- The Washington Times - Monday, June 15, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor by President Obama should appall any American who reveres the Fourteenth Amendment (“A judge too far,” Opinion, May 27). “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,” she said. Who is Judge Sotomayor to speak for white males and define what their life experiences are? Do officially defined minorities have a monopoly on hard times and oppression?

Let me remind Judge Sotomayor that the largest lynching in U.S. history took place in New Orleans in 1891, when 11 falsely accused Italian-Americans were lynched simply for being Italian. (Were you aware of this, Speaker Nancy Pelosi?) How’s that for “white privilege”? Let’s not forget the “No dogs or Irish allowed” signs that greeted Irish job seekers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Keep this in mind as you’re praising Judge Sotomayor.) And what about the Jews who were framed and lynched by the Ku Klux Klan, such as Leo Frank in Georgia in 1915? (The Klan certainly respected his elevated social status as a white man, didn’t it?)

The bogus “white” racial category contains many subcategories, and not all of them are equally privileged, as Judge Sotomayor and others want us to believe. I would remind her that her future colleague on the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia, was the first Italian-American to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court - nearly 20 years after Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice, was appointed. Ask him about white privilege. I’m sure he will give you an earful.

MICHAEL A. BERTOLONE

Rochester, N.Y.

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