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Sen. Schumer is fighting racism, not propagating it

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    I disagree with the notion that Chuck Schumer’s conduct by not voting for Judge Marvin Quattlebaum, a white judge, is racist. A CNN report stated Schumer voted against Judge Quattlebaum because of a “lack of diversity.” Schumer is fighting against a system that is already built on racism and is trying to create opportunities for minorities. I support descriptive representation and it appears Schumer’s vote was more shifted towards promoting descriptive representation, not racism.

     I want to begin by saying I am neutral towards Schumer; I have no political allegiance to him. I am also a strong advocate against racism. When I read that Schumer’s vote was motivated by racism, I was concerned at first. I continued reading up on the issue and realized Schumer’s vote was not motivated by racism, but promoting diversity. Schumer was upset that the open vacancy Judge Quattlebaum filled was blocked against two African American nominees when Barack Obama was president. Yet, when a white judge is nominated, he gets confirmed. It appears the system is built on racism and Schumer is trying to battle for diversity in a system that has a lack of diversity.

     I support descriptive representation, which is the idea that elected officials also share the descriptive characteristics of their constituencies. As a man, I do not know the struggles women go through, and I believe elected women officials can better advocate their concerns than a man because women have lived through it. At the same time, I am half-Asian and have faced discrimination and prejudice for as long as I can remember, and I do not feel an elected white male official can advocate against racism and discrimination as well as a minority elected official can. I think our current social struggle with racial discrimination proves my point. We need diversity. Not everyone faces the same challenges and deals with the same struggles. And Schumer is trying to promote diversity and a more descriptive representation of our country.

     If you disagree with my explanation and believe Schumer was racist with his conduct, my response to that would be that minorities have been dealing with racism and discrimination for hundreds, if not thousands of years. This may be the first occasion of racism a white person has probably faced his or her entire life. Minorities deal with racism every day, so welcome to our world. Racism sucks, doesn’t it?

     But I believe Schumer is fighting against a system rooted in racism, where two African American nominees are not confirmed most likely because of the color of their skin. Our country has men and women, whites and minorities, and should be represented as such within our elected political positions, including appointed judges. I believe Schumer is striving towards a more descriptive representation of our country and to achieve that goal, sometimes you must say no to whites to ensure minorities have a chance to represent. I know that may be hard for some to hear and understand, but Schumer’s conduct was not racist. Schumer witnessed two African American nominees get rejected. Why is he the one being questioned for racism when he is the one fighting for diversity? He is fighting against racism and I applaud him for doing so.

Raymond Strawn III

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