Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Conservatives try the reverse racism ploy again...

I really should write more about conservative rhetorical tricks because they are the current masters. Take their offensive about Judge Sotomayor where conservative bloggers and pundits have been virally quoting this line from one of Judge Sotomayor's speeches:

"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 experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Now on the surface it sounds like some of those insufferable comments that people on the left used to make in the late 60's when they would romanticize people of color but the problem is that the comment is taken completely out of context-sort of like what's done by the left and right with the Bible.

And as so often the case, the whole point of the narrative is missed and often close by in the narrative a key paragraph is missed, either intentionally or because of some sort of filtering going on in the reader's brain. Here for example is the very next paragraph of the the Judge's speech:

"Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown."

Clearly she is talking about something else entirely than racism, something closer to an appreciation of diversity than FOX's news commentators and Newt Gingrich care to recognize.

Here is the complete speech.

Maybe conservatives ought to read the whole thing rather than look for little snippits. They might even find something to like about the judge. But hey maybe they have gotten so hooked on phonics that they have forgotten that reading rquires more than pronouncing the words.
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