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Gingrich Admits Wrong by Labeling Sotomayor a Racist

It's not an apology, but Newt Gingrich admits that calling Sonia Sotomayor a racist was wrong:

My initial reaction was strong and direct -- perhaps too strong and too direct. The sentiment struck me as racist and I said so. Since then, some who want to have an open and honest consideration of Judge Sotomayor's fitness to serve on the nation's highest court have been critical of my word choice.

With these critics who want to have an honest conversation, I agree. The word "racist" should not have been applied to Judge Sotomayor as a person, even if her words themselves are unacceptable (a fact which both President Obama and his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, have since admitted).

Asking Sotomayor to clarify her position on the issue is a reasonable approach.

Labeling Sotomayor a 'racist' is the same hateful, violence-inciting behavior that has typified the right wing Republican approach to politics.


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Rating: 2.6/5 (5 votes cast)


Comments (10)

Rich Fader:

I have to assume the Speaker said under his breath, "...and yet she is racist."

Lee Ward:

He wouldn't have been the first politician to say one thing while thinking another... but it's significant in that he's now admitting it was wrong to label her that way without asking her to elaborate, and then judging her explanation.

Rich Fader:

Sorry, I'm not sure exactly what elaboration would have made what she said not racist. It is what it is.

Mac Lorry:

I understand the point Sotomayor was making in the context of her speech, that the rulings of judges are effected by their life experiences. The problem for Sotomayor is there was no need to cite racial or sexual identities in making that point. A white man growing up in poverty in Harlem would experience similar hardships, and yes, racial discrimination. Furthermore, the non-parallel terms of women vs. male raise the question of sexism as well as racism in her speech.

She's got some explaining to do, but I doubt this creates a significant issue for her unless she really blows it in her answers.

The word 'racist' no longer carries any weight. It has been used too often and it has been used incorrectly way too much.

I don't think one statement of comparing one race to another can be used to label a person racist. Being a racist is an unfounded belief that applies to an entire race. It is not one statement.

Sadly, there are a lot of people that represent various minorities that have been screaming RACIST whenever things don't go their way or they don't understand a common word or phrase (i.e. niggardly, 'this situation has turned into a tar baby', 'our money is going into a black hole') and therefore they have been constantly crying wolf. Because of that, the label 'racaist' no longer holds any weight or meaning for me. Also, they have no defense when someone on the other side, using the exact same benchmark, calls one of their own racist. (Dad always said that the butter ends up on both sides of the knife.)

Let them (both sides)scream racist all they want. I want to know if this woman will be fair, despite of who appears in front of her.

Allen:

For all their exaggerated claims that Sotomayor lacks racial sensitivity, conservatives continue to tar her with allegations that she owes her own nomination to the fact that she is a racial minority. Right-wing blogger Michael Goldfarb echoed Buchanan's attempt to diminish Sotomayor's summa cum laude degree from Princeton by claiming she received "preferential treatment."

The truth, however, is that Sotomayor has written 380 opinions as a court of appeals judge, so her three reversals represent less than one percent of her total decisions. So Sotomayor actually performs better before the Supreme Court than most judges. Ironically, even as conservative pundits grasp at straws to question Sotomayor's intellectual fitness for the bench, University of Chicago Law Professor Eric Posner released a new study that found that Sotomayor is one of the most frequently cited judges on the federal bench.

I would say she is fair, and does have knowledge of the law.

ke_future:

allen, she does owe her nomination in part to her race and gender. of all the qualified liberal judges, why did obama pick her? because he things there needs to be more women and minorities on the court to add diversity of experience.

i'm not saying she isn't qualified, just that if she was a white man with the exact same credentials, she wouldn't have been considered because that's not what obama was looking for.

GarandFan:

Had a WHITE man said the same thing, he'd be labeled a racist and bigot. Fuck you liberals and your double standards, she's a fucking racist bigot.

Allen:

GarandFan, what is your problem? Your response is why a lot of voters will not vote for anyone with a R after their name. And you can do to yourself what you told other people to do.

steven:

Gingrich is "limp wristed"
He nailed it on the head calling her racist just as the left would have done to a white person and then lost his balls when the left started calling him racist.
Another guy I can do without.


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