There was a time when minority people understood that just because they shared the same race with an individual this did not mean that these people shared the same agenda or in the least they were allowed to criticize or critique these minorities and what they represented and stood for. This was never so illustrated as in the contradictions between WEB Dubois and Booker T. Washington. Prior to WEB Dubois’s death he said the following to Ralph Mcgill about Booker T. Washington and Washington’s benefactors:
“I wish you had gone,” I said . “Joel Chandler Harris was a good man, as were his closest associates.”
“No,” he replied, “it was no use. He and they had no question in their minds about the status of the Negro as a separated, lesser citizen. They perhaps were kind men, as you say. They unhesitatingly lived up to a paternalistic role, a sort of noblesse oblige. But that was all. The status slowly had become immutable insofar as the South’s leaders of that time were concerned. Booker T. Washington had helped them rationalize it. I do not think that he meant to do so. But he did. In fact, he put a public stamp of acceptance on it there in your city when he spoke at the Atlanta Exposition…………in that same speech he implicitly abandoned all political and social rights.”
The recent nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the supreme court and the blank check endorsement of her by organizations that are for the advancement of minorities is highly troubling. Sotomoyar has almost publicly avowed in her appeals court decisions that she does not believe that race based discrimination exists for anyone white, black, or green unless maybe you are Hispanic.
The case African Americans should be most aware of is the King vs American Airlines case. The Kings an African American couple who prepurchased tickets were asked to get off a plane because the plane was full. There were other non-black individuals on the plane, some who had purchased their tickets on standby and were not asked to leave the plane. A lower court ruled that this black couple had been discriminated against, upon appeal to Sotomayor the case was overturned and they were directed to file a complaint with a federal agency instead of a lawsuit. This is clearly a racist attitude towards black people. In another case a black nurse was fired from a hospital the nurse claimed it was because of race, age and disability. Sotomayor threw out the race and age claims and allowed the disability claim to precede. The above cases are an obvious case of a potential supreme court judge who is not for African American individuals.
However Sotomayor is loyal and ethnocentric in her decisions regarding Hispanic plaintiffs. In a decision involving a sexual discrimination in a case where one Hispanic made lewd remarks to another Hispanic and the woman who was the target of the remarks hit the man who made the remarks resulting in a fight and both individuals being fired Sotomayor prevailed for the plaintiff the woman who threw the first hit. While the lower courts who ruled against the plaintiff probably thought that the plaintiff should have reported him immediately to management instead of hitting him. Violence in the workplace can be just as harmful as sexual harassment. The contradiction of telling the black non-violent couple to report their problems to a federal agency and ruling for a violent Latino who initiated a fight at work is clearly a contradiction that should be examined.
In addition , the appointment of Sotomayer by President Obama conflicts with his statements that he was highly disturbed with the disparities in drug sentencing by the government as well as to his commitment to his constitutional law background. In. U.S. vs Santa Sotomayor accepted evidence from a search warrant that had been vacated and was seventeen months old. While some would say that a criminal was convicted and the illegal search should stand this is clearly not what the founders of the constitution meant when they made the fourth amendment against illegal searches and seizures. I don’t think the writers of the constitution would think that the kings representatives holding an invalid warrant should have the right to knock someones door down. I don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to figure this one out.
While liberals are rejoicing at the appointment of Sotomayor by Barack Obama, they should be mindful of the fact that Sotmayor is a protege of the First George Bush who appointed Clarence Thomas and like Clarence Thomas she is Catholic. Clarence Thomas has been a reliable voice against blacks and the little striving man. Sotomayor is probably likely to walk in the shoes of Thomas unless of course if you are Hispanic and Sotomayor may be likely use her Latino wisdom to rule in favor of Latinos; unlike Thomas who has no race loyalty. President Obama is perfectly aware of the fact that Sotomayor was appointed by a republican and considers it a plus, the other plus he has for her is that she was a tough prosecutor. This flies in the face with Obama’s murmurings that he was concerned about persons of certain races and classes treated unjustly by the Justice System. Viewing the video below, one wonders what party Obama represents and if he is a trojan let in by those who so wanted to believe that he was the “Black Hope”
One hundred and five years ago WEB Dubois wrote “The problem of the twentieth century is the color line” As we are well into the dawn of the twenty-first century the problem of the twenty-first century is still the color line. It may be a flipped color line but it is the color line and one should always be mindful of King’s words “not the color of a man’s skin but the content of their character”