Friday, July 02, 2010
I guess Elena Kagan is such a blank slate that Republicans have to find others to attack.... even the dearly departed. They were apparently so desperate this week that they dug up a class paper that Kagan wrote decades ago, before she even entered law school. Of course they failed miserably with that effort.
But what annoyed me most was the way that Republican Senators on the Judiciary Committee used Kagan to attack Thurgood Marshall - a giant and American hero. Listen to the highlights of the hearings from last week, where Marshall is repeatedly brought up, attacked and diminished by Republicans. The effort was led by Senators Lindsey Graham, John Kyl, and Jeff Sessions. Their racism was plain to see and it was clear that they were playing to their base - their white Southern audiences back home. By targeting Marshall, they were attacking civil rights, desegregation, and equal justice...all the things he stood for. In their attacks (in front of at least one Marshall family member) they painted Marshall as a radical...as a judicial "activist". Marshall's opinions as a judge -upholding the idea of fairness, equal rights, etc- were out of the mainstream (although there is no evidence of that whatsoever). What they were really criticizing was Marshall's career before he became a judge. They were basically saying that Brown v. Topeka Board of Education was not decided correctly and was a result of Marshall's work as an attorney & agitator, and a result of an activist Supreme Court which overturned years of segregation. They suggested that since racism, esp. Jim Crow, was the law of the land, and was well established, settled law.... someone like Thurgood Marshall was a radical and activist because he came along and stirred things up by daring to challenge what had been legal precedent prior to May 1954. In other words, these Senators were sending the not-so-subtle message that Plessy v. Ferguson, the 1896 case that upheld segregation in schools, should have been allowed to stand as it was settled law. Racist to the core.
Why has the national corporate media allowed this to go almost unchallenged? I saw the segments on MSNBC...but I have not heard much from any other outlet. Unreal.
Senator Al Franken provided a pretty good rebuttal - see video.
Besides Al Franken.... few Senators/House members have spoken out against this blatant racism.
See Thurgood Marshall Jr's response. Hear an interview with Thurgood Marshall Jr. from NPR.
This comes on top of efforts by racist jackasses like Glenn Beck who want to hijack the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington as a way to mock Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights struggle. Beck says he wants to "restore honor" and dignity to America..... as opposed to MLK, advancements in Civil Rights, and that nigra being elected President.