With Barack Obama, many Americans had hoped to get a post-racial president. With Mr. Obama’s pick of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace David H. Souter on the Supreme Court, it looks less and less like they got one.
President Obama - a man we still hardly know - clearly subscribes to the notion that we should judge each other not just on the content of our character, but also by the color of our skin.
We’ve had warning signs before. Remember the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.?
As for the outrage du jour, the call for Sotomayor to apologize for making a racist comment in a 2001 speech is silly. She said what she meant, and she meant what she said: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
No white nominee could get away with that statement’s corollary in which a wise white man comes to better conclusions that a Latina. Nor should he.
A non-apology apology - which seems to be all the price she is going to pay - is pointless.
The White House simply says Judge Sotomayor used “poor” word choice. But that excuse applies to any number of public figures who have had their careers derailed for similar language blunders. This double standard needs to go on public trial.
In today’s left-of-center culture, the “white male” - “the victim,” as it were - understands that what Judge Sotomayor said is the accepted liberal way of thinking. Identity politics (also known as political correctness, multiculturalism and cultural Marxism) is the foundation of the political left. It is the first, middle and last lesson taught today in Academia. It is the mainstream media’s rulebook.
It is why Sotomayor and Obama are praiseworthy, and why Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Alberto Gonzalez and Miguel Estrada are unacceptable members of their respective tribes. It is the onerous double standard that ensures that the left wins every argument over race. And that is far too useful a weapon for the president and his Democratic Party to give up.
And apparently the Republican Party doesn’t want to wrest that weapon away any time soon. When Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich called Judge Sotomayor out, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele, a man who has been bludgeoned by the left for the sin of being a black Republican, warned against “slammin’ and rammin’ ” the nominee.
The man who oversees the senatorial fate of Republicans, Sen. John Cornyn, also accepts Mr. Steele’s appease-the-left strategy.
“This is not the kind of tone that any of us wants to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent,” Mr. Cornyn told National Public Radio. I’m sure NPR’s notoriously liberal audience is swaying right over to the new and defanged GOP.
Judge Sotomayor made the offending comment - yet now she is the victim. It’s amazing how effective political correctness can be.
The media’s role in killing the racism meme was done through sleight of hand. Instead of calling the comment “controversial on its face,” the media minimized the offense by asserting that it came from a politically motivated camp. As in: “Republicans Upset over Nominee’s Past Comments.” That made the controversy a noncontroversy, something that dreaded Republicans merely tried to gin up.
So now what? The aggrieved Caucasian male obviously does not need his self-esteem repaired. A nonapology apology from Judge Sotomayor - “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” - simply allows the Democrats to change the subject. Instead, the price for Judge Sotomayor’s sin should be that Americans finally get their long-awaited national discussion on race - in the form of a confirmation hearing that puts this culturally and politically acceptable “reverse racism” on trial.
But don’t bet that will happen.
Andrew Breitbart is the founder of the news Web site www.breitbart.com and is co-author of “Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - The Case Against Celebrity.”