Friday, May 29, 2009

Poverty or Privilige?

I’ve been hoping that someone might be bold enough to rain on the Sotomayor “compelling life story” parade.
The woman grew up in the capital of the world, went to two Ivy League schools, and was blessed by Providence with the precisely correct right race-gender two-fer for the moment.
This is a story of privilege, dammit, not adversity.
Show me a Montana girl of un-useful ethnicity who put herself through law school waiting tables, after being left with two young children when her Army husband was killed overseas, and I’ll start oohing and aahing over her compelling story.
Of course, such a person would never ever end up on any President’s short-list, no matter if she graduated first in her class at her non-Ivy institution, no matter how extreme the intelligence and dedication and hard work she displayed over the subsequent course of her career. That’s simply how the world — and especially the legal world — is constructed today.
It’s so much easier to take a properly-credentialed member of the East Coast elite and hold her up as a shining example of American meritocracy instead, because she is conveniently hued and delayed her entry to the world of the well-heeled until the age of 18 or so. Easy, and misleading. Feugh!
h/t: unknown

Like my reader, and I’m sure a lot of other Americans, I get mighty annoyed by the unspoken implication in a lot of commentary that anyone not a member of a Protected Minority must have grown up in a twelve-bedroom lakeside mansion and been chauffered off to prep school with a silver spoon in his mouth. Judge Sotomayor was raised in public housing? So was I. Her mother was a nurse working late shifts? So was mine. When did white working poor people disappear off the face of the earth? Where are the eager listeners to their “compelling stories”?
Was it really not possible to correct past injustices without creating an entire — and apparently permanent — class convinced that accidents of geography or biology have gifted them with special insight, wisdom, and “empathy”?

h/t: John Derbyshire on The Corner From a a post at

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