To Sonia Sotomayor
CNN’s break down
Here’s the part that concerns me. (Taking into account she said it in 2001) I still have issues with it.
At a 2001 U.C. Berkeley symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the first Latino named to the federal district court, Sotomayor said that the gender and ethnicity of judges does and should affect their judicial decision-making. From her speech:
“I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society….
“I further accept that our experiences as women and people of color affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that – it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others….
“Our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor [Martha] Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” [U.C. Berkeley School of Law, 10/26/2001]
I am thrilled that a woman qualifies to take a position on the supreme court, but I DO NOT think you will reach a “better” conclusion than a white male. Let me explain. I think women have fucked themselves. I cite an example that irritated me as a woman. In Chicago, a woman sued the Fire Department (see the details here) because she couldn’t do the required twenty-four situps. (I actually stumbled upon this when I was looking for an older story I remembered but couldn’t find when the women trying to get on the department couldn’t carry the hoses or the ladder.) The idea that reverse discrimination will somehow make parity is ridiculous. And the idea that a woman who grew up in an age where being a woman and a minority actually afforded many opportunities would consider herself superior by virtue of her gender and her race is concerning. The thing is that civil rights were intended to create equality. Don’t get me wrong. In the beginning, the reverse discrimination was needed because of the stubborness of white people to let go of their “superior” attitude. But now? I’m not sure it’s still true. Racism is NOT acceptable. But those who disagree with the choice of Barrack Obama as president or his supreme court nomination have instantly been slammed as “bigoted”. You definitely have some excellent credentials and some moderate rulings. My worry is the same worry I’ve always had with “activist judges” who believe in “creating laws from the bench”. My worry is the constitution will be “reinterpreted” and essentially “rewritten”. It’s the same concern all Americans have even though we may all have different agendas and issues. The truth is that the “boys in the back room” want to see this country divided, separate, at each other’s throat, instead of addressing the real issues in this country. Divisive politics involving moral issues, religion, responsibility of the state all keep Americans on a “side”. Why not be the nominee that unites us? Why not repudiate your words and admit that it’s your QUALIFICATIONS not your race or gender that makes you the best nominee. I can get behind that.
I get it. A new president, certainly NOT one who has called you one of “The axis of evil”, is in office and you’re thinking we won’t do anything. I don’t know. You might push too hard and Obama might push back. He just might.
To The Liberal Left
I saw a bumper sticker I liked. “I will show your president the same respect you showed mine.”
It always annoyed me that when Bush said something stupid, it was fodder for your grind that chewed him up and spit him out. Then, when Obama does something not so smart, disagreement is often accompanied by “You’re racist”. I walk a fine line mainly because my issues with Obama are STRICTLY policy. The fact that he’s black? Historical, yes, but doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to me. I still don’t agree with him, with his foreign policy or his domestic policies. I have to say it makes it tough to say “I totally disagree” when the word “Racist” or “Bigot” is tossed out there so much. Frankly, it doesn’t increase the validity of your arguments and it tends to drive me from a centric position to the right. I certainly recognize that some commentators say things that are offensive about Obama, but those commentators are no more offensive about Obama than you have been about Bush. It’s funny. When I argue with some about how the media portrays Bush as “stupid” you know what the response is? “But he IS stupid!” Really? Yet, he did run our country for eight years. And amazingly, western civilization continued. Even though you didn’t agree with him or his policies. My point is this. Do not get up in arms about criticism about your choice for president. Respond? Yes. Accuse your critics of racism? That’s insulting to those who have TRULY experienced racism. By the way. It’s funny how the minute someone, anyone, implied Hilary was being hammered because she was a woman it was SQUASHED. I mean SQUASHED. Women, apparently, are a minority we DON’T defend.
To Miranda at Stephanie’s
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my hair. Thank you.