31.1.13

INTELLECTUAL DIVERSITY MATTERS.

Melissa Harris-Perry says as much.
I think we want to be careful, because no one wants to assume that any given physical body carries with it a set of political ideas, so for example, you know, Clarence Thomas sitting on the Supreme Court of the United States does not mean that Justice Thomas is representing, necessarily, the positions, the issues, even the Constitutional interpretation that is shared by the vast majority of civil rights organizations and by the vast majority of African-Americans. Simply putting women in a space, for example, had Congresswoman Bachmann ended up as the president of the United States, she might not have been representative of women's issues in the broadest sense, because so many women are, in fact on the side of reproductive rights and justice. On the other hand, it also matters to have a diverse cabinet, to have a diverse set of opinions and ideas.
The statement is progress, after a fashion. She's not denouncing Justice Thomas for not being the right kind of black, or Representative Bachmann for not being the right kind of woman, and possibly, just possibly, she's receptive to the possibility that a person who is not born with a particular bundle of physical characteristics might all the same recognize the struggles or triumphs that might be part of that bundle.

We used to call that empathy.

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