Thomas Sowell

Sonia Sotomayor has, in both her words and in her decision as a judge to dismiss out of hand the appeal of white firefighters who had been discriminated against, betrayed a racism that is no less racism because it is directed against different people than the old racism of the past.

The code word for the new racism is "diversity." The Constitution of the United States says nothing about diversity and the Constitution is what a judge is supposed to pay attention to, not the prevailing buzzwords of the times.

What the Constitution says is "equal protection of the laws" for all Americans-- and that is not taken out of context. People have put their lives on the line to make those words a reality. Now all of that is to be made to vanish into thin air by saying the magic word "diversity."

The landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, like the Constitution, proclaimed equal rights for all, not special rights for those for whom judges have "empathy."

When the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was being debated in Congress, its opponents claimed that it would lead to discrimination against white people. Its supporters declared that it meant no such thing and added new provisions to make sure that it meant no such thing. That was the law that was passed.

It was not the law, but the judges, who changed equal rights into special rights and thereby set the stage for the new mantra of "diversity" that trumps equal rights. Diversity was Judge Sotomayor's rationale for going along with the denial of equal rights for white firefighters in Connecticut.

When all else fails, supporters of Judge Sotomayor say that she is Hispanic and a woman, and that it would be politically dangerous to deny her a place on the Supreme Court. This is as much an insult to the intelligence of Hispanic and female voters as it is to the Constitution of the United States and to those who put their lives on the line for equal rights.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate