Saturday, June 6, 2009


A brief roundup of takes on the new National Review cover image of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor:


Apparently if you're not white or male, it really doesn't matter what your racial or ethnic identity is. They're all interchangeable. You're just Other.
It’s not offensive because it’s someone else’s stereotype, like if I say a woman can’t do the same job a man can because women have hook noses and are obsessed with money.
... there’s this deranged fascination with walking up to the line and dancing around there in hopes of getting called on it. Then you get to become indignant. Because, again, the contemporary right’s main view on race is that actual racism against non-white people is only a tiny problem compared with the vast social crisis that allegedly exists around people being vigilant against racism.

And now for a defense from Rich Lowry, editor of the NRO:
Turn out my correspondent from Salon is way behind the curve—TPM and Daily Kos have already accused us of racism. You gotta move fast when you’re competing with your fellow hair-trigger PC cops on the left! I take it the theory is that we don’t think Latinas can be wise so we had to make her look somewhat Asian. Or something like that. What these people don’t understand is the entire concept of caricature (or of a joke). Caricature always involves exaggerating someone’s distinctive features, which is all that our artist Roman Genn did with Sotomayor. Oh, well. Keep it humorless, guys, keep it humorless.

Huh? So one of Sotomayor's distinctive features is that she is Buddhist? That she's considered wise? What am I missing here? Because an important aspect of good humor is not having to explain your "joke."

But among conservatives, I believe this is considered a form of strategery. Certainly pissing off liberals should get them back into power any day now.

Let's keep waiting, shall we?


Jack T. said...

I agree with Yglesias. They're being controversial in the hopes of being called racist. That way they can shout down the people who call them out and store up some "credibility" for when they do something that fails to skirt the line they think they navigate so nimbly. I'm not sure anyone cares. She's going to the court and there's not much that they can do to stop it.

blackink said...

I agree with everything you said except for this: "I'm not sure anyone cares."

See, I think it's instructive to a lot of people how some conservatives are going about their opposition to Sotomayor. There's been nearly as many public attacks against her because of her ethnicity as her record.

I would think, in the future, that would have to give some pause to Latinos who consider themselves independents or moderate conservatives. Or anyone else who's uncomfortable with this sort of tomfoolery, you know?

Like, for us, they are what we thought they were. But some folks are beginning to see the facade wear off. And what's underneath ain't pretty.

Jack T. said...

Perhaps I should have been a little crisper with that sentence. I meant to indicate that few will be so moved that they will react the way that Lowry wants them to. I hope that they take this and plaster it all across Arizona and New Mexico next election.

blackink said...

Gotcha. And no doubt. It'll be something to bring up at every appropriate occasion.

They seriously don't know what they're doing to themselves.