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May 10th, 2010
01:58 PM ET

Left is mute on racial double standard in Kagan pick

Roland S. Martin | BIO
CNN Political Analyst

If a white Republican president of the United States appointed a white male as his next Supreme Court justice, and upon the inspection of his record, it was discovered that of the 29 full-time tenured or tenured track faculty he hired as dean of Harvard Law, nearly all of them were white men, this would dominate the headlines.

It would be reasonable to conclude that the special interest groups that vigorously fight for diversity - civil rights organizations, feminist groups and other liberal institutions - would be up in arms, declaring that this person's records showed him unwilling to diversify academia, and unqualified to consider diverse views as one of nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court. There would be widespread condemnations of Republicans having no concern for the nonwhite males in America.

But what if the choice were made by a black Democratic president, and it was a woman? A white woman? A white Democratic woman?

Some of you may not like the fact that I am focusing on the race of the individual, but when diversity is raised, the person's skin color, gender and background are considered germane to the discussion. And if there is silence from black and female organizations, their race and gender matter as well.

We may very well witness this now that President Obama has selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Guy-Uriel Charles, founding director of the Duke Law Center on Law, Race and Politics, has heavily scrutinized Kagan's hiring record as head of Harvard Law School. In a scathing blog post, he has said that of the 29 positions Kagan had a chance to fill, 28 were white and one was Asian-American. And of the group, only six were women - five white and one Asian-American.

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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. A.L. Schlageter

    ummm...no double standard, Roland. Ms Kagan is not "white" per se, as in the 50+% of Americans identifyable as WASPs. She is Jewish, and there in lies the major difference, as Jews are wildly over-represented in goverrnment, law, and politics (especially radical left organizations–ACLU, SPLC, ADL, SEIU, NOW, NARAL, etc etc etc). In fact, if confirmed, she will be the 3rd Jewish Justice (33% of the court) on a court with ZERO White Protestants. Not bad for a group comprising only 2% of the US population and holding vastly different views that the great majority of Americans. Hmmm wonder how that happens?

    May 10, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  2. sauerkraut

    This is a manufactured double standard; what her hiring practices show is not an all white boys club but one in which both liberals and conservatives get to sit at the table.

    HLS has long been known as a liberal bastion and has long been hammered by conservatives for what appeared to preferential hiring practices geared towards liberals. She leveled, somewhat, that playing field on that basis. It's no longer Larry Tribe's private club.

    May 10, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Obi-wan Baggins

    does in not occur to u that race an sex were irrelevant to her, in filling those positions, an that th qualified applicants were, race/sex wise, exactly what they were???

    May 10, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  4. terrance

    The inanity of using a characteristic divorced from character – ethnicity and/or gender – to make selections is exquisitely illustrated in this uber PC blog. So now not only must the nominee by selected primarily based on not being a white male, but there must be a minimum of two degrees of freedom from that person to any association with other white males. ugh.

    May 10, 2010 at 2:26 pm |