Jay Severin’s manners may have improved, but not his logic

In discussing Judge Sotomayor yesterday, Jay noted that the judge had said something to the effect of “I am an affirmative action baby. My test scores were not good enough to get me into the Ivy League schools I attended because the tests were culturally biased.” Jay then asked what would happen if a radio announcer or some other white male had said “I bet Sotomayor’s test scores weren’t very good and that she only got into those Ivy League schools because of affirmative action.” Jay perceived a double-standard. He imagined that the commentator would get excoriated for his remarks whereas the judge’s own remarks would be met with a positive reaction (if any) from the left.

Jay, do you really not see the difference between a personal account of one’s own experience and the assumptions made by an outsider about events not personally known to them? The former is an expression of fact, whereas the latter is an expression of prejudice: “the judge is Hispanic/female; therefore it is reasonable to assume that she had poor test scores.”

Had a white male commentator said “I have a copy of Sotomayor’s school applications and they clearly indicate that her test scores were well below those of her fellow classmates,” no one would have accused the commentator of prejudice or bias.

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