Racism, Sexism and Sotomayor, in a few easy-to-read bullet points.

Some notes to conservatives and journalists:

1. Sonia Sotomayor is a judge. It is her job to ask questions. Many judges — including, notably, Antonin Scalia — are known for their assertive styles and difficult questions. Scalia, though, is revered for his blunt style. Sotomayor’s “temperment” is discussed as if she were a racehorse or a dog being bred for certain characteristics. I wonder if a male justice would be regularly described as “strident” and “vocal”? Also, this comment: “She used her questioning to make a point,” he said, “as opposed to really looking for an answer to a question she did not understand” could just as easily describe Scalia or any other sitting Supreme Court justice. Part of the question-asking process is to challenge the attorney’s position, not just to clarify.

2. “Spanish” is a language. “Illegal alien” is not. Menstruation does not impact the ability of a Supreme Court justice to do her job.

3. La Raza is not “a Latino KKK without the hoods or the nooses.” Also? The hoods and nooses are kind of important factors.

4. Sonia Sotomayor has just about everything one could hope for in a Supreme Court nominee. She was educated at two of the finest academic institutions in the country — and she got there by working her ass off, not through legacy admissions or silver-spoon privilege. She graduated at the top of her class from both places, and served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She worked as a prosecutor in New York City. She has served on the federal district bench and on the Second Circuit. She has heard thousands of cases and written hundreds of opinions. Is she an “affirmative action pick?” Sure, insofar as affirmative action means “casting a wider net so that highly-qualified people other than white men are taken into consideration.” Is she a token, which is what conservatives mean when they use the phrase “affirmative action?” Uh, no. And arguing that such a highly-qualified woman only achieved what she did because of tokenism is absurd and offensive, bordering on delusional.

5. Hey! Hateful white-dude-guy! You’re a loud, ignorant asshole who is willing to cash in on racism and sexism! Here are your own radio and TV shows!


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About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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12 Responses to Racism, Sexism and Sotomayor, in a few easy-to-read bullet points.

  1. Cara says:

    Hey! Hateful white-dude-guy! You’re a loud, ignorant asshole who is willing to cash in on racism and sexism! Here are your own radio and TV shows!

    LMAO. God I hate Glenn Beck. And this describes him perfectly.

  2. Natalie says:

    Also? The hoods and nooses are kind of important factors.
    Snort.

    Seriously.

  3. Maggie says:

    Ugh, the affirmative action write-off is sickening. um, how many white men have gotten into college/high-profile jobs by the “old boy’s club” connections rather than purely on their merit? hmm, a former president comes to mind…

  4. Nancy Green says:

    I highlighted some of the ‘dog whistle’ phrases in senate comments here…

    http://kmareka.com/2009/05/26/maybe-i%E2%80%99m-being-too-sensitive/

    For instance, calling her Ms. Sotomayor instead of Judge Sotomayor.

  5. Even if all her academic achievements—not just getting into where she did, but making the grades she did—were a result of tokenism (which they weren’t), her accomplishments as an adult are all her. Once you’re past 30 or so your long-ago academic record gets increasingly irrelevant.

  6. catfood says:

    Where did I read this? Anyway, when Sotomayor was admitted to undergrad studies at Princeton, the school had only recently gone co-ed on the condition that women could only occupy new seats in the incoming classes. In other words, most positions were reserved exclusively for men.

    Sotomayor got into Princeton on quota system, sure–one that made it exceptionally hard for women to get in.

  7. Judy O says:

    Before she gets the nod from the women’s right community I think she has to explain why she ruled against family planning in the only court case about women’s choice. I mean how the heck can we help the women’s health in countries around the world if we have judges that rule the way she did in Center for Reproductive Law and Policy v. Bush? If she rules this way on women’s health how will she rule on stem cell research?

  8. Lauren says:

    G Gordon Liddy only makes public statements when he’s on his period. That’s how he manages to sound so consistently stupid and angry all the time.

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  11. belledame222 says:

    Also? The hoods and nooses are kind of important factors.

    I know, right?

    “It’s just like murder, only without the killing or the dead person at the end.”

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