At the risk of asking the unpopular question: Doesn’t it feel like politics have turned into a witch hunt?
Republicans accuse dems of playing “affirmative action,” e.g., acknowledging and focusing on differences traceable to “race” rather than on what we all have in common. Democrats’ “racism” cries started when Obama became the big POTUS contender and continued until, well…I’ll let you know when it ends. And it’s totally deserved. Look at us. How many times has the word “Hispanic” been uttered just today?
The point is that all we’re doing is focusing on race. Racism is just that: focusing on what’s different among us. Even many of Sotomayor’s biggest fans are primarily enthused because she brings the “Puerto Rican voice” to the table. In his nomination introduction Obama himself focused on her backstory rooted in “diversity” rather than on her huge, valuable qualifications.
It’s just as racist to imagine that support for Sotomayor and support for Obama come from different places. Both are eminently qualified individuals among eminently qualified individuals. Both have extremely inspiring stories, and, indeed, I love the idea of promoting those high achievers who overcame adversity. But call it what it is. The American dream is all about celebrating ambition in the face of hard times. Though I don’t like Obama, I love that we elected a black man. I intensely dislike some things about Sotomayor’s jurisprudence and philosophy, but I love the idea of a woman reflecting the quickly-increasing Hispanic demographic in the States.
In other words: I’m a little bit racist, because I recognize that there’s some benefit to focusing a little bit on race. I’m a little bit sexist too, because I’m glad Obama nominated a woman instead of a man. As a white, non-hyphenated-American woman I realize that my position is unpopular. But look at us. All we’ve done is talk about race for the past year. And we’ve spilled an enormous amount of ink pointing fingers at colleagues, shouting “racist” in a terrifyingly McCarthy-esque way.
Let me just be the first to ask: Can’t we move on to the next topic? All this witch hunting doesn’t prove we’re past it. So either admit that you’re a little focused on race, or stop talking so much about it. Either way, next topic, please.