Friday, May 29, 2009

Sonia from the Block

I don't know whether or not I agree with the way she ruled on the New Haven firefighter test. I don't know whether I believe a Latina woman will automatically come up with a better decision than some white dude (and I don't know if I much like the word "Latina", which for me has a whiff of condescension about it).

I don't know whether she got some kind of break somewhere because she's Hispanic, but I do know that lots of white kids got breaks because they had connections and she is where she is and unless you're Clarence Thomas, you don't get that far because you always managed to be the convenient racial choice--you probably had to be pretty much better than pretty much everybody else. They don't give away grades at Princeton, I know that, and they don't give you the Yale Law Review editorship because you batted your big brown eyes at somebody either.

I don't know whether her so-called brusque manner is going to impede her ability to adjudicate on the highest court in the land (I pretty much doubt it will); but I do know that I am not surprised she might come across as blunt or sharp, because if you grew up in the Bronx and you live in the West Village that makes you a New Yorker and chances are you don't take a lot of shit from people. Sometimes New Yorkers get accused of being rude but mostly it's that we're impatient with morons. Maybe she has a little of that in her--I don't really know.

I know one thing, though. I am supporting her. Not because she is Hispanic, or a woman, or because she is Obama's well-considered choice. No, I am supporting her because she is from the Bronx. I don't care what anybody says, the Supreme Court needs somebody from the Bronx. Somebody who knows where Jerome Avenue is and knows what it's like to stand on an elevated train platform on a winter afternoon. Somebody who knows how bad traffic can be on Fordham Road on Saturday. You get the picture: somebody who knows the sights, sounds and smells of the real world. Plus, she saved baseball, for heaven's sake!

Sonia from the block? Maybe she is. I don't know. But let's go for it.