Friday, May 29, 2009

...Even White Guys

I have edited the previous post, adding the link to Judge Sotomayor's 2001 speech, which was printed in a 2002 journal.

In the interest of fairness (and to save you the effort), here is the offending line, which I have already criticized:

"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."

But while we are quoting lines out of context, I also offer another example, which better reflects the thrust of the whole speech:

"The aspiration to impartiality is just that--it's an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others."

Still, where I stand against both Sotomayor and her critics is that they all operate as if white male judges have no background or experience to bring into the courtroom. Sotomayor thinks that's a bad thing, her critics think it's a good thing.

The truth is it's a fantasy. Aspirations of impartiality aside, even white males bring their background and experiences into the courtroom, for good or ill.

1 comment:

Kevin Gooding said...

Tony, Well said, as usual. I agree with you that we have so unquestioningly accepted the white male perspective/experience/etc. as the norm that while decrying the subjectivity of everybody else's positions we have become blind to the fact that the white male perspective is just as subjective and contextually bound.