Monday, September 29, 2008

Article Of The Week

In a piece in slate.com entitled "The Downsides of Diversity, " Dahlia Lithwick finds lessons in the experiences of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the phenomenon of Sarah Palin.

Lithwick argues "Clarence Thomas has always excoriated liberals for promoting token blacks so that America might someday look just like a Benetton commercial (while) John McCain has mastered the fine art of turning women into campaign accessories, a flag pin with nice calves." She observes "Clarence Thomas has learned to neatly divide the entire world into angels and demons.... (and) Palin similarly casts everyone as either a supporter or a 'hater.'"

Lithwick is more sympathetic (or, rather, less unsympathetic) to Thomas and Palin than I am. The Democratic Party, I believe, has more genuinely valued women and ethnic minorities (see Clinton, Hillary and Obama, Barack) who are clearly qualified than has the Republican Party (see Palin, Sarah). Nevertheless, this article, a version of which appeared concurrently in Newsweek, reflects an interesting perspective on affirmative action and two public figures of considerable professional achievement, if not merit.

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Time to Relinquish the Stage

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