Sotomayor and post-racial America
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 11:12 AM
Shelby Steele, research fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, puts the Sotomayor nomination in perspective here.
What is most notable about the Sotomayor nomination is its almost
perfect predictability. Somehow we all simply know -- like it or not --
that Hispanics are now overdue for the gravitas of high office. And our
new post-racialist president is especially attuned to this chance to
have a "first" under his belt, not to mention the chance to further
secure the Hispanic vote. And yet it was precisely the American longing
for post-racialism -- relief from this sort of racial calculating --
that lifted Mr. Obama into office....
On the one hand there was the 2004 Democratic Convention speech
proclaiming "only one America." And on the other hand there was the
race-baiting of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Does this most powerful man on
earth know himself well enough to resolve this contradiction and point
the way to a genuinely post-racial America?. ...
The White House acknowledges that this now famous statement -- both
racist and dim-witted -- was turned up in the vetting process. So we
can only assume that the president was aware of it, as well as Judge
Sotomayor's career-long claim that ethnicity and gender are virtual
determinisms in judging: We need diversity because, as she said in her
Berkeley lecture, "inherent physiological or cultural differences . . .
make a difference in our judging." The nine white male justices who
decided the Brown school-desegregation case in 1954 might
have felt otherwise, as would a president seeking to lead us toward a
new, post-racial society.
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