Dissents Of The Day

Many readers were animated over my remarks on Shelby Steele and Sotomayor. One writes:

You wrote, "The constant, oppressive consciousness of her identity - racial and gender - and the harping on it so aggressively so often does strike me as a classic mode of victimology deeply entrenched in her generation."
Maybe I have missed something, but I haven't seen any constant harping by Sotomayor over the past few weeks, and I haven't heard any in her history. I do see a constant harping on the "wise Latina" remark (made 9 years ago)  and a constant harping on the Ricci case - not by her, but the abyss of 24-hour cable news. Yes, Obama has spoken about her race and gender. But it is an historic pick, and deserves mentioning what she has accomplished. She is a role model for young Latinas and Latinos growing up in inner cities, and the community is better for it.

Another writes:

I find that absolutely amazing coming from you - a person who *constantly* makes reference to your homosexuality - and not just on the topic of gay rights. It's part and parcel of multiple posts throughout a given week. It undergirds so much of what you share and your interpretation of it. I'm not complaining, because we all see the world from where we stand. But I just can't understand how someone who advocates for people to be out of the closet would condemn someone for being out about her Latina heritage.

Another adds:

You have forced (yes, forced) me to examine my feelings around gay marriage this year. Until I started reading your blog, the need to extend marriage rights to gays was not even on my radar. So, I guess I was guilty of casual - if unintended - prejudices against gay marriage. Your constant harping (yes, harping) on the subject forced me to acknowledge the sanity and rightness of your argument for gays to marry. 
So I'm too weary to describe all the ways in which your post lacks self-awareness. Please reflect on it some and let your readers know if further reflection brings the outrageousness of that quote into sharper focus.

The distinction I draw is the distinction made in Virtually Normal. I do not consider myself better than anyone because I'm gay; I do not think gay people have some superior wisdom; I seek civil equality so the sharp division between homosexuality and heterosexuality can eventually be elided. I've never shied from being honest or talking and writing about being gay, but I hope the goal of all of it is to move beyond the reductionism of the victimology of the left, not to entrench it. If Sotomayor had written an essay called "The End Of Latino Culture" or had written of the day she hopes Latino-specific political organizations disappear, I'd feel differently about her non-judicial record.