My Letter To Me, Affirmative Action
Dear Affirmative Action,
Things haven’t been going so well lately. To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the past couple weeks, wondering if what everyone says is true, that I’m washed-up, past my prime. I think the Rogers nomination for the Supreme Court is what really kicked it off. I mean, sure, there was a token nod to me, with all of the talk surrounding Alberto Gonzalez, but in the end Bush went with not only a white guy, but a white guy from Indiana. That’s like putting whipped cream on a vanilla sundae and topping it with a maraschino cherry, only one that’s bred to produce no pigment whatsoever.
To make it worse, it turns out the guy doesn’t even live in Indiana anymore. That at least would have added some geographical diversity to the Supreme Court. Instead he lives in Washington D.C. Where he’s a lawyer.
The President won’t even return my calls about it. Hell, nobody will return my calls. I tried to talk to the New York Times about writing an op/ed article, but they said they were saving the space for a piece on Grand Theft Auto.
You know what would have really increased the diversity of the Supreme Court? Adding a plumber. Someone with no ingrained notions about “precedent” or “established law.” Think about the new perspectives that could offer on the issues the Supreme Court’s been dealing with. Particularly if it were a black plumber. That would add a whole other layer.
Or, how about a foreigner? That would really make for some difference of opinion, bringing in someone who lives under an entirely different framework of law.
If this administration were really forward thinking, they’d pick someone from the Middle East, maybe a cleric. That would really help open up the Supreme Court to some new ways of thinking about what law can be, and it would have the added benefit of showing that the Global Struggle Against Extremism isn’t a Global Struggle Against Islam.
Maybe (and this is a little out there) they could even appoint a terrorist to the Court. That could really work to open up the dialogue, help us get a good sense of what their grievances are. Because that’s the whole point of affirmative action, working to make sure that different viewpoints are represented. And that’s why, barring the possibility of him being a terrorist, the Roberts appointment is such a disappointment.
But, as many commentators have pointed out, this may have been the Bush administration’s “safe” pick. If William Rehnquist retires soon, as he’s expected to, perhaps Bush will use that opportunity for a bolder choice, such as a third-grader, or a militant transgendered atheist. It’s even possible that he could use the pick to showcase his dedication to the “culture of life” by appointing a fetus to the bench. Which could have some interest implications for the debate on Roe vs. Wade.
In any case, all that I can do is sit, wait, and hope that public opinion hasn’t passed me by.
Yours in diversity,