Saturday, June 06, 2009

Newt Gingrich, on Judge Sotomayor:
Imagine a judicial nominee said 'my experience as a white man makes me better than a latina woman.'
Some guy on a message board I frequent, also on Judge Sotomayor:
I would expect nothing less from someone [who] see[s] the world in race, gender and class glasses. I view the statement as racist.
I would actually kind of like to see Gingrich's hypothetical made real. Not in the asinine, reductionist way he means it, of course.

What I would like to see is some white guy judge say something comparable to what Judge Sotomayor was saying. I'd love to see Judge Roberts, for example, write a thoughtful, introspective piece about what it means to be a white guy, about how his gender and ethnicity have shaped the way he sees the world, and how they affect his decisions.

Not going to happen, of course, and the reason why is the same as the reason it would be so interesting to see it happen, and the reason it's so easy to gin up faux outrage when someone who isn't a white guy does it: because white guys have the luxury of believing their views aren't shaped by their race and gender--of believing they don't "see the world in [sic] race, gender and class glasses". White guy is the default option--in politics, in the news media, in entertainment. White guy isn't a viewpoint limited by race and gender; it's the standard by which the limitations of all other viewpoints are judged.

And yes, that's changing, and has changed enormously (remember when an African-American president was a far-fetched movie premise). The value of the moronic "Sotomayor = Racist" talking point is that it illustrates how far we still have to go.

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