Friday, July 17, 2009

What Was Once Racism is Now Political Dialogue

Pat Buchanan was on the Rachel Maddow show last night which I missed. So, the first thing I did on the web this morning is see what was said. It is long and Rachel really allows him to say what he wants, and what he says is that "white people are discriminated against in the United States" to paraphrase.

I think it is important to hear because this is why the hearings on Sonia Sotomayor were important because the Republicans were playing to these fears of "white working class people" that they are the aggrieved not people of color who have been discriminated against for 400 years in this country. It exposes the very real fear of many Americans about the election of Barack Obama and this Supreme Court nominee. Buchanan makes no bones about saying it out loud. Twenty years ago this would have been called racism. Today, in 2009 we have leaped back so far this is political dialogue.

For the record, I attended CUNY law school in Queens, NY easily the most diverse law school in the nation based on race, ethnicity, gener and sexual orientation. It isn't even close when you do the comparisons. The value of that classroom, to hear the voices of so many who are underrepresented in the mainstream dialogue will serve me for the rest of my life. Without it, I almost attended many other law schools, I do not know if I would have learned the same breadth and depth of knowledge and experience, in my opinion the most important part of being a lawyer is empathy, just as Barack said that he wanted in his choice for the Supreme Court. Empathy can bring down nations, cultures, my professor of Political Communication from Salem State theorized it is the very thing that brought eastern Europe back into the fold.

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