This whole new exciting world of Supreme Court confirmation hearings that are not yet even begun has once again demonstrated that the Court is a product of political ideology, not judicial vision or qualifications. Things have gone so far this time that we are seeing Sonia Sotomayor being called a racist, bigot, and lots of other things for suggesting that race/ethnicity and gender play a role in the decisions made by quarts. I love the way politics works in this country where everyone decides to dance around the truth and where the truth becomes "politically incorrect." In reality, race and gender play a role in how people see the world. Racial bias has existed and still exists, people are not judged based on the content of their character. We have 7 white male members of the Supreme Court and Republicans have the gall to say that there is significant discrimination against white men. The reality is that as long as a society is structurally biased toward someone based upon his race and gender, then policies designed to encourage the consideration of qualified minorities are necessary. The claim the Mrs. Sotomayor is an affirmative action pick is probably at least partially true. That said, I think it demonstrates the value of such a program. She was examined because she was a women and Obama wanted another women on the court. She potentially was picked in part because she is Latina. That said, she is also extremely qualified. The current smear campaign is similar to the Swift Boat ads against Kerry, people making stuff up to scare people into voting against her.
I am extremely frustrated with everything right now as I watch a biased court push for a more unequal and segregated society. The sooner it is realized that we have inherent biases, the sooner we will work them out. The idea that someone can grow up in the projects, attend Princeton, graduate Summa cum Laude, become a Judge, and be nominated for the Supreme Court is the ultimate American Dream story and I am sick and tired of hearing conservatives whine about how no white male was considered. They are still living in a time when diversity was thought to not matter, where segregation was considered good and desirable, and where all that was socially acceptable. People like Jeff Sessions were racist before and are racist now (he was not allowed to become a judge for this reason). Hearing the absurdity of the claim that white men need affirmative action when so much already goes our way: we get paid more, we get better mortgage rates, we go to prison less frequently per capita, the list goes on. Inequality of opportunity exists but we are too deaf, dumb, and opposed to recognizing fundamental contradictions in American society that are being brought out by this confirmation.