Colin Powell on “Reverse Racism” and Sotomayor

Colin Powell - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2003
Creative Commons License photo credit: World Economic Forum

Colin Powell has an interesting comment on Judge Sonia Sotomayor in a CNN Sunday interview: (HT/ Thinkprogress)

[She] seems like a gifted and accomplished woman. She certainly has an open and liberal bent of mind but that’s not disqualifying. But she seems to have a judicial record that seems to be balanced and tries to follow the law. And so I hope we do have a spirited set of hearings. And Supreme Court confirmation hearings tend to always meet that standard. And she ought to be asked about everything from both the left and the right. What we can’t continue to have is to have somebody like a Judge Sotomayor who is announced, and based on one simple tricky but nonetheless case that the Supreme Court has now decided have her called a “racist,” or a “reverse racist” and she ought to withdraw her nomination because we’re mad at her.

Fortunately the senators who will sit on this hearing in the Judiciary Committee after a few days of this kind of nonsense said, “Let’s slow down. Let’s examine her qualifications and the way we’re supposed to at a confirmation hearing.” […] And when you have non-elected officials such as we have in our party [Limbaugh] who immediately shout racism or somebody who is quite prominent in the media says the only basis upon which I could possibly have supported Obama was because he was black and I was black even though I laid out my judgment on the candidates, then we still have a problem.

At this rate, will the Republican party get down to just ten or so serious Latino and black and Latino members sometime soon?

It is interesting too how often whites control the public discourse and terminology these racial discussion are carried out with — with such post-civil-rights-movement, white-invented terms as “reverse racism” and “model minority” — not to mention the basic racial word “white,” which was created in the 17th century in its modern racial sense.