An alleged reader letter to John Derbyshire:

Derb — I've been hoping that someone might be bold enough to rain on the Sotomayor "compelling life story" parade.

The woman grew up in the capital of the world, went to two Ivy League schools, and was blessed by Providence with the precisely correct right race-gender two-fer for the moment.

This is a story of privilege, dammit, not adversity.

Show me a Montana girl of un-useful ethnicity who put herself through law school waiting tables, after being left with two young children when her Army husband was killed overseas, and I'll start oohing and aahing over her compelling story.

Of course, such a person would never ever end up on any President's short-list, no matter if she graduated first in her class at her non-Ivy institution, no matter how extreme the intelligence and dedication and hard work she displayed over the subsequent course of her career. That's simply how the world — and especially the legal world — is constructed today.

It's so much easier to take a properly-credentialed member of the East Coast elite and hold her up as a shining example of American meritocracy instead, because she is conveniently hued and delayed her entry to the world of the well-heeled until the age of 18 or so. Easy, and misleading. Feugh!

There's racism, there's glorious racism, and then there's supernova racism. Welcome to the last category, "reader".

The case being made here, which is straight out of 1967's primer on how to respond to the Negro taking a rightful White place on the Supreme Court, is that a white person's most mediocre accomplishment in the face of adversity is de facto superior to a minority's stellar achievement in the face of adversity more closely related to their racial status; in fact, a minority doing well makes them the dominant and privileged class, taking opportunities that otherwise justly belong to white people.

This is Jesse Helms/White Hands racism, creating an image of white people as blameless angels suffering through the slings and arrows of the brown hordes setting upon them to steal their sacred fortunes. If minorities fail, it's because they are inherently inferior to whites; if minorities succeed, it is by stealing attention and opportunities from whites. This makes minorities illegitimate by their very nature, and sets us up for a world where unremarkable white people are the pinnacle of society, their every misspelled, poorly formed thought the new gospel of modern society.

It explains the National Review, though, doesn't it?