More on Race and That Other Stuff

Insulted by the WaPo calling Sotomayor “Souter w/ a salsa beat,” Andrew Cline asks: What if she were white?

Of the nine paragraphs in the New York Times endorsement, five mention her race and sex. Were Sotomayor a white male, the Times would have 55 percent less to say about him.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote yesterday that Sotomayor was “Souter with a salsa beat.” Because Sotomayor is Hispanic we can assume she comes “with a salsa beat”? How is that not an ethnic stereotype? What if Sotomayor doesn’t like salsa music? If she were black, could we say she is Souter with a hip-hop beat?

See my opinion on the race stuff here. More immediately I think Sotomayor is qualified, I just don’t like her opinions. If she didn’t bring this reggaeton to the table the Times would likely focus those five paragraphs on her jurisprudence. And that would likely be a much stronger indictment than all of this “affirmative action” finger-pointing.

Like Obama, Sotomayor is an eminently qualified candidate in a sea of similarly qualified individuals. Both offer inspiring stories that put them over the edge. I see nothing wrong with that. I agree that an inspiring story brings more to the table than a little extra Latin on a resume — which, incidentally, appears in droves on the resumes of both BHO and SMS.

I’ll say it again: Focusing on someone’s jurisprudence and record carries a lot more weight than focusing on his or her race. Conservatives should stop engaging in these mini-trials re whether “diversity” is criteria enough and should start discussing those criteria that are actually, empirically relevant. The latter category is indictment enough. The former is not. Eye on the ball, people! This kind of issue blurring is what fractured conservatives in the first place!

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