Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Faces of Race-Based Empathy

Contrary to my expectations, it turns out I have learned something from Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearings and the concomitant political atmospherics -- I have concluded that I have severe qualms about a Supreme Court nominee who would say this:

When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.
I express the qualms not because judges should dismiss all thoughts of their own heritage and the history of race relations in the USA when considering racial discrimination, but because the person who said this was Justice Sam Alito, who is a right-wing ideologue of the sort we do not need on the Supreme Court. And yet there he is, issuing rulings that factor in his Italian heritage and the history of anti-Italian discrimination in the USA.

This comes via Glenn Greenwald, who has been focusing his always-valuable reporting and analysis on the Sotomayor hearings.

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