NR’s Sotomayor Cover

So National Review decided to run this very odd cover image of Judge Sonia Sotomayor:

It seems that what happened was that, as conservatives are wont to do, they tried to do something that would be racist, but also arguably not racist. Hence, instead of depicting a Latina with a racist stereotyped image of a Latina, they depicted her with a racist stereotyped image of an Asian. It’s hard to know exactly what to make of that. But National Review editor Rich Lowry seems to have known exactly what to make of it since as this post makes clear he was anticipating people criticizing the imagery.

At any rate, then he waited around a bit, got the accusations of racism he was waiting for, and then got to engage in every white conservative’s favorite passtime of wallowing in self-pity and calling his accusers humorless.

Unfortunately, there’s not a good shorthand term for the psychology behind this kind of behavior. “Racism” doesn’t, I think, capture it. But there’s this deranged fascination with walking up to the line and dancing around there in hopes of getting called on it. Then you get to become indignant. Because, again, the contemporary right’s main view on race is that actual racism against non-white people is only a tiny problem compared with the vast social crisis that allegedly exists around people being vigilant against racism.


Hat tip on this to Brian Beutler who adds a funny unrelated joke “Also featured on the cover in the current issue: ‘Jonah Goldberg On His Critics.’ That better be a long article.”