Saturday, May 30, 2009

Read the *whole* quote lest you look like an idiot

One of the most popular ways to malign a public figure these days is to find a perfectly reasonable statement, rip part of it out of context, then shout the fragment from the rooftops, or - to bring this into the 21st century - the cable channels.

In 2001 Supreme Court nominee Sonya Sotomayor said the following:

"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."

If you stop after the words "conclusion" or "male" it does raise the possibility that she's a racist, or at least that she thinks ill of white men. (Considering how badly white men have screwed things up especially the last eight years she may be onto something). However, if you finish the statement what she is *clearly* saying is that a wise Latina woman (isn't "Latina woman" redundant, by the way?) will generally make better decisions than a less experienced and therefore less wise white man.

Replace "Latina woman" with "person" and I don't think even the GOP blowhards could make hay out of that. Sure her choice of wording may have been lacking, but if after 17 years on the bench that's all they can find with which to tar her she's going to sail right through confirmation.

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