Monday, June 15, 2009

Jacoby on Race in Judicial Confirmations

In today's Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby points out the dangers in accusing someone of racial insensitivity pertaining to the Sotomayor nomination, and uses Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge Charles Pickering as examples.
The same malice would be visited subsequently on other conservative judges nominated by Republican presidents. In 1991, Clarence Thomas was slimed as a traitor to his race for having married a white woman, and as a mouthpiece for white supremacists. "If you gave Clarence Thomas a little flour on his face," declared Carl Rowan, "you'd think you had David Duke talking." Judge Charles Pickering, a longtime advocate of racial reconciliation, was defamed by Senator John Kerry in 2002 as a "forceful advocate for a cross-burner" and by Senator Charles Schumer for his "glaring racial insensitivity."

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