I guess I can never be a Supreme Court justice.
I am befuddled by the Sotomayor brouhaha over the view of the world from the eyes of a female Latina.
Of course it's different.
For one [big] thing, women, Latina and others, are more compassionate than men—and behave accordingly.
And: Praise the Lord!
The system of laws under which we [Americans, Brits, etc.] live was built by white guys, for white guys, and is, by and large, administered by white guys to this day.
I have made out like a bandit since birth courtesy racism; that is, by being a white guy, better yet Anglo-Saxon white guy, in a world designed for and controlled by white guys—that is, a world designed especially for me me me me!!
Do Gingrich and others [read: other white guys] really feel that they are free of bias?
Nobody could be that blind or un-self aware.
(Gingrich is an historian for God's sake.)
I have biases piled on top of biases piled on top of biases—only a small share of which I am even aware, but which directly and indirectly affect everything I do.
(I always start my speeches with the same disclaimer: "Many who do what I do pretend that they are totally rational beings. Well, I'm not. Not even close. I carry a big bag of biases which color every word I utter—for example, I lived in Silicon Valley for 35 years; hence, everything I say inadvertently passes through an absurdly influential 'Silicon Valley-California' filter. Etc.")
Every human being—including our nine Justices—carry to work ships full of biases which get expressed in a zillion ways.
This post is only peripherally about Judge Sotomayor.
It is, in the main, about the biases we all bring to work every day—and our awareness thereof; or lack thereof.
The implications are staggering!
(I.e., they determine every decision we make!)
(By the way, just to set the record straight, if I haven't in the last 15 years: I do definitely think the world would be a better place if women constituted the majority—significant majority?—of Prime Ministers and Presidents and Judges. Among other things, I suspect there would be less war, less violence in general, less environmental degradation and, "OMG," more com-pass-ion.)
Imaginary headline, June 2011:
"Sotomayor Brings Compassion to the Supremes"
Horrid thought, eh?
Before blogging became all the rage, Tom was posting book reviews and Observations (essentially early blog posts) to this site. You can find the archives below.
What we're talking about
on the front page.