The Republican right was expected to put up a fight over President Obama's choice for the Supreme Court, but the venomous reactions of conservative pundits have exceeded expectations.
All over the 24-hour news channels and talk radio airwaves, conservatives are attacking Sotomayor, calling the federal appeals judge a "racist" and a "bigot."
As evidence, media figures like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, have pointed to a speech Sotomayor gave at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1992. During the speech, she said, "I would hope that a wise Latina woman 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."
Those words came as part of a discussion about the importance of judicial diversity in determining race and sex discrimination cases, but they have been widely reproduced out of context.
Glenn Beck, conservative radio personality and host of Fox News' The Glenn Beck Program, said the remark "smacks of racism." He also said:
"I don't like the charges of, 'Oh, you're a racist. They're a racist.' Very few people are racist. There are racists and they're bad people. And -- but it's -- most Americans are good, just decent people, and I hate the charges and cries of racism. But when I hear this -- I mean, gee. She sure sounds like a racist here."
Rush Limbaugh, citing Sotomayor's decision in Ricci v. DeStefano -- an affirmative action case involving the New Haven fire department that's being reviewed by the Supreme Court -- called the judge a "reverse racist" on his daily radio show Tuesday.
"So here you have a racist. You might -- you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist. And the libs, of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don't have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power to implement their power. Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he's appointed one."
Not surprisingly, many of the same figures who are calling Sotomayor a racist also suggest that the Princeton/ Yale Law grad was nominated for the Supreme Court not on the basis of her qualifications but because of her race and gender.
Media Matters For America, the non-profit research and monitoring group, compiled a video of "racist" accusations.
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