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?