Sotomayor & Truth Telling...

I understand what a lot of pundits are saying (still saying) about the infamous comments made by Judge Sotomayor. But I don't agree with them. Not because those arguments aren’t "objectively true." They are: her comments about a “wise Latina” were both sexist and racist… and I'm completely okay with that.

Are we really going to pretend there is not racial and gender disparity, inequity and – yes – injustice in America?!

Most of the arguments I hear on news media or read in blogs attempt to argue from a position of objectivity. But race and gender issues cannot be approached objectively. Especially when so much evil has been done, and so little (relatively) has been done to make amends or reparation. There are wounded people in America. These wounded, carrying multi-generational burdens of abuse, shame and bitterness, continue to struggle for equal quality of education, equal pay, equal protection, equal dignity and equal rights as American citizens.

You cannot tell an oppressed - an historically oppressed - people group to approach an issue with objectivity. It’s like telling a holocaust victim to believe that all Nazis weren’t evil. Or to tell an abused child that grown ups are safe. Reality is not objective.

It is the responsibility of the oppressor (historically AND today in America? that’s white men, and let's not be coy or affect righteous indignation!) to take as much responsibility as necessary for the oppressed to feel validated and safe to begin the healing process.

Bishop Desmond Tutu advocates for "truth-telling" movements to begin the processes of acknowledging, naming, repenting, forgiving, and healing.

By decrying the words (the very-personal "truth-telling") of Ms. Sotomayor, we are robbing her - as well as women and racial minorities in America - of her right to tell her truth.

And that's a crime. And I think it's unconscionable to object so loudly when so much harm has been done.

Bishop Tutu has said on many trips to the US:

"There is a pain in the tummy of every African American that has not been articulated. And if you were to have a forum recognized by the nation, accepted by the nation, endorsed by the nation, people could come and tell their stories and tell it without fear. You really are a great country, and you owe it to yourselves to exorcise this demon. You owe it to your own children."


We owe it to our children to tell the truth. We owe it to those who died before the truth was told.

8 comments:

Wickle said...

Well said.

More than that, what she said in her infamous comments was that someone who has experienced discrimination might be better-able to make determinations relative to it.

Brent said...

I disagree.

What if they never feel validated? It sounds like you are suggesting putting racism against racism in order to gain equality?

I do think there are people who can look outside themselves about an issue and make a fair judgment. How many of those people exist I don't know.

Isn't racism a sub form of elitism? Both claim a superiority over someone else for a specific reason(defined or not). No one kind of human being should be elevated over another in a valued since. If you want to say Black guys are better at basketball and white guys at croquet I don't thinks thats racism. If its true or not I don't know that is what it appears like, but in reality it is still a person to person thing. If Sotomeyer is wise that doesn't make all latina's wise. If she actually claimed herself to be wise, that's arrogant elitism. I could say I made a wise decision or I'm trying to be wise. But I can't claim I'm wise. Wisdom is something sought personally and left to others to claim if you are or not. To claim it is only to show your lack of it.

And Victore Frankle a holocaust survivor didn't think all Nazi were evil. His book, "Man's Search for Meaning" Is an insightful book. One of the things he talks about is the evil and good that existed in both the Jews and Nazi's in the camps.

Chris said...

Well, I'm with Socrates on this issue. The wise person is the one who realizes they have no wisdom at all, and they certainly don't claim to have more wisdom than others. Judge Sotomayor, unfortunately, has failed the first test of Socratic wisdom. She's not the first to do so.

Peter said...

Chris, wasn't Socrates an old white guy? Hmmm...

Brent, I think you're WAY off. But I still love you.

Anonymous said...

That was a very dismissive response. I would be interested to see how you actually respond to a well thought out point.

Also,I remember something about love without the but...

"Here's the big problem with Christian culture and foxhole theologizing: we insert 'BUT' into every place LOVE is identified. It's like an obsessive-compulsive habit. We can't speak about love without saying, "but that doesn't mean..." such-and-such is ok. Or that I support this-or-that. Or that God is ok with... or that I'm supporting..."

Peter said...

Brent - I mean "Anonymous" ;) - I don't think your argument is well thought out and I simply disagree with you. I could go in circles with your counterpoints, but it would all be restating what I already said in my initial post.

I'm not sure how you're tying in my comment about love, Brent.

We can disagree and still be friends though.
Talk to you soon,
Pete

Brent said...

Anonymous isn't me Pete. I always post with my name. The only time I've ever posted anon was 2-3times when I first started reading year blog a couple years ago. Just to get you amped up.

Assumptions are a dangerous thing;)
But I still love you like a brother.

Peter said...

Haha! You're right - sorry for assuming. I TOTALLY thought that was you, bro! Wild ;)

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