The Pervasive Fear That Minorities Are Getting Away With Something

I think this post by Megan sums up a lot about how I feel about Affirmative Action. It's not the notion that we may need to take another look at AA that's objectionable, but the notion that in a world where everyone else plays by the rules the accolades garnered by people like Sonia Sotomayor, are ill-gotten:

I've been thinking of this a lot watching some of the attacks on Sotomayor, but I'd frame the critics as suffering from the terrible, pervasive fear that some brown person, somewhere, is getting away with something.

Posit that everything the critics say about Sotomayor is true; that indeed, everything they say about affirmative action is true.  Is this the biggest problem facing America?  Is this the biggest problem facing America from Sonia Sotomayor

Given my politics, I am probably not going to like how she rules on many, maybe even most, issues.  But almost none of those issues involve racial preferences, which, even if they are a problem, are a small problem for America, affecting fewer people than almost any of the other major policy questions we're debating today.  Making race, or racial politics, the central complaint, makes it seem like your biggest policy priority is making sure that not one minority in the land gets anything they don't deserve.  But hey, we all get things we don't deserve.  I'll go further:  almost all of us get something we don't deserve as a result of our race, including white people.  Perhaps even especially white people.

I think this is so true. The presumption of so much of Sotomayor's critics rest on this idea that they've never gotten a break, that no one's ever favored them, that they've never benefited from a policy. It takes that sort of fiction to believe that someone like her is "dumb."