I don't hold personal grudges against many politicians. I mean, hell, I'd very much enjoy sitting down with George W. Bush for a chat and a game of Scrabble (if only because I know I'd win), but former Rep. Tom Tancredo, man, he's a different story.
This evil, mindlessly ideological shitbag never thinks before he opens his mouth. Most famously, he said Miami was a "Third-World country."
Now the windbag, who despite the fact that so many of his policies are anti-Latino, is calling Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor a racist.
The quote that apparently rubbed Tancredo the wrong way:
"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 [Sandra Day] 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... not so sure that I agree with the statement. First... there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, 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."
It's from 2001 and was included in a speech Sotomayor made about cultural diversity.
Do I, as a white male, take offense to it? A bit. Do I, based on initial reaction, agree with this sound bite totally out of context? No. Am I going to go and shout myself mute on a morning talk show about it? Probably not. Does it make her a racist? Eh, not really.
Sotomayor immeditely followed up the point with a bit of historical context:
"Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. 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. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues including Brown."
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See, since there is no "universal definition of wise," the highest bench in the land would benefit from having a diverse collection of points of view.
So, it wasn't the most "PC" way of saying it (haha, Republicans are all about political correctness now, jeez), and out of context that quote is a bit worrysome. But when you read the entire speech, you won't find much racist about it.