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June 01, 2009

Obama on Black, Conservative Judicial Nominee Janice Rogers Brown: "I hope we have arrived at a point in our country's history where Black folks can be criticized for holding views that are out of the mainstream"

Via Free Republic, from Obama's own website.

First, he pointed out that someone's background was just a background. It might be nice and all that, but it's not really a reason to vote them onto a court.

Let me wrap up by making mention of a subtext to this debate. As was true with Clarence Thomas, as was true with Alberto Gonzales, as was true with Condoleezza Rice, my esteemed colleagues on the other side of the aisle have spent a lot of time during this debate discussing Justice Brown's humble beginnings as a child of a sharecropper. They like to point out she was the first African American to serve on the California Supreme Court.

I, too, am an admirer of Justice Brown's rise from modest means, just as I am an admirer of Alberto Gonzales's rise from modest means, just as I am an admirer of Clarence Thomas's rise from modest means, just as I am an admirer of Condoleezza Rice's rise from modest means. I think it is wonderful. We should all be grateful where opportunity has opened the doors of success for Americans of every background.


I do not think that because Justice Brown is an African-American woman she has to adhere to a particular political orthodoxy, something that has been suggested by the other side of the aisle. Just as it would be cynical and offensive that Justice Brown be vilified simply for being a Black conservative, it is equally offensive and cynical to suggest that somehow she should get a pass for her outlandish views simply because she is a Black woman.

I hope we have arrived at a point in our country's history where Black folks can be criticized for holding views that are out of the mainstream, just as Whites are criticized when they hold views that are out of the mainstream. I hope we have come to the point where a woman can be criticized for being insensitive to the rights of women, just as men are criticized when they are insensitive to the rights of women.

And yet the White House has warned us to watch what we say about Sotomayor. Seems racist -- extending this Praetorian Guard of racial protection to a wise Latina and not a wise Black woman.

Obama wasn't alone. His fellow White Male Democrats heartily agreed that it was okay to oppose a minority woman, wise or otherwise.

Then again, they're white males, so we know that, more often than not, they will come to a worse conclusion than a wise Latina. So I guess this particular evidence is ambiguous in import.

Obama also of course voted against Roberts and Alito, even while admitting they were amply qualified. Because they lacked "empathy." Or something.

Empathy. And irony.

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posted by Ace at 05:52 PM

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