Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Misunderstanding of the concept of racism

Sotomayor couldn't possibly have meant exactly what she said, could she?

Commentary: What the 'wise Latina' remark meant
Entitled "Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation," the conference brought together -- for the first time, to my knowledge -- judges, lawyers, scholars and law students to consider the state of Latinos in the judiciary.

By 2050, Hispanics will be 30 percent of the U.S. population, and yet the number of Latino judges remains tiny. The number of female Hispanic judges is even smaller; Sotomayor is one of two Hispanic women among federal appellate judges, and there are not much more than that among the hundreds of federal district judges.

Part of the impetus for the conference was to signal the potential crisis for our courts in the 21st century if we do not get more Latino lawyers interested in becoming judges and more appointed to the bench.

In this context, I did not find Sotomayor's comment controversial. As I look at the speech eight years later, I'm struck by how measured and careful she was in making the claim.

So, as long as your target audience is not the one you are pushing against, it's not racist? The KKK isn't racist at their rallies, until they actually light up the cross in someone's yard?

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