A man stands up at a Weight Watchers’ meeting and says, “I used to weigh 350 pounds, but today I made my goal weight.”
A man says, “My parents couldn’t pay for my college, so I worked in a kitchen for room and board, and joined the Navy to pay for my tuition.”
A man says, “Addiction runs in my family, so I have very specific strategies to avoid becoming hooked on alcohol and nicotine.”
Should someone who got in shape by losing 8 pounds, or someone whose parents paid for his or her college, or someone who has never had the slightest inclination to abuse alcohol or tobacco be offended by these things? Is the man wrong to take some pride in these things? Wouldn’t overcoming these hardships give the man experiences that would transfer to other walks of life than losing weight, washing dishes or being sober?
When interviewing for my Arizona Supreme Court clerkship, I told Justice McGregor that something I brought to the table that students with higher GPA’s or from more prestigious schools didn’t may not is a better understanding of the people affected by cases before the court. I don’t know how important that was in her decision to hire me, but I think it was certainly the best thing I had to offer the position. So much of the law turns on what is reasonable and on balancing tests. It is naive to the point of absurd to suggest that a judge just compares facts to laws like a photo-radar camera set to take your picture at 11 mph over the speedlimit.
Being a Latina Matters
I think a portion of the anti-anti-racist problem comes from White men who don’t understand that it is a hardship to not be a White man. Having experienced a handful of incidents where they are mistreated for their race & gender they believe they are approaching parody with those who are looked down upon almost every day of their lives.
If you are a middle-aged White Guy (MAWG), I urge you to take just a moment the next time you’re in a store or an office or a courtroom and look at how the non-MAWGs are treated. There is hardship associated with being a Latina.
There is also a diversity of experience. What the reasonable MAWG would do, may not be what the reasonable Latina would do. A Latina might weigh the mitigation of being born with fetal alcohol syndrome against the aggravation of committing a murder while committing another felony differently than a MAWG.
Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrinch are wrong. Sotomayor’s pride in her background and belief that as a result of that background she brings something valuable to the court does not mean she is racist.
Is it racist to insist that being a MAWG carries no advantages? Is it racist to demand that non-MAWGs never mention their ethnicity and certainly take no pride in it? Hmm. Yep. I think it is.
I think I should just say I am against the racism crowd.