On Scalia

17 Feb

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Anyone reading this knows that Scalia died.  My entire weekend consisted of checking #scalia on twitter every minute. Interestingly, in the first 48 hours of his death, there were few #scalia conspiracy theory tweets. Now they’re all up in there.  Those folks are a little slow.


It was a battle to “respect” the dead for those of us who felt as if Scalia actually murdered our best friend (the constitution) when comparing gay people to murderers, said that there was no constitutional problem with executing innocent people, and that black people should stay in slower track schools where they do well, (yes he said all these things and more). There were many people who probably felt the same way about Scalia’s legal opinions but nevertheless stated that they respected his scholarly mind and his ability to write biting dissents.    I do not, and I will never, get it. Yes, we should respect people with different opinions from ours. Yes, we should not demonize people.  But, when someone uses his position of power to further entrench racism and homophobia in our society, instead of to dismantle it, no, I will not agree to disagree with him.  And, I will never be “entertained by” or “love to read” quippy language used to denigrate an entire group of people or a constitutional right.  In fact, I find it all the more offensive that a person would use his “brilliant legal scholar[ly]” mind and his power to move mountains with his words to oppress other people.  When a man has the power to write racism into law, and he does so (or attempts to do so) with eloquence, we should all be horrified.  There is no room for admiration.

There is this added wrinkle to my reaction which is that Scalia has been known to come out on the right side of SOME criminal law matters (but let’s not forget that he thinks it’s ok to execute intellectually disabled folks or juveniles, or that pretext detentions are a-ok).  My only response to that is: reading the constitution fairly sometimes will not temper my rage for reading racism and homophobia into the constitution other times.

I do not revel in the death of the man– I take no joy in his family’s loss. I revel in the death of his message and of his voice.  I felt joy when hearing the news only because it meant that a powerful racist and homophobic voice is now gone.  1 down, millions to go.

Finally, here is all I have say about what the republicans are doing:


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