In recent years an expression has taken hold that sets my teeth on edge. I think it is more than me being crabby, or old. Maybe I’m watching too many news shows and I’m getting pounded by the repetition of who we are.
The expression: “Looking like America.”
An instant cliche, it’s usually used in connection with diversity, which is generally a good thing, but has become a fetish. It fetishizes minorities, usually American Blacks.
Currently, her supporters, including President Joe Biden, say elevating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court will “make it look more like America,” and such a nomination is “overdue.”
First, the overdue.
Who set the time frame for a Black to sit on the Supreme Court? It’s never been published, as far as I know. Overdue? Maybe.
African-American Thurgood Marshall joined the High Court 55 year ago. For millennials, that means more than a half century.
Oh, we didn’t mean THAT. We meant a WOMAN!
Sandra Day O’Connor took her seat on the High Court in 1981 after being nominated by President Reagan, who promised to appoint a woman to the Court and Republicans did not go bat shit with his “disqualification” of male candidates.
She was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. That was 41 years ago. For Gen X, that was before MTV, which actually played music then.
Oh, we didn’t mean THAT. We meant a BLACK woman!
Ah, I’m getting the picture, but there is a problem with that. Blacks are 13% of the population, but having two on the Supreme Court would represent 22% of the Court — almost double their numbers in the population.
This is the insanity of the numbers game.
I am trying to point out that opinions about diversity sometimes are wrapped in the poison shell of identity politics.
Her ethnicity was one of the “selling points” for Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Associate Justice. What happens when we run out of easy “firsts”!
Will we need an Albanian Associate Justice to “look like America?” Greek? Asian? Gay? Trans? Hermaphrodite? Circus Roustabaout?
Not to complain, but no one seated on the Supreme Court “looks like me,” meaning a tall, overweight senior citizen with a decent hairline.
That doesn’t mean they can’t represent my interests,
Maybe they sometimes don’t, but not because they don’t “look like me.” It means they don’t think like me. Justice Clarence Thomas “looks like” American Blacks, most of whom don’t like him.
I went to a city college, and I think we’d have a better Supreme Court if more of them did, but no.
Four of the Justices got their law degrees at Yale: Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Sonio Sotomayor, Clarence Thomas.
Four from Harvard: Stephen Breyer, Neil Gorsuch, Elena Kagan, John Roberts.
The only Justice not from the Ivy League — Amy Coney Barrett, Notre Dame.
Nominee Jackson is out of Harvard.
Does this look like America?
How about someone from a land grant college in the Great Plains? Or Chinatown?
That might introduce an educational diversity into the court, and make it actually look “more like America.”