Saturday, May 30, 2009

President Obama Explains Sotomayor's Message

Brian Williams asked President Obama for a response to SCOTUS nominee Sototmayor's statement affirming the superiority of her own moral positioning by virtue of her Hispanic background. Sotomayor essentially said that race and nationality accounted for a lack of judicial acumen among "white men."

President Obama's rationalization for Sotomayor's lapse was pretty weak. It was the sweeping generalization of "white men" that can't be erased by Obama's erudition or that of anyone else. Most "white men" are thrilled with the achievements of African-Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and other ethnic groups within our melting pot country. This is a fact. Unfortunately, the people who so blithely play upon racial politics as a means to an end will not accept this fact. Opposition to President Obama became "racism" during the campaign and opposition to Sotomayor similarly becomes "racism" in the wake of her nomination. Continuing to suborn the democratic process to superficial racial characterizations and divisions is nothing but a smokescreen to blur the facts.

Among the reasons to oppose Sotomayor are:

Sotomayor's anti- Second Amendment Rights positions. She upheld an appeals court judgment regarding the conviction of a New York man who was arrested for possessing namchukas, those wooden things used by martial artists. This is a most extreme position as few people are hurt with namchukas each year. What I'm saying is that Sotomayor will absolutely support state and local legal assaults on Second Amendment rights.

In New Haven Connecticut, Sotomayor agreed with a lower court decision to throw out the results of a competitive test for city firemen, even though two Hispanics were among eligible group who had scored high on the test. Those two Hispanics and several other firemen who also scored high were rejected from the pool of eligible applicants for promotion. The reason for throwing out the test results was that no African-American candidates had scored high on the test.

This kind of reasoning is absolutely crazy and undermines an individual's desire to excel. Sotomayor's decision does not help AFrican-Americans, and it seems to assume some inferority than cannot be countermanded except by judicial action. African Americans excel at many things and in all areas. If we were to restrain anyone's desire to be the best, we would be doing great harm to humanity in general.

If I were a boxer with a Caucasian complexion who was matched against Mike Tyson, should Tyson be made to compete against me with his feet and hands tied together so that he could not move more than two inches in any direction? (Even under those circumstances, Tyson would probably win). President Obama was chief of the Harvard Law Review. Should he have been hampered or restrained in his grade performance so that a weaker performer who competed against him would not feel bad? This kind of thinking is not only harmful, it is un-American.

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