Sorry white men (and Ann Coulter), Sotomayor is not a racist. You are.

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Why does this damn “reverse discrimination” meme continue?

Oh right, FOX News.

I’m just going to put it out there: “reverse discrimination” is bullshit.  It’s a weak claim made by powerful white people who don’t want their privilege challenged in the slightest.

Let’s look at Sotomayor’s infamous quote again:

I would hope 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.

I’m going to put it out there: even without additional context, it’s not a racist statement.

The key words to think about are “who hasn’t lived that life.”  The context we need is already there.  She’s talking about being able to relate to the experiences of women and people of color.  She is saying that a Latina woman who has endured the trials of sexism and racism in America will have a much more personal context from which to relate to someone else struggling with sexism and racism.

If there is a white man out there who claims to know more about the experiences of people of color and women than people of color and women, let him say so.  None of the people that have called Sotomayor a racist or reverse racist will actually claim that, but please, we know it’s what they’re implying.  You don’t get to say you know more about racism.  We’re white and have power and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

Pat Buchanon:

The question is: does she believe in reverse discrimination against white males?  And it appears she does.

Please, tell me, what would that look like?  How would she discriminate against a white male?

I thought I was done addressing this in the Farce File last week, but it just has me so damn irritated.

If the words “reverse discrimination” come out of your mouth, you are the racist.  You are the one trying to maintain your racial privilege.  You are the one trying to defame a person of color.  You are the ignorant one.

If anyone knows this, it’s Newt Gingrich.  Look at how frantically he’s trying to backpedal:

My initial reaction was strong and direct — perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor’s fitness to serve on the nation’s highest court have been critical of my word choice.

With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word ‘racist’ should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable (a fact which both President Obama and his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, have since admitted).

Again I say: bullshit.  Notice what he didn’t say?  “I’m sorry.”  Notice what else he didn’t say? “I was wrong.”  Notice what else he didn’t say? “Sotomayor is not a racist.”

It’s clear from the statement that all he cares about is saving face.  All he is acknowledging is that he shouldn’t have said “racist.”  When I read the statement, it sure seems to me that he still thinks she is a racist.  He certainly thinks her words were racist.  And he has no intention of backing down from that.

It’s time to call out the racists for who they really are.  Go watch that video again.

If I can help it, I’m not going to bring this issue up again.  These people are pathetic and I find it sickening that such obvious racism is still a part of mainstream dialogue and isn’t being properly checked.

Understanding the privilege I have as a white man, myself, is a challenging lifelong process, but I’m so glad that I have made enough progress that I can call out these bigots when I see them.

If people start having legitimate conversations about Sotomayor’s competence as a judge and her capacity to sit on SCOTUS, let me know.  Until then, I’m not humoring any more dialogue about whether or not she might be a “reverse racist.”  What a crock.

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There are 19 Comments to "Sorry white men (and Ann Coulter), Sotomayor is not a racist. You are."

  • Carl Steffan says:

    The distortions created by the modern liberal to the English language are profound. Read her statement,please. Also, analyze it without a biased point of view. It IS a raciest statement. She said that a person of her race (and gender) could make a better decision than someone of another race (and gender). Thus, the decision she would make is better because it was made by a latina. This is not only racist but gender bias. Wake up to what words REALLY mean. Please.

    What is pathetic are people who do not see words for what they really mean. It does show your contempt and hate towards people of the white race.

  • ZackFord says:

    Thanks Carl! I’m sure my other readers will appreciate your articulate argument that clearly shows how I’m wrong!

    What is disturbing is when people do not see social issues for what they really are. It shows how blinded they are by the privilege they have and the challenges they’ve never had to face.

    Answer me this, Carl: Is she wrong?

    I think that’s the real problem. Privilege and power make people insecure. Isn’t it possible she has a point, and that’s why you HAVE to dismiss it as racist?

    Think about it. She has experienced racism. She has experienced sexism. These are experiences that go to the core of her identity that you can never truly understand or appreciate. She has resisted and fought past it all to become a strong and successful justice. And you’re telling me that in a case about racism or sexism, she would not have a richer perspective to draw from in her ruling?

    It almost sounds like you’re jealous you haven’t experienced racial discrimination like she has, because it means your whiteness isn’t perfect. By calling her racist and yourself the victim, it’s your attempt to right that wrong. But the problem is not her, it is you, because your comments completely disregard everything she has experienced because of her race and gender. It is utterly disrespectful and selfish.

    You know I’m right, too, because now you called ME a racist, since I obviously have such “contempt and hate” for my own race. You feel such a need to defend your white privilege that you only know how to attack those who would challenge it. Please try to recognize this defensive insecurity for what it really is.

    “Wake up to what words REALLY mean. Please.”

  • Carl Steffan says:

    It is very interesting to see how your bias blinds you. You ask, “Is she wrong ?” The answer, is of course, yes. You seem to think that a certain bias is acceptable — as long as you share it. She clearly made a statement with racially biased statement. Please, go back and read them again and actually think about what each word meant.

    Also, a most liberals you seem to want to make personal judgements concerning me even though you do not know me or my experiences. I am apparently white (because I fit the stereotype that the only people who would call a person of color a racist is white). I have apparently also (according to YOU) never experienced discrimination. How you could make these such judgements only a liberal could comprehend.

    I have no need to defend privilege. I DO feel the need to attack ignorance and especially prejudice wherever I see it.

  • ZackFord says:

    You wouldn’t be so quick to defend “the white race,” if you were not white yourself. It seemed a fair conclusion to make.

    You haven’t explained why what she said hurts you, so it also seemed fair to conclude you don’t know what it’s like to spend a lifetime experiencing racial oppression.

    You have not actually substantiated any of your claims. You have essentially said, “I’m right. Duh.” Then all you have done is call me a liberal (as if that’s a bad thing) and her ignorant, as if you have any clue what she’s experienced, let alone how to relate to it.

    It seems to me, Carl, that you take things at face value, hearing only what you want to hear. The only reason you’d want to hear racism is if you feel challenged by her claim. The only reason you could feel challenged by what she said is because you’re a white male who doesn’t like being looked down at from a Latina woman.

    She’s not wrong. Neither you nor I could render a judgment regarding the experiences of a woman or a person of color with the same perspective she could. If you presume that you could, then you’re the racist or sexist. If you admit that you couldn’t, then you have no point.

  • Rohit says:

    Dude,

    The operative word here is ”better”..if she had said she would reach a different conclusion then no one would object. (Leaving aside gasbags like Limbaugh.)

    Simply put, as Senator Graham pointed out, if a White man made similar claims about reaching a better judgment then people would quite rightly call it a racist statement and similar yardstick should apply in the good judge’s case.

    And I say that a FOB* minority…

    Btw, I don’t think there is any evidence that the judge is a racist but it is still amusing to see racist tag applied because that is usually the liberal monopoly!

    *Fresh off Boat

  • ZackFord says:

    There IS a difference between a White man claiming he knows a lot about racial oppression and a person of color talking about having experience with racial oppression. They are not measured by the same yardstick. The experience of white people and the experience of people of color is simply not the same.

  • Mark says:

    Yes but Rohit makes a point that she did say a “better” decision. Perhaps she would make a “better” decision when it came to racial discrimination and her having experienced oppression based on race then yes she would be better informed of the repercussions racist have on their victims. And by racism I guess I also mean discrimination of any sort based on a majority oppressing a minority. However, if it is whether government action has violated the Constitution, she may or may not make the “better” decision.

    I DO NOT support accusations that Sotomayor is a racists and I would rather look at her past cases and her reasoning behind those cases to decide whether or not she is fit to be a member of the most powerful court in the land. I do think no matter who president Obama had appointed, as long as they fall on the liberal side the Republicans, specifically Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter ect, would bash it and look for any reason to be against the decision. I do think in that statement JUST IN THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE PROVIDED AND IN THE CONTEXT THAT I HAVE HEARD IN THE MEDIA she misspoke and misused the word “better”. I think she would have a unique perspective that could be helpful in deciding cases because of her life story, but not a “better” one.

  • Mark Holsing says:

    Just so no other Mark’s believe I’m talking for them I claim to have written the statement above as the sole opinion of Mark Holsing and not the opinion of any other mark. ^

  • Will says:

    All right, Mark and Rahit, answer me this. Please, no quibbling, just a plain unequivocal answer.

    True or false: Thanks to personal experience as a victim of racial/sex-based discrimination, Justice Sotomayor is somewhat better equipped to understand the facts of a racial/sex-based discrimination case than a white male, all else being equal.

  • Mark Holsing says:

    Yes and that’s what I said when I said “Perhaps she would make a “better” decision when it came to racial discrimination and her having experienced oppression based on race then yes she would be better informed of the repercussions racist have on their victims. And by racism I guess I also mean discrimination of any sort based on a majority oppressing a minority.”

    Unfortunately that isn’t all the supreme court deals with so Will, just because she may have a certain insight into racism/sexism, she may not make for a better justice in general.

  • […] Sorry white men (and Ann Coulter), Sotomayor is not a racist. You … […]

  • Will says:

    Right. In context, she was talking about the question of whether two people of different backgrounds but “equally wise” would always make the same decisions. We agree that, OTHER THINGS EQUAL, Sotomayor would be better equipped to deal with cases involving discrimination – and equally good at making decisions in other cases. Thus, overall, she’d be slightly better. Other things equal. So her use of the word better was accurate, not a misspeaking or misuse.

    Is this other-thigs-equal condition realistic? Of course not, and it’s not supposed to be; she was addressing a hypothetical question, not making a blanket statement about the real-life judiciary.

    Of course, you didn’t know that was the full context. According to Google, though, it took 0.34 seconds to process my request for TRANSCRIPT “I WOULD HOPE THAT A WISE LATINA WOMAN […] WHO HASN’T LIVED THAT LIFE.” Really, it’s no great feat to get the whole story before you criticize.

  • Mark Holsing says:

    I passed no judgments on her as a person or as a judge. My remarks were based off the context. I didn’t see any point in looking up the full transcript, because as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t mean anything when deciding whether she would make for a good judge or not. Really, it’s no great feat to look up worthless information when deciding what kind of a judge she would be.

  • Will says:

    “I passed no judgments on her as a person or as a judge.”
    Right. Rather, you passed judgment on what she SAID. So, in the context of what you were actually criticizing, we see that the context of HER quote is not “worthless information” at all.

    This is what you said and what I addressed: “I do think in that statement JUST IN THE CONTEXT YOU HAVE PROVIDED AND IN THE CONTEXT THAT I HAVE HEARD IN THE MEDIA she misspoke and misused the word ‘better’.”
    In context, we see that your criticism lacked her context 🙂 I corrected you by telling you what she was actually talking about, and then explaining why what she said, in context, was not misuse of the word better.
    If you’d like to address that argument, please see my last post.

  • […] Zack Ford at Zack Ford Blogs with Sorry white men (and Ann Coulter), Sotomayor is not a racist. You are. […]

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  • Holly says:

    Standing ovation from me!

    She’s going to make better decisions from the richness of her experiences — unique experiences due to her differences from all the other white wind-bags on the SCOTUS. Period. There’s a reason why diversity matters, duh.

    Thanks for making the point so eloquently.

  • Margaret says:

    Zack, I have been wrestling with these isses for the past weeks to the point I’ve made myself sick. I agree with every single statement you have made here.. I am appalled at the bare-faced, openly aggressive racial hatred being vomited by the rethuglican party in the past year, since the election of our president and with teh nimination of Judge Sotomajor….and it’s gaining in velocity, breadth, these insecure scumbag politicians– their resolve to split this country is so desperate I think their heads are going to blow up! WE can only hope. huh? I am truly ashamed of these disgusting bigots who call themselves Americans

  • Garry says:

    Let me just clear this up. She was merely making an observation. There are many Latinas who choose to marry white men with money, but who hasn’t the life experience she has. They’re merely choose these white men as an escape out of social and economic oppression. That’s why you see many female women of color/white male couples who don’t match up. She’s incredibly beautiful, he’s looks like a nerd.

    In previous years these women usually married older rich white men. Because we now live in the young professionals era, they can now marry white men of their own age.

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