What would America do without warriors like Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley? Who would defend the nation’s oppressed white males from racist Latina women like Sonia Sotomayor?
I know, I know. That’s an absurd way to look at Judge Sotomayor’s Senate confirmation hearings. Yet to listen to Republican senators yesterday, you might think historic roles have been reversed in America and white males now need to be protected from a new breed of prejudiced jurists with alien ethnic backgrounds.
What I saw on television was a deferential olive-skinned woman in a red dress being badgered and bullied by a group of rude and arrogant white men. Judge Sotomayor (photo at right) bore the assault with a resolute smile, never losing her patience, always polite, responding with unruffled civility to questions and comments that grew ever more personal, ever more insulting.
The assault in the Senate was led by longtime civil rights opponent Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama (photo below, left). But it was Grassley and Graham who stood out most from the lupine pack. These privileged members of America’s ruling class were at some times condescending and patronizing, at other times reprimanding and accusatory. Their demeanor said it more plainly than their words: Who was this… this woman, this Hispanic … to presume to aspire to join the highest court in the land? And how dare she harbor feelings of pride in her heritage or the career advancement her hard work has earned her? They were going to show her who calls the shots in this country. And it isn’t some uppity Puerto Rican woman.
Graham (photo at right) was especially offensive with his phony solicitousness. The South Carolina senator dispelled those myths I have heard about “southern gentlemen.” He’s southern, all right. But he is no gentleman. He’s just another deluded bigot who learned a bunch of fancy words at law school. As for Grassley, I can only hope his Iowa constituents were watching the hearings. The people of Iowa were evolved enough to help elect Barack Obama. I can’t believe they will re-elect Chuck Grassley (photo below).
The hearings will go on and on, I understand. And the white men will no doubt redouble their assault on the Latina woman who would invade their halls of power. But the experts predict Sonia Sotomayor will eventually be allowed to make history as the first Hispanic member of the United States Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the only advice I have to offer her is a pig-Latin phrase I learned from some of the boys in school. It goes something like this: Nihil illegitimati carborundum.