You know my feelings about this whole SCOTUS/'happy hispanics' crap. I just read this completely insane article on the CNN website, and that was it. I couldn't help but write my own version for your consideration and comment.
Methodology: I've excerpted several passages from the original article; where I cut material, I've indicated with the word "--SNIP--". I've changed all instances of "Sotomayor" to "Roberts," "hispanic/Latina" to "white man," "he/him/his" to "she/her/hers," "Obama" to "Bush," "republicans" to "democrats," etc. To be sure that all changes are clear, I've bolded and changed the color of all the things I changed. No other changes have been made.
Desired result: Tell me in the comments whether such an article would EVER appear ANYWHERE but one of our blogs. Feel free to comment on any other aspect of this issue or this post.
Now -- the rest of this post is quoted directly (albeit as excerpts and the bolded modifications specified above) from the CNN article.
Roberts nomination: Is it about ethnicity?
John Roberts could be the latest white man to serve on the Supreme Court. And as we learn more about him, the more questions centered on his ethnic background abound. Was he chosen partly because of his white origins? Does he consider race in his rulings? Are we focusing too much on his ethnicity and not enough on his judicial history?
Roberts is, to say the least, a provocative pick on President Bush's part. Here are four of the questions commentators are asking -- and your answers.
What role did ethnicity play in Roberts' nomination?
Did Bush choose John Roberts partly because he’s a white man? Katy Brown thinks so.
"It's just another gimmick," said Brown, a college student from Charleston, West Virginia. "Just another opportunity to make something out of nothing: yet another white man [on the court]. ... Race is being played once again. So my question is, did he actually look at Roberts’ background; did he pick him because of the right reasons? Or did he just want to make another statement in America and base his decision on race?"
What role will ethnicity play in his confirmation?
"I think it's important that we're making sure he is being judged on his record and not the other 'R' word: his race," said Omekongo Dibinga of Washington.
Dibinga is concerned that senators -- who must confirm Roberts before he can take the seat -- and the public will assume that Roberts' ethnic background will unfairly influence his decisions. "Let's not make him the immigration Supreme Court justice; let's not make him the next male Supreme Court justice," he said. "If we really want to talk about how he interprets the law even-handedly, then we should make sure that we are processing his nomination even-handedly."
Robert Stewart has a different perspective. He thinks Senate Republicans will hesitate to criticize Roberts for fear of being accused of racism or sexism, and he called Bush’s pick of Roberts "brilliant," partially because of the ethnicity and gender factors.
"Anyone who brings up either sex or race will set themselves up for being labeled sexist or racist, tarnishing their reputation," he wrote. "While sex/race/religion should not make a difference, we would be ignorant to not understand how this can be used by both sides, and with the Democrats in the minority in the Senate, this will certainly be brought up to discredit their opposition to Roberts.
"While it is often repeated and emphasized that his nomination is not based on sex/race, everyone knows that this is a card that will be played," he added.
Does Roberts consider race or ethnicity in his judicial decisions? Should he?
"Why, every time an [ethnic majority] comes into an office or a situation of making decisions for our country, do we get concerned about will they show favoritism?" Richard Gaskin asked. Political pundits and iReporters alike are highly divided on the validity of his question.
...Joseph Condon of Richmond, Virginia, feels that Roberts "will not be wearing a blindfold when [he] makes rulings." He is concerned that Roberts would put his own beliefs and feelings above the Constitution and that perhaps his cultural background could unfairly influence his decisions. Condon had some strong words to describe his worries.
"If Roberts is confirmed, his personal experiences, conservative beliefs, and loyalty to blood and culture will be the basis for forming his judicial rulings, and not the United States Constitution," he wrote.
Are we focusing too much on his ethnic background rather than his judicial history and qualifications?
...Gaskin -- who said that every time a white person comes into a position of power, the public unfairly worries about whether he or she will show racial favoritism -- thinks the conversation the country is having about Roberts’ ethnicity is the wrong one to be having.
"We can now have everyone getting equal chances, and I think that's what this should be all about," he said. "No matter what ethnicity you are, now we all have a chance to have equal rights. ... I hope [Roberts’ nomination] inspires people who come from situations of poverty or less hope to now have hope and change their lives."