Governor Christie announced the nomination of Anne M. Patterson, a former deputy state Attorney General, to replace Justice John Wallace on the state Supreme Court. If Ms. Patterson is confirmed, a majority of the New Jersey Supreme Court Justices will be women. However, by not reappointing Justice Wallace, who could only serve for two years because he would have to step down when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2012, Governor Christie will leave the Court without a black justice.
State Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-Newark), chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, said of Governor Christie’s selection of Patterson, “I’m surprised because Wallace would at least diversify the bench and there would at least be an African American on the bench if he were re-appointed” Rice also said, “We’re all about diversity in New Jersey…”I think we need women…We also [need] Latinos and African-Americans. We always have the others. We never have enough women, Latinos and African Americans.”
Appointing someone to the highest court in the state, according to Sen. Rice, is about race, ethnicity and gender, not merit, scholarship, intelligence or other characteristics that are necessary to be an impartial justice.
Rice’s statement is troubling, to say the least, because he is making a direct appeal that race and sex be paramount in selecting a Supreme Court justice. Martin Luther King Jr. must be turning over in his grave. The civil rights struggle was supposed to be about treating everyone based on their skills and character, not on the color of their skin. Nearly 50 years after the March on Washington, the color of one’s skin or ethnic background or gender apparently trumps intelligence and merit.
The new code word for racism and sexism is “diversity.” But given the actual ‘diversity” of New Jersey and the rest of the nation, the most talented individuals will rise to the top, and they will come from all ethnic and racial backgrounds, and from one half of the population, women. In fact, in some fields racial and ethnic minorities excel. Professional sports in America, except for ice hockey, for example, is overwhelmingly dominated by black and brown athletes.
Race in America still energizes a portion of the electorate and the political establishment who use race to marginalize critics of their collectivist agenda.
Racism is a form of collectivism. Treating individuals as if they were “interchangeable” because they have the same skin color or the same national origin and they think alike on economic and social issues is the hallmark of collectivism. And Sen. Rice and others in New Jersey and around the country play the “race card” to the hilt to push for their big government programs in the name of helping the downtrodden in our society.
In the final analysis, the collectivist agenda perpetuates the ‘culture of poverty” in inner cities and the philosophy of entitlement that is bankrupting New Jersey and other states.