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Sunday, May 31, 2009

She Said What?

I can’t resist but to throw out some quotes and thoughts about this whole Sonia Sotomayor controversy. You know the issue, way back when, she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion that a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Wow, if she said that to me at a cocktail party, I’d think she’s totally conceited, grandiose, pretentious, narcissistic! And if I had at least two glasses of Pinot, I would throw my gauntlet down and engage in a civilized debate about just what she meant by that. Of course we know she must remain silent during this courting phase of the nomination. The opposition to her nomination isn’t necessarily attacking her, but rather asking for clarification. The White House dude Gibbs didn’t help when he tried defending her by saying she was “simply saying she has a different background that could lead to different conclusions.” Because guess what, a “different” conclusion may not be the best, most ethical, most unbiased conclusion. So here’s the spot where I have to stick in a quote from a famous white guy…Benjamin Franklin said, “A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.” The point here is, what she said was not a racist remark; it was a remark about herself, about her excessive appreciation of her own self-worth, about her lack of empathy…a revelation of her character. On face value, her comment speaks to her belief that she is unique, better, above others. On face value, her comment speaks to her narrow view that others may not have lived the kind of life she has, and that her life experience was “better.” I keep using the word “better” because that is what she said. Another great quote from a white guy…Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.” We all say stupid things, even people who graduated second in their class at Princeton! Everyone keeps talking about her intellect and college resume, but all the intelligence in the world doesn’t make up for innate character flaws. Let’s wait and hear what she says about it. Another white man quote…Albert Einstein said, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity.”