The Republican Party-Uncle Tom’s Cabin


uncle-tom-cabinThe political movement of the Right is showing itself to be increasingly a party of irrelevance and antiquity.  Whereas once, it’s titular head, President George W. Bush made such proclamations against all who opposed the ideas coming from that Party, the party’s ideas themselves have cast it in the very same light, a party that is not progressive, has nothing to offer but fear of the exaggerated differences in people within its own country.  The latest ramblings of its head, Michael Steele are indicative of the direction of the party.  In one of those, ‘I can’t believe he just said that’ moments, Steele made this assertion

And apparently, the comments that she made that have been played up about, you know, the Latina woman being a better judge than the white male is something that she has said on numerous occasions. So this was not just the one and only time it was said. They’ve now found other evidences and other speeches, Trip, that she has made mention of this, this fact that her ethnicity, that her cultural background puts her in a different position as a judge to judge your case. And God help you if you’re a white male coming before her bench.

This was an obvious reference to Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Why an African-American head of the Republican Party would utter a remark like that is astonishing at best, racist and pandering to the racist element which he heads, at worst! It might have very well been the same thing said about his selection to be the Party head, and was certainly said about the success of the Obama candidacy by some of the people of the party Steele now represents. On its face it is abhorrent and a page from the play book of FEAR, but it is also untrue.

In sum, in an eleven-year career on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has participated in roughly 100 panel decisions involving questions of race and has disagreed with her colleagues in those cases (a fair measure of whether she is an outlier) a total of 4 times. Only one case (Gant) in that entire eleven years actually involved the question whether race discrimination may have occurred. (In another case (Pappas) she dissented to favor a white bigot.)  She participated in two other panels rejecting district court rulings agreeing with race-based jury-selection claims. Given that record, it seems absurd to say that Judge Sotomayor allows race to infect her decision making.

It’s unfortunate an African American male, one some have considered at one time in American history at the very bottom of the social hierarchy in America, would resort to the very rhetoric that was used to deny him equal opportunity, especially when that rhetoric is so blatantly  misleading and incorrect. To do it in today’s America when symbolically speaking such outbursts give meaning to movements of hatred and violence between Americans is irrational and petty.  Steele should know better and because he doesn’t that  makes him irrelevant along with his Party.

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