RACISM, ILLOGIC, INJUSTICE, AND ANTONIN SCALIA December 13, 2015

As I will point out repeatedly in other posts and in my forthcoming essay, Donald Trump’s America, what concerns me most about Donald Trump is not Donald Trump. It’s that he was created by America. Not all of America, but a significant and persistent part of us that is unremittingly unjust, uncompassionate, selfish, heedless, and bigoted. Enter Antonin Scalia.

Full disclosure: On Sunday even Trump, a racist who has called Scalia “terrific,” took exception to his recent remarks. You wonder why this puppy is consistently puzzled?

First of all, I won’t take the time to catalogue the extensive list of racist decisions handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Dred Scott comes first to the minds of most people, but the litany is long and disheartening. If you want a pretty good list, read Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, a book not inaccurately described as “Undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.”

Nor will I attempt to catalogue the sordid history of bigotry and intolerance that has often characterized Scalia’s tenure since he was appointed to the Supreme Court by a President who was comfortable calling black males “bucks” and who regularly appealed to bigotry to further his political ends. I speak of Ronald Regan.

Again, at this point I haven’t the time or space to review this history, but for those who aren’t already aware of it, a cursory Google search will quickly support my assertions.

What I’d like to do in this space is simply to quote Scalia and to muse briefly on what he just said.

Last Wednesday, in reference to Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Justice Scalia stated  that “there are those who contend that” blacks would be better off attending, rather than the University of Texas, “a less, uh, uh, advanced school… a less, uh, uh, a slower-track school where they do well…most of the – most of the black, uh, scientists in this country…come from lesser schools where they do not feel, uh, that they’re, uh, that they’re being pushed ahead in – in classes that are too – too fast for them.”

This golden-tongued oration is pure racism. It’s racism of the kind so often expressed by Donald Trump as well as by reprehensible ranters such as Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, and Rudi Giuliani, as well as by many other loud and persistent voices, including Jason Riley and Ben Carson, blacks who both hold distinctly race-based biases against blacks.

Undoubtedly, however, the most deceitful of all these racists is Ted Cruz, who pays lip service to tolerance while publically idolizing Jesse Helms and apologizing for Donald Trump, for reasons my little puppy brain can’t possibly imagine. At some point I intend to discuss the brilliant but nauseatingly pervasive and frustratingly persuasive dishonesty of Mr. Cruz.

Back to Scalia. His remarks are refuted by the voluminous research that has been done on this subject (the “mismatch theory”). But Scalia ignores the science in favor of his prejudices.

Pitifully, Scalia’s disingenuous attempts to walk back his comments and to characterize evidentiary citations as random musings are questionable ploys for a man who regularly decides, rather abidingly, the law of the land.

I wonder if Justice Scalia has considered that his essential argument, that blacks are by nature insufficiently intelligent to attend elite institutions of higher education, reinforces the same kinds of long-held prejudices about his own ethnic group, Italians, lacking intellectual ability. He’d immediately realize that he’s faced with a clear conundrum, were he enough of a thinker to consider the import of his remarks rather than merely being a Conservative operative and a clever but almost embarrassingly awkward wordsmith able (and, unfortunately, willing) to drop such arcane gems as “argle-bargle” and “jiggery-pokery.”

Or, to give him the benefit of the doubt, let’s say he’s not actually a racist, not actually supporting the theory of racial inferiority, but nevertheless believes that blacks don’t do as well in school as whites. This affords him only one logical conclusion, that blacks haven’t had the same educational advantages as whites. In which case, Tony, I rest my case. We need affirmative action.

Though I know that I consistently hold more moral, compassionate, and just positions than he does, I really don’t think that this little bone chewer is smarter than Antonin Scalia, a “Just”ice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. But it seems that way. What do you think? I don’t know. I’m just (and justly) a puzzled puppy.