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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A rebuke of the Sotomayor candidacy.

Naturally, I will go with the Ricci case, and I will preface it with an expression of my utter contempt for her colleagues who concurred with her in this decision. The laws of this land do, or should, grant and affirm the basic human right to an equality of opportunity. What it cannot and should not do is guarantee an equality of outcome. By that, I mean that I should have the same opportunity to have the same achievements as two remarkable people from my area, JaMarcus Russell and Dr. Regina Benjamin. I will write a post on the latter shortly. In this nation, I do and have had the same opportunity to achieve what they have and will do in the future. However, because I suck at anything remotely resembling a sport and I hold neither an M.D. or M.B.A. degree, both are about as likely as the Washington Generals beating the Harlem Globetrotters. My outcome is not equal to these individuals because I lack the qualifications to be an NFL quarterback or the next Surgeon General of the United States, and that is fair and just. That is what should happen in society. This is exactly what did NOT happen in Ricci vs. DeStefano, until it reached the highest court in the land.

Through his previous work, Frank Ricci had proven he was capable and qualified to be a firefighter, but at first, was denied a job based on his disability, dyslexia. He ultimately won that case through legal channels, but he also showed a deep flaw in the system in the process. Sadly, this would not be the first time he would be the victim of discrimination.

In Ricci vs. DeStefano, he was denied an equality of opportunity because of concerns unrelated to the outcome of the testing. Actual discrimination should not be an acceptable response to concerns about the perception of discrimination. Such actions fly in the face of what civil rights are all about, and as disgusted as I remain with the GOP, I am glad Senators of that party grilled the hell out of her on it. I have very little doubt the martyrs of the U.S. civil rights movement are rolling over in their graves over Sonia Sotomayor's highly questionable reasoning.

Mohandas Gandhi once famously said, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." In that vein, if one wishes to see a nation, a society free of discrimination, one must not tolerate or defend discrimination. One can best address the horrible injustices of the past by not perpetuating those injustices against a new target. Changing the race of the victim and the beneficiary of racist policies is not "progress", as it is often called by those who benefit from it. It is merely the same ugly mess in more socially acceptable packaging.

The current laws against discrimination are, will continue to be, and should be enforced, and enforced equally to the protection of all. Anything more intrusive is simply indefensible and a violation of our highest principles, the belief that all men and women are created equal, with equal rights. Also, the Department of "Justice" should no longer be in the business of drawing district lines and setting the boundaries and locations of voting precincts in the South and other areas where problems may have occurred in the past. When I checked the newspaper this morning, the year was 2009, not 1965. The world has changed one hell of a lot since then. Alternately, the VRA should apply to every city, county, state, parrish, territory, or protectorate of the United States of America. I wonder how Detroit would feel about having to jump through the same hoops the South does long after such measures ceased to be necessary. It is long past time for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to be abolished, as Section 2 has more than adequate protections and has the benefit of not being discriminatory against people because of the actions of their ancestors and those elected by their ancestors, although, for all I know, my ancestors could have easily voted AGAINST those who wrote the 1901 Constitution of the State of Alabama.

I have had the privilege of knowing several remarkable African-American individuals who have achieved great things in life, some of whom HATE the term "African-American" for reasons I understand very well. While I do not know if they have a greater capacity for learning than I do, or if they are "smarter" according to some IQ test, I am absolutely certain such metrics are worse than meaningless, because of one thing: they were willing to work harder and do so in a more intelligent manner at a younger age. Frank Ricci put out the greater effort and achieved a greater result on the promotion exam. He was wrongfully penalized, not because of his performance, but because of petty ideological reasons. That is damned wrong, and I find it horrifying that we will probably have a member of the Supreme Court of the United States of America who has shown such indifference to the basic right of equal protection under the law.

Instead of going with a video related to this post, I'm going to make myself happy and post some shit just for the hell of it. Enjoy.

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