Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Should Judge Sotomayor’s Diabetes Preclude Her from the U.S. Supreme Court? June 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dr. Amie "Breeze" Harper @ 1:11 pm

Mike Adams asks, Should Judge Sotomayor’s Diabetes Preclude Her from the U.S. Supreme Court?

You can read more about this at before diving into the questions I posed below….
Breeze’s questions:

What do people think about this question? Do you think Mike Adams is being a health elitist with this question? And what does it mean that factors such as institutional and environmental racism have positioned certain populations to be in situations in which they don’t have access to the best foods and health facilities for optimal wellness, in comparison to white middle class demographic in the USA? And how is “healthy” or “optimal wellness” being defined? I am not well-read in the politics of ableism, so maybe some folk can help me out here?

Or, is it more complex than this and should folk in the USA be concerned about the physical health of their “leaders” and how it affects their mental faculties? Is it true that physical health = mental health, or is Adams falling into a dangerous eugenist’s mindset with this suggestion- especially if one contextualizes Adam’s concern within the history of suffering in the USA caused by the status quo (historically white straight ‘able bodied’ men) who medicalized certain physical bodies as “defective” which equaled “unhealthy” and “mentally unfit.”?

Below is an excerpt from the article, written by Mike Adams:

A similar question needs to be posed for all our top decision makers, including Sotomayor. Her bones are so fragile, we’ve just learned, that she fractured her ankle walking around the LaGuardia airport. Healthy bones shouldn’t fracture so easily.




8 Responses to “Should Judge Sotomayor’s Diabetes Preclude Her from the U.S. Supreme Court?”

  1. prof susurro Says:

    the term for this is “ablism” and yes, he is being ablist. By assuming that a person with a chronic health condition is unable to serve, he is positing that only able-bodied people should hold high office in the U.S.

    The problem with his argument is not just one of oppression but one that ignores history. Many of the U.S. Presidents and/or VPs have served with similar or worse conditions. Cheney (who granted was Voldemort) had chronic heart problems, Eisenhower had a heart attack while in office and ilietis, and suffered a serious attack from the latter while running for his second term, then in his second term had a stroke that resulted in a permanent speech impediment. FDR was in a wheel chair from a bout with polio as a child, he had hypertension, heart disease, and was diagnorsed with a left ventricular cardiac failure before such things could be corrected w/open heart surgery during important summit talks with Russia, Grover Cleveland had mouth cancer and had to have 2 invasive surgeries that could have left him permanently mute or dead from complications in the middle of an economic crisis in the U.S., Andrew Jackson (most famous for massacring the indigenous population) had chronic depression, complications from bullets lodged in his body from the war, including: chronic pain, several bouts of internal infections, bleeding in the lungs, etc., Chester Allen Arthur had chronic depression and a terminal illness,. The list of N. American presidents and vice presidents with similar issues is quite long. In fact, Warren Harding had high blood pressure and was borderline diabetic.

    If white men can serve at the highest level of our government with these issues, than why can’t a woman of color serve on the Supreme Court with a chronic health problem that many N. Americans also have? To me it seems like they are raising the spectre of ablism (especially right after she fell while rushing to the airport, implying she may have had a diabetic episode) in order to dodge the spectre of race that didn’t work for them. Ultimately, that move makes his comments ablist, racist, and sexist. But who is counting?

  2. adam Says:

    Adams’ whole discourse is brimming with ableism. Discriminating against people’s physical ability for a position that requires little of it seems like “common sense” only in a modern capitalist society. A “physically fit” body is no less an arbitrary standard for this job than is race, gender, or class.

    His remarks actually remind me of Gordon Libby’s comment on Sotomayor’s judgement being impaired by menstruation. Both men mark certain bodies as inherently less rational. Not to mention, Adam’s connection of body “health” with nation “health” has fascist undertones. (And did he forget FDR, considered one of the best US presidents, was confined to a wheel chair?)

    Is he suggesting that disabled people not play a role in government because of their failure to take care of themselves or because of their essential inferiority of mind and body? Should those with health illnesses not have someone in office representing them as someone who has lived with those illnesses?

  3. NancyP Says:

    Adams is a tool. Sotomayer is merely forthright about her medical condition. Youbetcha the SCOTUS menz have high blood pressure, coronary artery blockage, diabetes, chronic hepatitis, or other disease. You don’t reach the SCOTUS age range without a significant chance of harboring a chronic disease, even if it hasn’t manifested itself in an obvious event.

    Besides – diabetes? That’s one of the most common diseases in the USA. The effects of juvenile onset diabetes (Sotomayer’s type) and the much more common adult onset type diabetes are pretty similar, with the main difference being a greater incidence of eye problems with juvenile onset diabetes.

  4. J.R. Boyd Says:

    I’m pretty sure that people with diabetes can be productive members of society.

  5. No more than Chief Justice John Roberts’ battles with seizures and migraine headaches kept Junior from appointing him to the court.

  6. Livin Veg Says:

    As a person who has had cancer and for two years now has had severe feet problems, I’m totally appalled by his presumption that only “healthy” people can contribute. As prof susurro mentions, so many of our nations former leaders have had health issues. We’re humans. Not machines. We all have issues with our health sooner or later.

    Diabetes does not effect ones mind. Kudos to VoC for pointing out this obnoxious man and his narrow narrow mind.

  7. Jed Says:

    I thought Adams comments were unfair and distort some issues, though I want to look at this from another angle. Sotomayer’s diabetes is a physical condition, yet physical conditions can be traced to psychological and metaphysical roots. In Sotomayer’s case she seems to be bitter and not really enjoying life – she promotes victimhood and vengeance, with comments such as the following:

    In a speech delivered to the San Juan chapter of NOW, Sotomayor said, “I want to be perfectly clear about this next comment so that there is no mistaking my words to mean something other than what they plainly say: the time has come to end white male oppression by castrating every white male until they are no longer dominant in Western culture. That means forcible removal of their testicles. I realize the brutality of my comment, and I don’t know how to say it more clearly.”

    That shows a warped mind and seriously questions her capacity to be a fair, reasonable judge. Her diabetes is actually more likely a symptom of her mental/spiritual dysfunction than a cause of such. She hasn’t dealt with her personal issues and is likely to project them into some of her judgments.

  8. diabetes war Says:

    Diabetes is not completely healed but if people with diabetes can maintain a regular diet and balanced with good exercise, it will not interfere with work activities and can get the job done like a normal person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s