, most employees would resent them."  heard it all.  Example; you have a fireman trying to save your life.If he is a minority, he gets 20 points extra right off the bat on his civil service exam because he is a minority. most often he/she already starts 20 pts behind.  white males; more trustworthy, more dependable, more professional.  to combat racial bias, i assume this is why this is set in place?  i am not confident in professions that were exclusively for whites and involve a lot of trust suddenly dropping their prejudices.  Does that mean that he/she is more qualified to lift me out of a burning building?  I think not.   as much as people would like to think minorities are getting a leg up, we are really just getting started. 


                       

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