Judge Sotomayor and the Boys in the Bubble

white_boys_in_the_SenateI’ll be honest, I still have some concerns about Sonia Sotomayor, the nominee for Supreme Court Justice. Although the right-wingers would have you believe she’s a leftist-liberal-progressive-activist — eh, I’m no so sure about that. Her stands on reproductive choice and on separation of church and state leaves a little to be desired. But of course, her actual opinions on such things have received very little air time, because all we’re subjected to is this tripe from the Republicans:

Buchanan: Sotomayor Must Have Been An ‘Affirmative Action’ Nominee Since No White Men Were Finalists

Gingrich Calls On Sotomayor To Withdraw Because She’s A ‘Latina Woman Racist’

And my personal fave:

Inhofe worries that Sotomayor may allow ‘undue influence from her own personal race, gender.’

That last one is so revealing as the voice of white man’s privilege. (Here come the shrieks, but hold on — I have a point here.) I have lived a life of privilege, too. I am a white middle class woman. I have had advantages in my life in the schools I attended, neighborhoods where I grew up; opportunities were practically handed to me.

Not everyone in America is that lucky.

But whatever your life experiences may be, they form who you are and what you believe. Sen. Imhofe did not grow up in a bubble, free from the influences around him. His road in life — like mine, I would hazzard a guess — was pretty fortunate. But he is not genderless. He is not without a race.  His opinions, however screwed up they may be, are the result of his experiences. But like so many powerful white men, he is unable to see that he has had advantages in life because of his race and his gender. He is unable to empathize the experience of a large portion of this country’s citizens.

Lest anyone think electing a President of color has solved the issues of sexism and racism in America, think again.

UPDATE: Christy Hardin Smith has an excellent analysis on these Republican attacks on Sotomayor, along with commentary from Rachel Maddow. Check it out here: SCOTUS: Smear and Loathing in the GOP.

image credit: Time magazine


  1. rich white men being afraid that the laws won’t protect that advantage they have taken years to make sure is in place for them. pretty sad really!

  2. They see the world changing around them, and they are simply not equipped to deal with it. Unlike — I might add — my white male friends, who are able to empathize with others and see the world beyond their own experiences ….

    Not so much about being a white male as it is about being a rich white Republican male ….

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