June 7, 2009

"Judge Sotomayor celebrates being Latina, calling it a reason for her success..."

"... Justice Thomas bristles at attempts to define him by race and says he has succeeded despite the obstacles it posed."

Do they really? Or has Sotomayor been rising to the top of the liberal pile by burbling the platitudes white liberals love, while Thomas got noticed by stating the views that white conservatives want to think are true and just. The headline reads "For Sotomayor and Thomas, Paths Diverge at Race," but it's not hard to make the argument that what they've done is more the same than different.


rhhardin said...

It's very sneaky of Thomas to go the truth route to success.

J. Cricket said...

The Althouse bias captured in two little phases: Sotomayor "burbles platitudes" and Thomas "states views." Yeah right.

oldirishpig said...

I missed the place where Libs have shown ANY respect for anything about Judge Thomas....

Bissage said...

One of the all-time great George Booth cartoons is as follows.

The scene is the outside front of a small New England church.

An infuriated congregation is giving the minister the bum’s rush down the front steps.

There is a sign that tells the title of the morning’s sermon.

“Are we all Prostitutes?”

Automatic_Wing said...

Nothing more soothing on a slow Sunday morning than the smell of freshly brewed coffee accompanied by the sound of liberal platitudes burbling down the pages of the New York Times.

Anonymous said...

Or has Sotomayor been rising to the top of the liberal pile by burbling the platitudes white liberals like Ann Althouse love.

And I quote:

"Sotomayor was saying the things that would be well-received by her audience. Indeed, I have trouble getting roused by her statement — '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' — because I've been immersed for a quarter century in the kind of law school environment that she addressed. Here, we sympathetically smile and nod at such things. We nurture racial analysis. We create a school of thought and hire people to write about Critical Race Theory. What Sotomayor said was actually a weak, feel-good version of the kind of racial talk that is widespread in the legal academy."

Shocked. Shocked! She is to find gambling going on in here.

bearbee said...

Except for a Bill Gates or others of uncommon talent who gut it through on their particular genius, don't most people, if they do inch up the pile, do so to some degree or other because they reflect, consciously or not, the values or biases of others with the power?

Also, right time right place.

Palladian said...

"The headline reads "For Sotomayor and Thomas, Paths Diverge at Race," but it's not hard to make the argument that what they've done is more the same than different."

Because if one racial minority trades on their race for career advancement, then they all must do it!

This is the pernicious and racist legacy of affirmative action.

Richard Fagin said...

"Both come from the humblest of beginnings." That is quite a misleading statement, even a false one, when Clarence Thomas' and Sonia Sotomayor's beginnings are given even cursory review. One more hatchet job from The Paper of Record.

Daryl said...

Another aspect of the legacy of affirmative action is that all (liberal) minorities want to claim humble beginnings, so we will be less offended that they got affirmative action.

Sotomayor's beginnings were no more humble than she is humble today.

amba said...

I couldn't agree more, and even wrote so a few days ago:

Little discussed but very interesting, I think, is the “path to power” of people from disadvantaged groups when they are “taken up” by the powerful for the latter’s own reasons. That happens both left and right: Clarence Thomas is one example on the right, any affirmative action baby you care to name on the left. Minorities can be quite successful as conservatives in that conservative minorities are still something of a dissenting novelty and therefor make good poster children for the ostensible colorblindness of the right. (Clarence Thomas came out of his upbringing with plenty of anger, but he directed it differently than the whitey-blamers. They would probably say he displaced it.)

amba said...

The rest of that was:

We’re not there yet where nobody notices ethnicity. We are a lot further along than we were, though. Ethnicity has become secondary to character. And one of the revealers of character is how one handles one’s ethnicity. I suppose exploiting it is at least understandable — people use whatever they’ve got, after all. Men use height, women use beauty . . . White guilt and affirmative action resulted in exploiting one’s ethnicity being one path to success. Them’s powerful reinforcement in the behavioral-psychology sense. It’s the side your bread is buttered on.

Another sly question is whether conservatives have their own subtle form of affirmative action, or whether you can only qualify for the poster-child role by being competitively excellent to begin with. People argue about Justice Thomas: he is underrated/he is overrated.

My hero in this regard is Condi Rice — a Russian-speaking Soviet expert, of all things, in the ’80s. She behaved as if anything was possible and race didn’t even exist, and her will made it true for her. Only long afterward did she claim for herself the luxury of acknowledging that it does exist and revealing her feelings of pride in how far AAs have come.

rhhardin said...

I began as a child.

Palladian said...

"I began as a child."

Children are usually humble. For a while, anyway.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Jurist Dentist, Florida - I will cop to being oblivious to nuance on occasion. But can you not see that Ann is mirroring the Times' bias on purpose to make a point? You haven't caught her out at all.

Chip Ahoy said...

Flipping off little kids of all races at the Peoples' Fair.

Dark Eden said...

"We’re not there yet where nobody notices ethnicity. We are a lot further along than we were, though. Ethnicity has become secondary to character. And one of the revealers of character is how one handles one’s ethnicity."

I hate to say it but I disagree with this. Anywhere that identity politics dominates, your race and gender are the absolute most important things about you. In fact the only thing that matters really. You are your race, you are your gender. The individual disappears completely. If anything in politically correct circles I think we are far worse off in race relations than we've ever been. The difference is its more of a golden cage than a plantation.

William said...

Not all minorities are unequal in equal ways. I don't know if there is any great distrust of Latinas among the white population. If I have any prejudice concerning Latinas it tends to be positive, and not just in a wink, wink sexist kind of way. The abuelas and the fat girl at the deli counter all seem pleasant and kind. And I don't think the studious girl in the library is dumber than me because she is Hispanic. Whatever problems Sotomayor may have had to overcome, I don't think white prejudice ranks among the top three....On the other hand, I have an almost instinctive distrust for groups of young black males. OK, that's unfair, but on three seperate occasions I have been assaulted by groups of black males. I suggest to you that if in the past you had been assaulted by groups of men dressed as Santa Claus, you would have a certain amount of wariness during the Christmas season.....The point I would wish to make is that Thomas encountered and overcame a form of prejudice that is much more pervasive and damaging than anything that was thrown at Sotomayor....Most of us recognize that there is a fortuitous harmony between the self interest of our group and the highest ideals of democracy. Thomas seems to have taken as hard at look at his own tormented roots as at those of white America. He seems a more earnest pilgrim to the temple of Justice than Sotomayor and has, certainly, had a harder journey....I don't think anything Sotomayor has said disqualifies her. With a little research I'm sure you could locate dumber statements from Learned Hand and Oliver Wendell Holmes. But I would wish that she and the liberals that support her would, at least, acknowledge that she has expressed an unworthy sentiment.

Synova said...

Some people try to ignore ethnicity while others try to fetishize it. I'm not sure if that's better than before but it might be. It depends on what came before.

Amba strikes me as a very wise lady. (Which I can say about her but she really can't say about herself!)

Lem (I think) posted a link yesterday to an interesting article about race, the gist of which was... Irish used to be an oppressed class but they decided to be "white" and successfully made the transition... unfortunately, AA's don't have that option.

I understand what the author means, after all, Irish *are* white so they can decide to *be* white. African Americans aren't going to look white no matter how many times this Norwegian girl is surprised to find out someone is black... oh, waitaminute... that really happens. And besides, many Hispanics are as "white" as the Irish. And some Hispanics are black. And if it really was so impossible for AA's (or PoC) to become "white" why does it seem such an all encompassing fear?

(Losing one's heritage is a legitimate fear, but it's one dealt with by *all* people who are all very different and not defined by their skin tones, and even if the author of Lem's linked post goes on about "Asian-American" the Asians involved have not given up their differences to think of themselves as a unified ethnicity any more than a person can get away with mistaking a Scott for English without giving offense.)

LonewackoDotCom said...

I'm pretty sure SS is a true believer, albeit not quite at the bomb-throwing level. Even the WaPo has admitted her "powerful ethnic pride", her "ethnic consciousness", and her "calls to ethnic solidarity".

Plus, she joined not just one but two far-left racial power groups, including one that gave an award to someone who'd proposed genocide against the "gringos".

Wince said...

Notice, it was the same liberal, race-conscious constituency that Thomas and Sotomayor had to deal with on their race.

For Thomas, he had to beat the rap that he was Uncle Tom.

Conversely, Sotomayor got points touting she wasn't "queer for Uncle Sam." (Video @2:15)

Mark Daniels said...

This may be quibbling, but do we really consider "Latina" as descriptive of a race? Isn't this more an ethnic designation?

Be that as it may, Thomas' views are, on the whole, counter to the prevailing ones among most of his fellow African-Americans.

There have been more divergent philosophical tendencies among the US Latino population. The Cuban community, for example, has tended to be very conservative. Other Latinos have shown a penchant for liberalism while retaining more conservative views regarding abortion. (African-Americans tend to be conservative on gay marriage.) California's Hispanic community loved Ronald Reagan as a candidate for governor in 1966 and 1970.

Frankly, I think it's tough to know where Sotomayor is on the conservative to liberal spectrum. In a sense, what is unknown about her may make her a fitting successor to the justice originally designated as "the stealth candidate." Her record probably commends her for the Court, but I believe that she will surprise both liberals and conservatives once ther.

Kirby Olson said...

One could look at how acceptance is gained by a given group. Jews were of course hated when they came in great ships full of them in the 20s and 30s. The Irish were hated when they came in enormous numbers in the 1840s when the potato crop failed. Scandinavians came in huge numbers in the 1890s. They were all hated.

But when it appeared that they were largely going to behave and live within the law, they were accepted.

I don't think it can be done by some kind of legislative fiat, or by letting them tell their story. Acceptance comes on account of a group's overall behavior.

If a given group is clogging up the prisons and living off of the dole, the rest of America sees them as pikers. If they claim that being part of a group of pikers gives them some kind of wisdom, it just makes you wonder if they have any brains at all, much less wisdom.

Ultimately I think Americans are willing to see and give merit where it is due.

If you're good at sports, then you get known for being good at sports. Everyone accepts it.

If you're good at law, and are coming from a country that is known for being fair, we will all accept it.

If you're from a group that is filled with gangsters and thugs, no amount of spin is going to change the perception.

You can't really insist on being seen one way or another. If you're fat, then people are going to notice it.

If you're dumb, people are going to notice it.

If you're immensely qualified, and are making excellent decisions, and have a very good IQ and some moral standards, people are going to notice it.

People are going to figure out what you are and who you are one way or another, even over and against all the prejudices or affirmative action programs or what have you.

Hard work by a group is noticed.

Laziness and scofflaws are also noticed.

Sotomayor's character is bad. Everyone can see it. Her remark is proof of her terrible character.

Anonymous said...


"I will cop to being oblivious to nuance on occasion."

Well, then let me un-nuance if I can.

You see, Ann wants you to believe that she's not the white liberal you're looking for. Move along.

But she is.

She's exactly the reason Sonya Sotomayor exists. Ms. Sotomayor could not achieve much in my view, without using to her advantage over real victims of racism, the money and her race-baiting tactics.

I find her, based on her record mind you, to be not that intelligent of a person; but also someone who believes it's AOK for her to force America to accept her particular brand of stupidity by judicial fiat; where she would be unable to do so by force of reason and freedom.

Fortunately for us, the Supreme Court has voted enough times 8-0, ruling that Ms. Sotomayor is a moron and reversing her decisions, so that we have a record upon which to judge her separate from any platitudes the white liberals like Ann love.

Because you see, Ann is the real problem. Not Sonya. We expect Sonya to act like she does because she's there taking up a spot she didn't earn.

Ann, and other white liberal women in the Acadme like her, sympathetically nod when presented with an out-and-out racist who says in so many words: "Latina women are smarter than white men."

They nod. Sympathetically. Yes, yes ... of course it's true. No debate about that required. Nod like the good little robot.

Instead, Ann should be calling her out for what she is - a racist. No different than the Ku Klux Klanner who says blacks shouldn't be let on the court because white people are smarter than black people.

Ann's been nodding sympathetically for 25 years now, and finally, someone has failed upwardly enough in the system of nodded sympathy to actually be a threat.

And the system is so bizarro that Ann can't even be bothered to be roused - lest she be accused.

So, I call Ann out.

The Ann's of the world are the real problem.

kentuckyliz said...

It's a pity Sotomayor attributes her success to her race and gender,

rather than her success oriented behaviors:
1. learning English
2. not dropping out of high school (a huge problem in the Latino population)
3. studying hard
4. going to a private Catholic school instead of one of those awful NYC PS shitholes
5. going to an Ivy League university
6. going to a fancy Law School
7. studying hard and being tops in her class
8. working hard, till all hours of the night
9. moving up in the world when nominated (by a Republican!)

Everything Sotomayor has done is a demonstration of the exact opposite of libtard beliefs.

It's so sad she can't see that her choices and behaviors and hard work and intelligence got her where she is today. Not her race and gender.

former law student said...

For Sotomayor, being a woman of PR heritage adds to her accomplishments, whereas for Thomas, being a black man subtracts from them.

Thomas feels like a fraud: his college admission, his YLS admission not worth as much a white person's, because of affirmative action lowering standards for minorities. But Sotomayor managed to excel in college. She deserved whatever initial consideration she got for being a minority.

I'm reminded of a (white) friend who was a conditional admit in college (bad grades in high school, halfway decent SAT), went on to graduate with high honors. He's not embarrassed that the college lowered the bar to let him in, because he feels he earned his accomplishments.

So kentuckyliz is on the right track but comes to the wrong conclusion. Sotomayor doesn't owe her success to her race and gender, but they enhanced her experience, and perhaps helped give her her sense of self.

Interestingly, Sotomayor's experience at Princeton parallels the ones of black students and alumni analyzed in Michelle Obama's senior paper. In the historically privileged white male world of Princeton, minorities clung to their fellow minority for support. Once they graduated, their felt need to identify as a minority group member faded.

Revenant said...

I'm amused that Sotomayor is classified as "non-white". Has nobody seen a picture of her?

Laura(southernxyl) said...

"You see, Ann wants you to believe that she's not the white liberal you're looking for. Move along."

I honestly don't think Ann gives a damn what I believe about her. I don't think she gives it a nanosecond's thought. Why in the world would she?

Jeremy said...

Laura(southernxyl) said..."I honestly don't think Ann gives a damn what I believe about her. I don't think she gives it a nanosecond's thought. Why in the world would she?"

Give me a break.

Ann is the ultimate narcissist.

Have you missed the hundreds of photos...of ANN?

The hundreds of photos of where ANN eats, drinks, walks, talks, sleeps, works, etc?

Jeremy said...

oldirishpig said..."I missed the place where Libs have shown ANY respect for anything about Judge Thomas...."

What is there to respect?

He's proven himself to be nothing more than a Scalia puppet.

Run down all of the opinions Clarence Thomas has offered up during his tenure.

And show us how often he sided with anyone other than Scalia.

A.W. said...

Well, you do touch on an interesting point. As i have said repeatedly, her comments raise a reasonable question to her impartiality in cases involving, as parties or attorneys, white men or latinas, or involving discrimination. According to the rules of judicial conduct that means she has a duty to disqualify herself from any case involving those, and thus, i think that she has disqualified herself from so many cases that she can't function as a supreme court justice.

That being said, it would be ironic if the silly identify love that is encouraged in the liberal academic setting would disproportionately disqualified women and minorities from the bench. Liberals creating a disparate impact. Hilarious. Deep, rich irony. Good stuff.

But bluntly, a principled congress would never approve of the nomination. which is why i expect her to sail through. :-)

traditionalguy said...

I read the day's comments just now after a great Sunday. My empathy is the same as Kentucky Liz @1:52 and my intellect is the same as Mark Daniel @12:32.They complement each other. Remember that hard working Sonia is a woman, and until 10-15 years ago they were a excluded class in most professions no matter how intelligent and hard working they were. Sonia never hid that she is also proud to be a Puerto Riccan Latino, and until today they are an overlooked class everywhere, no matter how hard working, since their Language barrier masks their fine level of intelligence. So what's to be done when Defenders of the Honor of White Men want her exiled from her Supreme Court seat appointment she has earned by many years of hard work and intelligence. The critics say it is just to show that we can be as Evil as the Demonrats ever were.But Borking her(1) will really not work, and (2)will create a "bloody shirt" political issue worth another 40 years of majority party status for the Demonrats, and (3) is never the right thing to do to anyone. I suspect that our Blogmistress understands these 3 points, and I know that she also has the courage not to fear being labled a "Liberal Lover" by the useless little Defenders of White Men's Honor.

A.W. said...


sure, she says things that indicates that she has more respect for latina female intelligence than a white male.

Why shouldn't she be a supreme court justice? Let's take that blindfold off of lady justice.

Really your post translates to:

gender guilt gender guilt gender guilt gender guilt gender guilt racial guilt racial guilt racial guilt racial guilt racial guilt racial guilt race and gender guilt race and gender guilt race and gender guilt race and gender guilt race and gender guilt race and gender guilt

Or more simply, "poor latina women have been so discriminated against, we should just let her be a supreme court justice despite the fact that she has disqualified herself." *rolls eyes*

Synova said...

I don't think that women were excluded from professions before 15 years ago, traditionalguy. What they may have still been doing at that time was *entering* the professions then and in the decade or two before. That's not exclusion.

The problem of getting women represented in the top tiers of various professions is that the middle can't be skipped. It's like trying to reform the Iraqi military culture to reflect the US NCO based model... it's not possible to get an NCO in less than 12 or 15 years.

Ginsberg and O'Connor may have been judges in an absolutely male dominated profession. But can the same actually be said of Sotomayor? Even if the number of judges operating at the level she's at are mostly men, those coming up behind her are not out numbered enough to matter and students entering law school are majority female, aren't they?

If we want to keep things even, now is the time to start encouraging men to go into law.

Anonymous said...

Judge Sotomayor has said numerous times to anyone who will listen that white males are inferior in their thinking and judgement to Latin females.

It's genetic, in her view.

She is a racist.

And has no place on a court that would put her into direct conflict with those whom she represses.

former law student said...

Judge Sotomayor has said numerous times to anyone who will listen that white males are inferior in their thinking and judgement to Latin females.

It's genetic, in her view.

White males lack experiences available to Latin women. It's hardly the white men's fault that they were born into the dominant sex as well as the dominant race. But the white man's handicap comes from his environment, not his genes per se.

Here's an analogy: The one-armed basketball player's experience has given him basketball skills that not even Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan possesses. But it would sound moronic for Kobe Bryant to say he's a better basketball player than the one-armed guy.

traditionalguy said...

Synova...The Women admitted to law schools and later used inmedium sized firms doing tedious real estate and corporate work well does go back 40 years. My idea was meant to identify women excluded from the Partners level the large Politically connected establishment firms. These firms are the sellers of influence to the wealthy, and they did not want to appear to be women run. Only since 1995 has that fact faded away, probably like you said because it took time for opinions to evolve. But the women coming up from 1970 to 1995 remember it like only a woman can. Again, what's to be done? If women can fight in wars now, how can we exclude them, because they have women's empathy skills, from the highest levels? Sarah Palin for President anyone?

A.W. said...

Former Law Student

Really now? No white man can understand, what exactly? what discrimination has felt like?

Well, I am learning disabled, and I have faced prejudice on this very blog.


Notice how you keep forgetting that there is more to life than color and gender—that there are more people in this world facing discrimination than women and minorities. You would think after being slapped on the nose a few times with a newspaper, you would have learned.

And bluntly when you look at Sotomayor's life, it seems her skin color and her gender didn't hold her back that much. It certainly didn't cause her to be driven from high school like I was. If we are going to find the person most jerked around, I guess I should be a supreme court justice before she is.

The fact is she has expressed the view that the judgment of latina women is better than white males’. You have already admitted there is a reasonable question as to her impartiality because of it. There is no escaping the fact that you have in essence given the game away. She is not qualified to be a justice due to that cloud over her impartiality.

And I will add that her so-called wisdom as a latina didn't lead her to realize how utterly stupid the court's opinion was in the Ricci case. A racial discrimination occurred, and it should have been subject to strict scrutiny. And I assure you that the Supreme Court will reverse them on at least that point.

So she said something that you yourself admitted puts a cloud over her, about whether she could deal out impartial justice. And what do you know? In a case of white men alleging discrimination she failed to recognize that an error had been made in anti-discrimination law, the thing she is supposed to be better at because of her rich life experiences. Was that because her experiences are not as useful as she would have us think? Or could it be that she is not as able to discover racial discrimination when a white man is facing it?

A.W. said...

By the way, here is something I wrote on affirmative action and other uses of race in another thread, only altered slightly:

In Grutter what the Supreme Court really said is they want to approve of each use of race. Of course that is a pain in the behind for the government, but I am at a loss to come up with an alternative. They shouldn’t be able to just say the words “affirmative action” or “disparate impact” and get a free pass, or else those terms will be invoked in situations where they don’t really apply.

And, bluntly, the safer course would have been this. First, throw out every question that has no application to new haven (there were a few). Then re-score the test based on that change. Then, unless they can show the remaining questions were unfair according to race, certify the results.

Because here is the reality of the situation. I have pointed out in the past where I thought that disparities existed. For instance, I have taken hundreds of IQ tests, and I remember one in particular that asked about the meaning of the book of genesis, but only asked generally what the Koran was. So clearly that is a test that favors Jews and Christians over muslims, because while the first group is rewarded for specific knowledge of their holy book, the second is not, and I said so at the time. (Note to FLS, I didn’t have to be a muslim to notice this was unfair to muslims.) But I don’t think that kind of thing is happening here. I would be really surprised if they are asking questions on the test that is rewarding one set of knowledge that white people are more likely to have, and not exploring areas of knowledge that African Americans are more likely to have, which pertains to firefighting.

There are actually four possibilities to explain it that I think are more likely. The first is that this is just a statistical burp. I believe the average white person is just as suited as the average black person to be a firefighter, but that doesn’t mean that there are never any statistical deviations from that in particular places. In one community, I would assume that more black people than whites would make great firefighters; and in another, more white people than black people would be.

The second is that something in NH society keeps the best potential black firefighters from becoming firefighters in the first place, that doesn’t restrain white firefighters.

The third is that maybe the African American firefighters could have done better but effects of discrimination over their life have held them back. So for instance, maybe their minds simply haven’t been nurtured over their lifetimes as much as the white firefighters.

And the fourth is that maybe in the past NH has practiced discrimination against African Americans, so that in the past firefighters were more likely to be white. So then those white firefighters very often raised their children to follow in their footsteps and therefore have given their children a lot more training in the area of firefighting. So maybe Ricci is a great firefighter in part because his daddy, and his granddaddy, and his great-granddaddy were all firefighters, and he benefits from all of that familial knowledge. (Speaking hypothetically; I don’t know nearly that much about Ricci.)

I have a feeling that the last one is the most likely possibility.

[to be continued]

A.W. said...

[continued from the last entry]

Now, in all of those possibilities it is still the case that as of this day, the best scorers on the test are likely the best firefighters, and if there is any discrimination to blame, it is not the test itself, but forces outside of the test itself. And however much we might lament those outside forces (and I do) and the wasted potential, the fact is if your house is burning down, do you want the guy who would have been a great firefighter but for discrimination that keeps him from acquiring the knowledge to be a great firefighter, or the guy who IS a great firefighter?

The question answers itself.

It also suggests that rather than taking the easy way out by quotas and the like that NH can and probably should engage in an aggressive program of developing African American firefighters to their fullest potential. So the affirmative action should be there, in the form of affirmatively finding black potential and developing it. Rather than ignoring what are more likely than not real differences in knowledge and ability, NH should instead work to erase those actual differences.

Which is indeed what is so pernicious about the defacto quota here—it allows NH to ignore the underlying reasons for the disparity, rather than address and correct them. It doesn’t do the people of NH or the black firefighters themselves any favors if they are promoted when they don’t deserve it.

former law student said...

her so-called wisdom as a latina didn't lead her to realize how utterly stupid the court's opinion was in the Ricci case. A racial discrimination occurred

Do you think all white women are stupid, or just Judges Arterton and Pooler? Does agreeing with white women make a Latina woman stupid?

Further, failure to fill a position weakens a claim of discrimination. (Coe v. Yellow Freight) The position went unfilled for seven years in Coe, and six years here in Ricci.

Synova said...

I wouldn't be surprised if they're afraid to promote anyone.

But it seems odd that failing to fill a position helps at all, because how could there be a need for 15 or more promotions one day, and zero the next?

A.W. said...

Former Law Student and current disability bigot

Ah, so you are back to the ridiculous position that even though they would have gotten the job if more of the top scorers were black, this is not racial discrimination under the 14th Amendment. I thought again, having been hit on the nose with the newspaper, you would have remembered the grutter opinion.

Only this time you attempt to find case law!

> Further, failure to fill a position weakens a claim of discrimination. (Coe v. Yellow Freight)

Btw, thanks for the citaton on that case. /sarcasm

If you mean 646 F.2d 444 (10th Cir. 1981) then the case has nothing to do with it. In Coe there was a real question of whether the failure to promote had been based on race at all. In that context, the failure to promote a black man when no one had been promoted at all weakened the inference that race was involved (and the fact he wasn’t qualified solidified it). At no time did the court say that if he was denied the promotion because of his race, that would be kosher because no one was promoted. Instead it was trying to figure out whether he was denied the position because of race at all. That decision makes it more clear, not less, that the District Court was wrong in the Ricci case.

The Coe case makes it clear how pernicious the Ricci precedent was.

By comparison, instead of it being a mystery whether the decision was motivated by race or not in Coe, it was EXPLICITLY motivated by race in Ricci. The question isn’t whether they were singled out according to race, but whether it was legal or not.

> Do you think all white women are stupid, or just Judges Arterton and Pooler? Does agreeing with white women make a Latina woman stupid?

First, I didn’t call Sotomayor stupid. I called the decision stupid. And it was. It has literally harmed the law of anti-discrimination in that circuit. Indeed my assessment of her as an intelligent person is part of my point. I was pointing out that in that area of law that you think her race and gender helps her in, anti-discrimination law, she inexplicably got something big-time wrong. A smart person got it wrong. It doesn’t prove that she did so out of bias, but it does raise an eyebrow, especially given her now-famous comments.

Second, with the exception of the two judges I personally know in the 2nd circuit, and Ms. Sotomayor, I don’t even know the gender or race of the different judges in that circuit. And even if I did, I judge solely on the content of one's character, or in this case, the content of one's rulings, rather than the color of their skin or their gender. You are the one who seems race/gender obsessed, not me. How quickly identity politics descends into just plain bigotry.

Even when it comes to Sotomayor, even in the context of discrimination, it isn’t actually relevant what her color or race is. She could be Sonny Soto, a white guy, and if “Sonny” said literally the same words I would say the same thing. Self-hate is prejudice, too. Yes, I called out her “wise latina” comment and pointed out that she was not such a wise latina in that case, but that is called hoisting her on her own identity politics petard.

You should know something about being hoisted on your petard.

A.W. said...

Mmm, it turns out that Sotomayor might actually constitutionally barred from serving as a supreme court justice in any case involving white males, latina females, or racial discrimination. To quote from one of today’s rulings under the fifth amendment “actual bias, if disclosed, no doubt would be grounds for appropriate relief.” http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/08pdf/08-22.pdf

Kirk Parker said...


"White males lack experiences available to Latin women."

And the converse? Or are Latinas somehow magically immune from that effect? I suppose that's part of what makes them so superior, eh?

A.W. said...


and that is just my point. we all have different experiences and rating them according to race and gender is just pernicious and myopic. its pernicious because it assumes that all people of a racial/gender group have the same or similar enough experiences to be equally enriched. and its myopic, because it greatly discounts the rich tapestry of our society. we are more than just colors and genders and to ignore it is just silly.

A.W. said...

Btw, interesting aside. People often wonder what turns conserative/republicans liberal on the bench. And one answer is that they want to be invited to the right parties, etc. In other words the argument is that it is the desire for group acceptance that drives them.

If that is the case, that might be bluntly part of the motivation to nominate so many catholics of late. For instance, if Sonia Soto becomes a Supreme Court Justice, what church will she attend? if she happens to go to Holy Spirit in Burke, she will get a regular earful on abortion. Near election day, 2004, the priest gave a long speech about how while being a catholic didn't command a person to vote in a certain way on most issues, where the issue turned on fundamental rights such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then the had a moral duty as catholics to vote against anyone unacceptable on those issues. And thus you shouldn't vote for any pro-abortion candidate.

So if the desire to get into the right parties is important, how about to be accepted at your church?

of course the appropriateness of that statement is debatable. On one hand, i am not sure how right it is to try to influence a person that way. on the other hand, Martin Luther King has a point when he says that churches shouldn't stand on the sidelines in the great issues of the day. I admit i am of two minds as to the rightfulness of influence, although my gut says that refusing communion goes too far.

Saint Croix said...

You know, honestly, she looks like a white girl to me.

Tex the Pontificator said...

"it's not hard to make the argument that what they've done is more the same than different"

Isn't this condescending to both of them, that their actions are calculated to please whites/Anglos rather than consequences of their own beliefs? I credit them both with having genuine beliefs and with acting on them. I find Thomas's apparent views more simpatico.

former law student said...

And the converse? Or are Latinas somehow magically immune from that effect?

Can you think of any? This is all I could come up with:

"Damn, I couldn't get a tee time."
"My frat brother threw up in my car."
"Wilma, go get me some oxycotton. I'm almost out."

A.W. said...

Former Law Student

As examples of “white male” experience, FLS said:

> Can you think of any? This is all I could come up with:

> "Damn, I couldn't get a tee time."
> "My frat brother threw up in my car."
> "Wilma, go get me some oxycotton. I'm almost out."

Wow, that is actually racist and sexist. I wish I was more surprised.

You know, because women and racial minorities never 1) play golf, 2) get drunk, and 3) abuse prescription meds. *rolls eyes* Now admittedly on the first one, there are some courses that still won’t let minorities join, but its not like as if no women, or racial minorities, play golf at all. As for 2 and 3, they seem to be pretty equal opportunity activities.

Again, its funny how quick identity politics descends into just plain ol’ racism and sexism.

By the way, here is a more serious example of how a white person might have a different experience even on the topic of bias. Take the story of a man I met in college who was arguing about attitudes on race. He, a white guy, said that his frat had a black man up for membership. Some in the frat said that because he was black, he shouldn’t be allowed to join. But this acquaintance had spoken up and said that the man’s color shouldn’t matter. So this acquaintance saw up close and first hand a person who actually hated black people, expressing that hatred. I think most people know that most of the time racists shut up about it, unless they are among other white people. So logically that means that a lot of black people, Latinas, etc. are deprived of seeing verifiable racism. They have to guess and wonder if the white person who dislikes them does so for personal reasons, or because of race. That is an experience that can be enriching to the properly deep mind, because they can recognize the reality and persistence of racism with an accuracy that is hard to replicate if you cannot at least “pass as white.”

Revenant said...

Can you think of any? This is all I could come up with:

It is easy to think of an experience a white man would have that an American Latina woman wouldn't have experienced: being racially discriminated against by the United States government.

A.W. said...

Former law student and current bigot,

Btw, i find it interesting that you don't even bother to dispute the slapping i gave you on the Coe case.

Sorry, you can't even consider a person's race without passing the strict scrutiny test. Its black letter law, and you might as well quit squirming: there is no escape from it.