Brooks: Biden’s SCOTUS Pledge Risks ‘Feeding Into’ Increasing ‘Racial Essentialism’ That Has ‘Awful History’

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks said that there is “an ugly, awful” history in America of racial essentialism, society “is racial essentializing more and more these days,” and President Joe Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Stephen Breyer runs the risk of “feeding into that.”

Brooks stated, “I’ve read some of the likely candidates, and they do seem extremely impressive. I guess I think the history of America is a history of racial essentialism. It’s a history of judging people by what group they’re part of and by what skin color, and that’s an ugly, awful history. And I guess the question for me is, how do we best overcome that history? It involves, A. recognizing race is a real thing, that racial injustice is a real thing. But it also involves trying not to essentialize people, trying not to reduce them to categories. And, to me, sometimes, when you — the way it was articulated during the campaign, as I say, it put that level of identity first. I’d like to think he would just pick the best person, who would be a Black woman. But when you put that identity first, I think you’re in danger — in a culture that is racial essentializing more and more these days, I think you’re in danger of feeding into that.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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