The Spectacle Blog

The Sotomayor ‘Out of Context’ Dodge

By on 6.2.09 | 2:51PM

We keep hearing from liberals that it is unfair to criticize Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor for her comments about the supposed superiority of Latina judges because the comments are allegedly being taken out of context.

In a 2001 speech, Sotomayor read from a prepared text: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

Thomas Sowell tears apart this desperate rhetorical tactic:

In Washington, the clearer a statement is, the more certain it is to be followed by a "clarification" when people realize what was said. The clearly racist comments made by Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Berkeley campus in 2001 have forced the spinmasters to resort to their last-ditch excuse, that it was "taken out of context."

 If that line is used during Judge Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings, someone should ask her to explain just what those words mean when taken in context.

What could such statements possibly mean-- in any context-- other than the new and fashionable racism of our time, rather than the old-fashioned racism of earlier times? Racism has never done this country any good, and it needs to be fought against, not put under new management for different groups. [...]

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