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Change Latina To White In Soto Speech

We thought it might prove edifying to substitute the word ‘white’ for the words Latino/a, Hispanic, Puerto Rican and ‘people of color’ in Ms. Sotomayor’s oft-cited 2001 speech at the University of California, Berkeley.

Here are some of the highlights:

Sotomayor 2001 Berkley Speech

I intend tonight to touch upon the themes that this conference will be discussing this weekend and to talk to you about my WHITE identity, where it came from, and the influence I perceive it has on my presence on the bench.

Who am I? I am a "Newyork-Caucasian." For those of you on the West Coast who do not know what that term means: I am a born and bred New Yorker of WHITE-born parents who came to the states during World War II…

The story of that success is what made me and what makes me the WHITE person that I am. The WHITE side of my identity was forged and closely nurtured by my family through our shared experiences and traditions

My family showed me by their example how wonderful and vibrant life is and how wonderful and magical it is to have a WHITE soul. They taught me to love being a WHITE person and to love America and value its lesson that great things could be achieved if one works hard for it. But achieving success here is no easy accomplishment for WHITES, and although that struggle did not and does not create a WHITE identity, it does inspire how I live my life

As of September 20, 1998, of the then 195 circuit court judges only two were… two WHITE women. Of the 641 district court judges only … eleven WHITE women. WHITE-American women comprise only 1% of the judiciary… And no WHITES, male or female, sit on the Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, District of Columbia or Federal Circuits.

Sort of shocking, isn’t it? This is the year 2002. We have a long way to go. Unfortunately, there are some very deep storm warnings we must keep in mind. In at least the last five years the majority of nominated judges the Senate delayed more than one year before confirming or never confirming were WHITE men or women… These figures demonstrate that there is a real and continuing need for WHITE organizations and community groups throughout the country to exist and to continue their efforts of promoting WHITE women and men in their pursuit for equality in the judicial system

The focus of my speech tonight, however, is not about the struggle to get us where we are and where we need to go but instead to discuss with you what it all will mean to have more WHITES on the bench

Yet, we do have WHITES in more significant numbers on the bench and no one can or should ignore pondering what that will mean or not mean in the development of the law

Now Judge Cedarbaum expresses concern with any analysis of women and presumably again WHITE women on the bench, which begins and presumably ends with the conclusion that women or WHITES are different from men generally. She sees danger in presuming that judging should be gender or anything else based…

While recognizing the potential effect of individual experiences on perception, Judge Cedarbaum nevertheless believes that judges must transcend their personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law. Although I agree with and attempt to work toward Judge Cedarbaum’s aspiration, I wonder whether achieving that goal is possible in all or even in most cases. And I wonder whether by ignoring our differences as WHITE people we do a disservice both to the law and society. Whatever the reasons why we may have different perspectives, either as some theorists suggest because of our cultural experiences or as others postulate because we have basic differences in logic and reasoning, are in many respects a small part of a larger practical question we as WHITE judges in society in general must address.

I accept the thesis of a law school classmate, Professor Steven Carter of Yale Law School, in his affirmative action book that in any group of human beings there is a diversity of opinion because there is both a diversity of experiences and of thought

Yet, because I accept the proposition that, as Judge Resnik describes it, "to judge is an exercise of power" and because as, another former law school classmate, Professor Martha Minnow of Harvard Law School, states "there is no objective stance but only a series of perspectives — no neutrality, no escape from choice in judging," I further accept that our experiences as WHITE women affect our decisions. The aspiration to impartiality is just that — it’s an aspiration because it denies the fact that we are by our experiences making different choices than others. Not all WHITES, in all or some circumstances or indeed in any particular case or circumstance, but enough WHITES in enough cases, will make a difference in the process of judging

The Judicature Journal has at least two excellent studies on how women on the courts of appeal and state supreme courts have tended to vote more often than their male counterpart to uphold women’s claims in sex discrimination cases and criminal defendants’ claims in search and seizure cases. As recognized by legal scholars, whatever the reason, not one WHITE woman in any one position, but as a group we will have an effect on the development of the law and on judging.

In our private conversations, Judge Cedarbaum has pointed out to me that seminal decisions in race and sex discrimination cases have come from Supreme Courts composed exclusively of NON-WHITE males. I agree that this is significant but I also choose to emphasize that the people who argued those cases before the Supreme Court which changed the legal landscape ultimately were largely WHITE and women…

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases… I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise WHITE woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a NON-WHITE male who hasn’t lived that life

Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable…

However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of WHITE women and WHITE people on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my WHITE heritage

I willingly accept that we who judge must not deny the differences resulting from experience and heritage but attempt, as the Supreme Court suggests, continuously to judge when those opinions, sympathies and prejudices are appropriate

Imagine even considering such a racist for the Supreme Court, or for any court in the land.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, June 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

40 Responses to “Change Latina To White In Soto Speech”

  1. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    “Who am I? I am a “Newyorkrican.”

    Change that to “Newyorkcasian”. I still fail to see even the slightest trace of racist sentiment whatsoever in this insightful statement by this wonderful woman. /sarc

  2. aprilnovember811 says:

    On any paperwork my husband and I fill out, we now refer to our race as European American. I usually makes them very confused.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I always mark other then fill in “AMERICAN”.

    • jobeth says:

      April and LD, I like that! I have always resented that question. What the heck difference does it make if I can do the job…etc. Retorical

      I’m going to make the it my policy as well. But I may use “Human”

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Careful jobeth………they just may want you to prove it!

    • jobeth says:

      Yeah, since I’m a conservative with common sense that just might get me disqualified …LOL

  3. Colonel1961 says:

    Curiouser and curiouser.

  4. joeblough says:

    Puerto Ri.KKK.an


    I am becoming a little impatient waiting for the rest of the country to wake up to the fact that the people we have in DC a fascists and indeed nazis.

    It seems that everybody is baffled by the fact that American nazism doesn’t have the familiar Prussian militarism and the characteristic German romance about duty and discipline.

    Our American nazis are much more enamoured of what might be called Gelassenheit.

    But the differences produced by our cultural style and history, are relatively superficial.

    There is little comfort in the notion that the concentration camps, gulag and lao gai are still quite distant. We needn’t rush there to experience a gradual but nonetheless agonizing corruption and degradation of the quality of American life.

    And make no mistake about it. That is the path we are on.

    All this has been seen before.

    It always starts out looking innocuous, and always ends up in the same place.

  5. proreason says:

    Imagine if white people were given preferences for jobs or to get into college.

    It might get so out-of-hand that in colleges (don’t laugh) they might crank up “white people” studies programs.

    For critical jobs like fire-fighters or EMT’s, you might have standards lowered just to get more white people into those jobs. Of couse, that could never happen.

    But if it did, I sure wouldn’t want a white person who failed an exam trying to remember what to do if my kid had a serious accident. I shudder to even think about it.

    • orion_authority says:

      Hmm… Kind of like how it has been for the past 40 years with non-whites… Look at how messed up the country became because of reverse-racism…

      I think the better point would be that the standards would have to be raised to prevent idiots, no matter what their color, from getting important jobs…

      The only reason I am replying is because your comment: “For critical jobs like fire-fighters or EMT’s, you might have standards lowered just to get more white people into those jobs. Of course, that could never happen.” – It could be interpreted that your implicating that white people do not have the skills to get those jobs… (hit of racisim… lol)

      Those thoughts in a developing child could cause resentment from a society that has long extended the actual effects of past atrocities that have hurt our past…

      The reason why it is so bad now; because everyone making the problem worse is only trying to get hand-outs without actually working for them…

  6. electionhangovervictim says:

    I agree that this woman is racist to the core, but if we’re going to point the finger, we can’t just point it at her. I saw an ad on a webpage the other day for BLACKCAREERS.COM (a division of careerbuilder.com). Are they serious? That’s about as racist as it gets! Think of the hell that would be raised if there was a WHITECAREERS.COM.
    I don’t think the problem lies within white people’s attitude toward “minorities” (I’m not saying there are no racist whites, but I’m talking majorities, here). On the contrary, the problem exists because blacks and hispanics seem to WANT to exclude themselves from the whole…they WANT to single themselves out for “recognition”. Think about it…if blacks truly want equality, then they would’ve been opposed to the idea of a Miss Black USA pageant. They would stand up and say no to the idea of having a website like blackcareers.com because they would know that that is not true equality…they are still being treated differently from WHITES. Did you read about this couple in Chicago who decided they are only going to patronize black owned businesses? They were applauded in the media for one of the most racist acts imaginable. (I shudder to think of what would happen to a white couple who decided to toot their horn for buying from only white owned businesses)
    Blacks and hispanics (I’ve singled them out because I don’t see this sort of “entitlement attitude” from Asians or Indians) don’t want to end racism because then they would no longer have that crutch. They don’t want true equality because they don’t want to be equal, they want to be “special”. It’s not because of the white man…it’s of their own doing that racism continues to be a problem.

    BUT–having said all that, I understand that the issue at hand here is the fact that THIS particular racist is about to be appointed to our Supreme Court. I haven’t lost sight of the point, I just felt the need to rant. Thanks for understanding.

    • proreason says:


      Is that where they help you figure out how to get tax credits, low interest loans, adjustments to low-interest loans, cash-back on refiniancing loans, free medical care, foodstamps, college grants, good grades for doing nothing in college, welfare payments, extensions to welfare payments, unemployment payments even though you never had a job, do-nothing government jobs, money for having babies, job training for life, free school lunches, subsidized medical insurance, slip and fall judgements, discrimination judgements, government contract preferences, pay-offs for not calling people racists, tax breaks for running “day-care centers”, two hundred dollar sneakers when you don’t have a job, adulation for writing songs about killing cops and raping women, money for signing voters up and money for voting?

      Because if it is, I don’t want to work that hard. For less time and effort, I can get a real job.

    • electionhangovervictim says:

      “two hundred dollar sneakers when you don’t have a job, adulation for writing songs about killing cops and raping women, money for signing voters up and money for voting?”

      too funny!!

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”then they would’ve been opposed to the idea of a Miss Black USA pageant…..”

      As it is they can only get contestants from 49 States. They’re having trouble finding a black woman who wants to wear a banner saying Idaho.

    • electionhangovervictim says:

      Ok, John…I just spit my coffee out laughing at that one.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      You slay me John…….TOO FUNNY!!!!

    • jobeth says:

      Pro, you are one of a kind! lol. Too bad though, because we need more with your thought processes! :-D

  7. Gila Monster says:

    Careful there Steve, keep this stuff up and you’ll likely be branded by the “progressives” as a bitter, intolerant, venom-spewing, sexist, racist, right-wing nut-job blogger.

    Seriously, the libtards will loudly proclaim that we’re taking her statements “out of context”.

    Oh wait…….heh, my mistake. :o)

  8. proreason says:

    Can a woman with freckles be a full-fledged Hispanic (whatever that is)?

    But seriously, there’s more than a little caucasian in that woman.

    Maybe, like the Moron, that’s why she hates herself for having everything handed to her on a racial platter.

  9. Odie44 says:

    Is it just me – or is Sotomyer turning back the Latino advancements 50 years or so in the “post racial Obama era?”

    Heres my biggest issue with her – being from NY and working for years in NYC – I have many latino friends from Peru, Cuba, Puerto Rico, etc – learned spanish through our family conversations and never saw an inkling of “hand-outs” due to their latino heritage. The tie that additionally binded us – we were all Roman Catholics. Their parents worked their asses off, bought businesses from the ground up – some failed, some succeeded – but I honestly can say – I never got the impression they were looking for nothing more than the American opportunity. Most moved from NYC to upstate to get out of the crappy, crime-ridden public housing – again for the same dream my Irish and Italian relatives had: opportunity. These were close friends who I spent 80% of my time with for 10 or so years, before moving away – not just “kids I knew”. They loved, I mean loved my parents (if you needed a place to eat or sleep – our house was the center of activity).

    Along with her flat out racist comments -association with La Raza and other “special latino interest groups” – she appears to be sullying up the waters and representing people who in fact – have more in common with my many friends and their families, than she is supposidly “a part of”.

    I am well aware of the current immigration issues – but those are largely Mexican and other S American, C American groups via Mexico who have flooded our shores, illegally.

    Cubans risked their lives on boats to get the hell away from Castro – and Puerto Ricans came for education and wealth – yet all “latinos” are now being dumped – by her words and actions – into 1 group that “needs” special treatment.

    She has no business being on the SCOTUS, but fear the “post racial” makeup currently running the country into the ground will go 65+…

    • proreason says:

      You can’t get a good tyranny going when people get along.

      You have to make them hate each other first.

    • Odie44 says:

      Pro –

      So true once again – that pesky glass ceiling always gets in the way of equality… I know – Sharpton tells me so.

    • bronzeprofessor says:

      Odie, I’m Puerto Rican and don’t feel much connection to Ms. Sotomayor. I wish I could say most Latinos also don’t feel any link to her, but sometimes this ethnic pandering does work. We have to wait and see.

      You’re right about the falsehood behind an omnibus Latino label, especially if being Latino entitles you to assistance that might be warranted for one Latino ethnicity but not another…. That’s not to say Latinos don’t feel certain transnational sympathies. The only thing I can say is I do feel a commonality with all Latino groups, similar to the commonality I feel with all Christians, all professors, all Americans, all parents, etc. But the problem is that Ms. Sotomayor wants to make sympathetic commonality the basis for judicial relativism, which she does not even articulate clearly insofar as she elevates certains grounds for communal sympathy (gender, race) over others (like being wealthy or white).

      I don’t think it’s a problem if people lump a lot of nationalities under Latino and refer at times to things that we have in common, but I do see it as a problem if you lump them together with the purpose of determining when you are going to interpret law differently. That’s a huge problem.

    • proreason says:

      “she elevates certains grounds for communal sympathy (gender, race) over others (like being wealthy or white). ”

      definition: “moral relativity”

      1. Rules depend on the situation.
      2. (as advocated by progressives and enunciated by Obama in 2009) Morals are made by the winner.

    • wardmama4 says:

      My second oldest grandson is half Portuguese and my youngest grandson is 1/4 Mexican – does that make us Latinos now?!?

  10. JohnMG says:

    ….“she elevates certains grounds for communal sympathy (gender, race) over others (like being wealthy or white)….. ”

    Or to put it another way, In her world of justice some people are more deserving of ‘equal’ treatment than others.

  11. TwilightZoned says:

    Bravo Steve! Just think of the impact this twist on her speech would have if someone, such as Rush, read this. How could ANYONE then, interpret the original speech as ANYTHING other than racist?

  12. take_no_prisoners says:

    We have Castro for president, Why not Huga Chavez for the Supreme Court?

  13. take_no_prisoners says:

    What we need is some Republican Senator with balls to read this article into the hearings and then ask Sotomayor “What’s wrong with this speech?”. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is such a thing as a Republican Senator or Congressman with balls.

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      Nancy Pelosi has bigger balls than any currently serving Republican!!!

  14. canary says:

    Since Obama’s speech said muslims get better educations than white people in America, I’m sure glad Obama put in writing that “whites” will soon be a minority. I think we should change caucasion to “white minority”, take it to the Supreme Court, and get free school like minorities and non-citizen minorites.
    We need a NAAWP and dream team of lawyers.

    • take_no_prisoners says:

      Another publication/organization called “The Race” might also be a good idea. What, you say it might be a copyright or trademark infringement–what on earth could you be talking about–but La Raza is in a a different language!!!

  15. take_no_prisoners says:

    Hell, Obama was in Indonesia in a Muslim School during the precise age most of us were in Junior and Senior High School learning American History. Is it any wonder he didn’t know that there were only 50 states in the U.S. and the Constitution of the U.S. can only be changed by an amendment ratified by the states?

    • jobeth says:

      Is it any wonder he didn’t know that there were only 50 states in the U.S”

      I only wish it were that simple. There are 57 ISLAMIC states…ummm how coincidental.

      His true islamic colors are showing through the cracks more and more everyday.

  16. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    What difference does your skin color make if you can prove that you can do the job? But hey, the goose stepping lefties now in power don’t want to hear that. For them skin color, depending upon the circumstances, either puts you at an advantage or a disadvantage.

    • jobeth says:

      “For them skin color, depending upon the circumstances, either puts you at an advantage or a disadvantage.”

      Otherwise know as “racism”. Oh wait…I forgot…only whites and conservatives can be guilty of racism

  17. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    …only whites and conservatives can be guilty of racism,…if we all went by that argument then there shouldn’t have been any racism or black on black violence in Africa once the European powers left and gave their former colonies their independence. What happened in Rwanda showed us otherwise.

  18. mathews says:

    Steve Gilbert how about a voting poll of top ten list of reasons to filibuster SotoMayor??
    note RACIST almost does not make my top ten:

    ) Anti-Death Penalty Advocate
    2) Anti-Gun
    3) Affirmative Discrimination
    4) Pro- Abortion
    5) Eminent Domain taking Personal Property
    6)Incompetent from law clerks and judges
    7) International Law Trumps the U.S.A. Constitution
    8) Promises Judicial Policy aka judicial activism
    9) La Raza RACIST
    10) NOT Mainstream Overturned 60% Far Left of sitting SCOTUS
    11) Self Avowed Liberal Socialist Democrat extremist Elitist Sexist
    12) and counting…

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