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Whiteness and maleness are identities, too

"Republicans' outrage, both real and feigned, at Sotomayor's musings about how her identity as a 'wise Latina' might affect her judicial decisions is based on a flawed assumption: that whiteness and maleness are not themselves facets of a distinct identity," columnist Eugene Robinson wrote. "Being white and male is seen instead as a neutral condition, the natural order of things. Any 'identity' — black, brown, female, gay, whatever — has to be judged against this supposedly 'objective' standard. Thus it is irrelevant if Justice Samuel Alito talks about the impact of his background as the son of Italian immigrants on his rulings — as he did at his confirmation hearings — but unforgivable for Sotomayor to mention that her Puerto Rican family history might be relevant to her work."