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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dropping the race card

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is an amazing process.
While the boring, silly stagecraft, and half-baked, soft thrashing over Sotomayor’s now infamous statement on Latina wisdom continues, we watch. Yesterday, the hearings before the Senators began with a smooch-fest, and today worked through grinding hours of monotone Q and A.

What’s worse? Is it a poorer thing that our media sucks us into the “racial” question, so often, or is it worse that “race” just never seems to be very far away from general public discourse? We fear, we anger, we hate and then everything falls apart. This is a universal truth.

But I have noted more imbalance, when the race element is included in a discussion, and more intolerance from all sides when it is allowed to continue as a significant element.

Recently, a scientist was interviewed on one of the major news channels. He pointed out that the human tendency to “circle the wagons,” may date back through our history as a species. Literally, it is a reflex action to be cautious (afraid?) of those who are different.

Horsepucky.

If you’ve got more than two brain-cells to rub together, you should be able to get beyond the fact that everyone around you is not the same. There are different skin colors, different accents or languages, different societal requirements, different religions or belief systems – just plain, obvious, total differences. But we are not stone-age early humans huddling together in trees or caves. We are a modern society and we are an educated, modern species – and we can adapt.

And if we believe God loves what he has created, then he must be a great lover of diversity. He must truly appreciate these differences we fear so much.

In Sotomayor’s case, she simply said a dumb thing. I’ll bet she wishes she could erase that particular comment from memory. But those who fear what she might represent, will not let that go. It could be they are correct to question her motives. Then again, it could be that she simply has a tendency to make mistakes in some of the things she says.

Of course, there will be those folks out there who enjoy playing the “race” tag game. There are those who will simply love to hammer this lady – because she is a lady – and while they have her on the hot-seat; before she becomes a member of the greatest court in the land, they are going to try to get their “licks” in.

There is a solution, of course, and it has always been there.

We must develop bravery. We must embrace honor and decency. We must reject the low and mean. We must stand for reason and truth.

We must evolve.

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