Hey GOP: 'White Male' Is an Identity, Too

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2009 5:50 AM CDT
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor delivers her opening statement on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, July 13, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation is in the bag, but this week's hearings have a real value, writes Eugene Robinson: They are exposing the Republican Party's "refusal to accept the basic principle of diversity." For the Washington Post columnist, the anger surrounding the judge's "wise Latina" remark rests on a creepy belief that only minorities and women have special identities, and "being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things."

The nomination of a Latina justice by a black president is a serious milestone for the nation, but some of the old white men on the Senate Judiciary Committee "seem a bit touchy about it." Jeff Sessions, in particular, laid into Sotomayor for acknowledging a judge's opinions and sympathies, experience and background—as if there are some judges who don't have any. With her confirmation assured, Robinson writes, the GOP should realize that "they can't damage her. They can only damage themselves."