Editor’s note: Roland S. Martin, a CNN political analyst, is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith” and the new book “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House.” He is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and host of a Sunday morning news show.
(CNN) — If a white Republican president of the United States appointed a white male as his next Supreme Court justice, and upon the inspection of his record, it was discovered that of the 29 full-time tenured or tenured track faculty he hired as dean of Harvard Law, nearly all of them were white men, this would dominate the headlines.
It would be reasonable to conclude that the special interest groups that vigorously fight for diversity — civil rights organizations, feminist groups and other liberal institutions — would be up in arms, declaring that this person’s records showed him unwilling to diversify academia, and unqualified to consider diverse views as one of nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court. There would be widespread condemnations of Republicans having no concern for the nonwhite males in America.
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But what if the choice were made by a black Democratic president, and it was a woman? A white woman? A white Democratic woman?
Some of you may not like the fact that I am focusing on the race of the individual, but when diversity is raised, the person’s skin color, gender and background are considered germane to the discussion. And if there is silence from black and female organizations, their race and gender matter as well.
We may very well witness this now that President Obama has selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.