LETTERS – October 15, 2009 Issue

‘A Wiser Latina’ Your article “Passing Judgment” (see Sept. 17 edition) was completely and irresponsibly one-sided.

The conservative opposition to the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court was not because of Justice Sotomayor’s ethnicity. It was because her record made clear that she was not the sort of judge that conservatives demand, namely one who will follow the text of our Constitution and other laws rather than the judge’s own personal views. Her abysmal record in this regard was laid out before the Senate Judiciary Committee by a wiser Latina, Linda Chavez. (That testimony is available on the Web site — ceousa.org — of my organization, the Center for Equal Opportunity, of which Ms. Chavez is founder and chairman.)

In this regard, let me also note that, while the article alludes more than once to the “wise Latina” comment by Justice Sotomayor, it never provides the full quotation, which makes clear why it attracted such concern during the confi rmation hearings. The full sentence reads, “Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot, and Chief Justice Roberts had said that he believed a white man, in light of his background, would more often than not hand down a better ruling than a woman of color.

— ROGER CLEGG, PRESIDENT AND GENERAL COUNSEL, CENTER FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

HBCUs at the Frontline of Innovation

Thanks for writing the excellent article in Diverse: Issues In Higher Education about (White House Initiative on HBCUs executive director) Dr. (John) Wilson’s speech to HBCU presidents that highlights his vision about HBCUs and innovation (see “HBCU Leaders Urged to Innovate,” Diverse Online, Sept. 2). This is an exciting time and we know that our young HBCU faculty and students are brilliant and have many innovations to share with the nation, and the world. They only need the opportunity to shine.

Having HBCUs on the frontline of innovation will be wonderful! I wish Dr. Wilson all the luck in the world in leading this effort. Take care and, again, thanks for your continued coverage of issues that are meaningful to HBCUs and education.

— STEPHANIE MYERS, VICE PRESIDENT, R.J. MYERS PUBLISHING AND CONSULTING CO., PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR OF NETWORKING AND CONNECTIVITY: AN ASSESSMENT OF HBCUS, Y’2000