Saturday, January 02, 2010

My 2009 commentary by Meredith Hodgkinson (and some random dreams)

I heard a political analyst interviewed on NPR recently call Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor's statement to a group primarily of Latina law students, "I would hope that a wise Latina, with the richness of her experiences, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life," 'stupid.' I think most of the commentary and reporting on the comment was ignorant of the fact that a) She was trying to inspire some young women of a particular ethnic background and probably SES. We, as news media, or as a society, don't give anyone else a hard time (politicians and Supreme Court Justices included) for trying to inspire people based on their experience and the experience of the majority of their audience. b) She was alluding to a comment made by Supreme Court Justice O'Connor, who said that, "At the end of the day, a wise old man and a wise old woman reach the same judgment." Ignorance drove most of the criticism of Sotomayor's comment. Justices are CONSTANTLY examining precedent, and Sotomayor has proven no different. And as Justice Scalia said, "There is no Catholic way to cook a hamburger." Sotomayor wasn't saying she would rule in favor of Latinos, but simply to point out she had an Ivy League education and an interesting life experience growing up as a "Newyorican." Would not life experience benefit anyone doing any job?
I enjoyed this commentary.

I would also like to address the backlash regarding President Obama's race. President Obama has not made an issue of his race. He is, in fact, bi-racial. In the US, we have a history of viewing individuals who were even 1/4 black, as being black. Now, this bi-racial individual is labeled "black." (I don't know if he self-identifies as black or bi-racial). The US has a long history of enslaving black and bi-racial people. No, we don't do that today, but it is significant, that we, as a country have moved from a completely oppressive system to electing a president who is "black." We made note when Justice O'Connor was seated. The US has a history almost as long at oppressing, while not enslaving, women. It is significant that in the same century women gained the right to vote that we have a woman seated on the Supreme Court, that we had a viable Democratic candidate for the office of president, that we have a bi-racial president. These are big deals. While we strive for "color-blindness," it seems more adaptive to strive for "color-seeing-acceptance." Let us be women, black, gay, green, and acknowledge it. It is obvious we don't make decisions solely on the basis of our differences. We don't even have to embrace our differences, but I plan to.

I was dreaming I went BACK to ESD, having a PhD and take a few classes I hadn't done well in. Linda Biderman was working there in admissions. Gloria and Marianne from UT were also working there in the administrative offices. I went to this class that took me forever to find. I had to run down to the building because it was about a 30 minute walk. I took off my yellow uniform shirt and ran in my sports bra and skirt carrying the shirt in one hand and Hank in another. There were a bunch of fast food restaurants in the building before I got to the classrooms. Hank had gone up to a salsa bar for a restaurant and took the scoop and scooped some into his mouth before I could catch him. I apologized; he loves salsa. Once I got to class, it was very crowded, and people were frowning I had Hank. I wasn't going to stay in class if he cried. The teacher was a man I had never seen and was an asshole. His lecture was very disorganized and confusing. I thought, "no wonder I didn't do well in this class. If it doesn't get better, I'm not taking it, again." He and I got into some arguement when I told a girl it was ok to cry. Actually, I said, "it's ok," to her at the end of an exercise in class. He had brought in his wife, Lisa Loeb, to do some role-playing with her, her baby, and this gal. I don't recall exactly what it was, but it upset the girl. I told him he wasn't a psychotherapist. He said, actually he was. He had 5 degrees. (Trumps my 3). I said, well, this wasn't a psychotherapy session. Agreed.

A couple nights ago I dreamed my mom had appendicitis and my dad wouldn't take her to emergency. Dave Breihan happened to be at my parents house to take care of Hank while I took my mom to Presbyterian. They hooked her up to a scanner kind of like Idiocracy meets Brazil (movies). I was giving Dave instructions about how loud he could have the radio on with Hank asleep. I figured we would make out when I got back home. haha.

Brad and I had the same dream the other night. I don't recall what it was at the moment, but we dreamed we were in the same place on the same night. Ooooooo.

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