I think Adam Serwer’s perspective on Obama’s perspective Supreme Court nominees is pretty spot on:
“Let’s put all this in perspective,” writes Adam Serwer. “There have been 110 Justices on the Supreme Court. Of those, two have been women, and two have been black. The other 106 have been white men. That means that around 96% of Supreme Court Justices have been white men.” The “this” that Serwer is perspectivizin’ is Mark Halperin’s unfortunate decision to respond to Souter’s retirement by pasting a giant ‘WHITE MEN NEED NOT APPLY” headline across his blog. Classy work, Mark.
As the stats show, the history of the United States Supreme Court — an institution that is, as we speak, 88 percent male and 77 percent white male –is not exactly a history of raging anti-white dude sentiment.
There’s definitely a sense of white entitlement by some people in this country. Its not overt by any means. Probably not even intentional. But at the same time its very apparent. These are the people who raise hell anytime someone wishes to break the consecutive streak of white men appointed or elected to political office. Its also the same people who flip shit when a college decides that its tired of being 90% white, many of these people from upper middle class and wealthy families.
Here’s the thing. Its not reverse discrimination to end discrimination against minorities. Its called…well… ending discrimination. And thats a good thing. Especially when it comes to choosing people who govern this nation. The country isn’t predominately full of white men, and yet many of the institutions of our society are composed of white males.
This has real world implications. Women have a unique understanding of reproductive rights that men will never have and African Americans have a unique understanding of race relations that a white person can never have. That’s why its important to have these perspectives involved in deciding the laws of our country.