Thursday, June 4, 2009

Race the Real Issue After All?

The other day, I authored a post about the Sotomayor saga largely driven by my disgust at the whirlwind of race-driven rhetoric surrounding her nomination by President Obama to the Supreme Court. I am part of a generation that I feel, while perhaps not entirely immune to the issue of race, is perhaps part of the bridge to a future where the color of a person's skin will not affect his or her decision making, or the decision making of those around them. Perhaps as an engineer I am predisposed to judging people based primarily on their accomplishments and abilities, and so hold respect for people based on those criteria without regard to color. Perhaps I have been indoctrinated since my youth that we are to be the generation that moves beyond race. Whatever the case, my reaction to the issue of race-based decision making, and particularly race-based politics, is nothing short of seething, no matter the side of the political spectrum from which the racial bile flows.

And so, in my post the other day, I hoped to bring the conversation on the right side of center to focus on what I thought was more important than race, since I felt the rantings of the likes of Limbaugh over Sotomayor and her perceived racist comment to be largely superfluous, and nothing short of embarrassing to the right. I felt the commentary was falling into the doldrums that the Left loves to wallow in, and I thought perhaps I might aid in elevating our position to what I thought was far more important: Sonia Sotomayor's judicial philosophy. In that vein, I pushed the idea that what should matter in confirming or denying her appointment should be whether or not she believes it is the duty of a Supreme Court Justice to take an active position in policy-making, to legislate from the bench. I argued that this is judicial philosophy, and that judicial philosophy is a core value, and that race, while perhaps shaping judicial philosophy over time, was unlikely to play a predominant role in so core a value as judicial philosophy.

This was until yesterday and today, when I have observed via HotAir that Sonia Sotomayor has made the statement that "a wise woman" or "a wise latina woman" would "with the richness of her experiences, more often than not, reach a better conclusion" than would an old white man, over and over and over again.

The fact that Sonia Sotomayor has made these statements over and over again points to her true core values. The fact that she has continually relied on the fact that she is A) a woman, and B) Latina, in her speeches aimed at guiding popular, judicial and political opinion of her role as a judge tells me that to her, her race and her gender are driving forces in who she is and how she makes decisions. The constant repetition of the same phrase tells me that her ego is such that she needs everyone to know she is doing this as a woman and as a racial minority. This tells me that she is prone to putting her ego ahead of her better judgement.

I don't necessarily find myself falling in step with Rush on this issue. I won't call Sonia Sotomayor a racist. But I will go so far as to call her an egomaniac. And while ego certainly must play a role in the life of every person who achieves a great deal of success, it should not play a predominant role in his or her decision making. And most certainly we should not be promoting a woman whose insecurities at being both a woman and a minority drive her ego to overcompensate for those traits to the extent that it will most certainly affect her decision making while sitting as a member of the highest court in the land for the rest of her life.

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