In 2001, Judge Sonia Sotomayor delivered a lecture on diversity at the University of California in which she said she “hopes 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.” Stuart Taylor in National Journal takes a brave stand for whitey:
[U]nless Sotomayor believes that Latina women also make better judges than Latino men, and also better than African-American men and women, her basic proposition seems to be that white males (with some exceptions, she noted) are inferior to all other groups in the qualities that make for a good jurist.
Any prominent white male would be instantly and properly banished from polite society as a racist and a sexist for making an analogous claim of ethnic and gender superiority or inferiority.
Leaving aside the fact that this is an inane commentary on a strained reading of Sotomayor’s remarks, let’s take some time out for a political observation. I had assumed that the way this was going to go was that conservatives would complain that Sotomayor is too liberal, then progressives would try to imply that conservatives were opposing Sotomayor because she’s too Latina, and then conservatives would whine. Instead, though, a large proportion of conservative really do seem to want to more-or-less explicitly hang their hats on the idea that Sotomayor is too Latina for the Supreme Court and that she must be stopped to protect white male privilege.
Meanwhile, glancing at the National Journal masthead I’m able to note that at least one institution in America has resisted the temptation to hire a bunch of unqualified Hispanics.