Saturday, May 30

Robert Gibbs: "I think she'd change that word" Yeah? which one?

Is this the best that the White House can come up with? The White House's response does nothing to address the problem because his answer does not fit her racist-sounding statement:
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. - Sotomayor, 2001
Here is the way that the White House tried to explain it away.
After three days of suggesting that reporters and critics should not dwell on one sentence from a speech, the White House had a different message Friday.

"I think if she had the speech to do all over again, I think she'd change that word," presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Gibbs said he did not hear that from Sotomayor directly, but rather from people who had talked to her, and he did not identify who those people were. Sotomayor herself has made no public comments about the matter and was not available for comment. - Yahoo News
(We'll forget for now that he is guessing about her response.) The problem is not any word, but the statement itself. Which word was Mr. Gibbs referring to? Her whole damn sentence is a mess.

The real problem is not any word but instead the meaning of what was said. Really, imagine if a white person called her a 'stupid Latina'. Does changing a word fix the problem. Let replace 'stupid' with 'smart'. That fixes the statement, but completely fails to address the original statement, which probably better reflects what the person was thinking, just like Ms. Sotomayor's statement probably better reflects what she thinks than any clarification. It would be a different story if she said something and then made an immediate correction. After all, just because a person's spokesperson apologizes for a person calling someone a 'nigger' suggesting that "I think he'd change that word", does not clear them of being called a racist. Not in this country it doesn't

Lets take this White House comment as some sort of acknowledgment that she had a slip of the tongue. A mistake. So when are they going to address her membership in La Raza? Is this another error in judgment? If not, then perhaps she or the White House should defend or explain her membership in such an organization. And when are they going to address the quote she chose for her yearbook:
I am not the champion of lost causes, but the champion of causes not yet won. - Norman Thomas

Who was Norman Thomas?
Norman Mattoon Thomas (1884—1968) was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. - Wikipedia
Is this just another unfortunate mistake? Might be, but the President is already having problems dealing with accusations that he is really a socialist. His choice of Supreme Court Justice certainly is going to do nothing to dispel that charge.

As a lawyer, her word, both written and spoken, is her tool, just like a gun is the tool of a policeman. Policemen do not get a free pass for the misuse of their gun. Should a nominee for the Supreme Court get a free pass for the misuse of her position? I don't think so, especially since her word can do a lot more damage than a bad policeman with a gun.

Apparently this morning the President used a similar line of defense as his press secretary:
Obama also defended his nominee, saying her message was on target even if her exact wording was not.

"I think that when she's appearing before the Senate committee, in her confirmation process, I think all this nonsense that is being spewed out will be revealed for what it is," Obama said in the broadcast interview, clearly aware of how ethnicity and gender issues are taking hold in the debate. - AP
Really? I really look forward to her trying to explain this. Actually, I think the President needs to clarify his statement above because it appears that he is defending the meaning of her statement, just not the way she said it.

Is he giving her a free pass because of her ethnicity? It seems to be happening all the time and that is a shame. Because if we are going to hold minorities to a lower standard, then minority communities will be less for it. Just look at how minorities get a free pass for all sorts of crime. It greatly benefits the criminals, but if punishes the communities they live in. There is no need to push this ideology to a national level. That has been done enough already.

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