Sunday, May 31, 2009

Michael Goldfarb Forwards NRO's "Ethnicity-Hustling" Attack on Sotomayor to Readers

I realize this is my first political-related blog entry in a long time. But the following just made me mad enough to write about and ask accountability for (even if it has a faint chance of actually happening).

First, over the weekend the conservative Weekly Standard writer Michael Goldfarb was proven dead wrong in a blog post about Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor teaching and grading her own seminar, "The Puerto Rican Experience" at her alma mater Princeton University in the mid-1970s, where she graduated at the top of her class and summa cum laude. Neither hers or the other 131 (at the time) Princeton student-initiated seminars were taught or graded by the proposing student. [It goes without saying that the courses' integrity would be a joke if students were allowed to do either]

Then, we get an "updated" email that not only doesn't correct the record, it makes Goldfarb's short blog entry on Sotomayor even worse: "I thought the same thing about that bit of ethnicity-hustling that Sotomayor engaged in as a Princeton student—that she and her classmates got to run the whole show themselves when they got their seminar on “the Puerto Rican experience”—until I saw the press release from 1974 that the Daily Princetonian dug up. It seems they applied for a class of their own, and even got to set the readings and syllabus, under a loopy 1968 policy that handed this kind of curricular initiative over to students. But they did get an assistant professor of history to “teach” the class, after they designed it. (Some academic freedom he had!) Presumably he handed out the grades, but since he was (conveniently) an untenured assistant professor running a little class with some experienced Mau-Maus, you could almost predict the A’s all around from day one."

You see, not only does Mr. Franck not think the "Puerto Rican Experience" seminar Sonia Sotomayor and other students took was legit, he thinks it was the result of "ethnicity-hustling." Of course, using the term "hustling" here in reference to a minority should raise eyebrows. So should his use of "Mau-Maus", which can be slang for a Puerto Rican street gang and was definitely used to smear "The Puerto Rican Experience" seminar's professor, Dr. Peter E. Winn.

If these aren't racist comments on Mr. Franck's part, I don't know what are.

Apparently Goldfarb approves of these comments, otherwise he wouldn't have forwarded this email to his readers. Or, he somehow overlooked or thought nothing of them.

Either way, important clarifications about Sotomayor's Princeton days and an explanation about Franck's racist-sounding email he added on to his blog entry is warranted, not necessarily to me but to his readers. Even though I disagree with their writings more often than not, The Weekly Standard and NRO (National Review) are better than this garbage - the glaring falsehoods and racist language - and they should dispose of it immediately.

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