Race relations have been a tough subject since Cain and Abel first began their feud. Humankind has a hard time reconciling our spiritual characteristics with outward appearances and cultural differences, and we sometimes get stuck in the little discrepancies, rather than remembering that we are all created in God’s image.
However, the Supreme Court today upheld the truth that all men are created equal – even if they happen to be in the majority.
In this high-profile, controversial case, too few minority firefighters did well on a promotion exam, so a group of firefighters (19 white and one hispanic) in New Haven, Conn., argued they were discriminated against because the city tossed out the results, for fear of being sued by other minority groups.
However, “Fear of litigation alone cannot justify the city’s reliance of race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions,” the court ruled.
The reason this is such a high-profile case is because Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled against these 20 firefighters, and whose ruling has just been overturned, has been nominated to the Supreme Court to replace Justice David Souter this year.
This particular case seems to exhibit what some are calling “reverse racism”, and it leads many to question whether Sotomayor’s ethics are strong enough for the highest court in the land. This ruling, combined with her comments on a “wise, Latina woman” being more able to make grounded decisions than white males, should give us pause. While life experiences and individual backgrounds undoubtedly shape the lens through which we view the world, is it really right to assume that one gender or ethnic group can make better decisions than another? Perhaps Sotomayor has learned from her ruling being overturned, and we must remember that people can change.
However, 1 Peter 1:17 says: “Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear.”
Shouldn’t we be looking for Justices who will attempt to “judge each man’s work impartially”, not based on race or gender?
The Supreme Court has a great deal for power, to be used for either good or ill. Let’s pray that a truly wise person will become our next Justice, for as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”