Sotomayor Nomination: View from the Diversosphere

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

I figured I’d look to the bloggers in the diversosphere I admire most when it came to the Sonia Sotomayor nomination, so I checked out the blogs of the editors of the recently received NAM Journalism award for journalism in ethnic media, Sanctuary.

Sure enough, Manny, from Latino Politico and Nezua from The Unapologetic Mexican had something to say.

From Manny:

I could go into how excited I am to see a Latina be considered for the SCOTUS, the first in this country’s history and only the third woman (because I am beaming), but the buzz-kill has been rather abrupt from the seeing this accomplished and competent judge attacked for those very things that I consider a source of pride.

It should be a source of pride to everyone.

Conservatives like to talk about bootstraps and how important it is to refrain from whining about ones situation. Well…Sonia Sotomayor couldn’t be a finer example of putting the nose to the grindstone despite all the societial odds stacked against you and making it.

But as we’ll see in the coming days, she is an “intellectual lightweight” despite having a long and stellar career on the bench. She will be attacked as a person of color who has the audacity to uphold affirmative action laws not because they’re the law, but because she’s looking out for her people. The media’s whiteness will show in all its unholy glory.

An example of this mindset can be found during today’s broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition. Ed Whalen, President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wasted no time on getting that talking point out into the mix right at the onset. There will be no holds barred with this nomination process.

The conservative movement’s success at derailing Sotomayor’s placement on the Supreme Court is hinged on causing white backlash against her identity and making her out to be a token latina/affirmative action candidate instead of the qualified, capable judge that she has proven to be over the years.

As a blunt blogger friend of mine likes to say, “Bet on it.”

So you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  If you don’t succeed, you haven’t pulled yourself up by your bootstraps.  If you succeed, you will never be good enough.  Meh.

Nezua has his own unique take on the issue in his post entitled Obama Bows to Saudi King, Head-Patting Children, a nd now Aliens!:

YOU KNOW what everyone is talking about! Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor! And it’s great news. I like to see a smart Latina make her way into this possibility (and in fact there needs to be more women in general in that court, you know?) though such a move does not, of course, undo the White House’s actions/inactions in other areas that hurt Latin America. But we know that. And this is exciting to see for a few reasons. Also, I have to add, it’s really nice to see my Puerto Rican amigas so happy today. (Just as it is offputting to hear a few strange conversations that are flitting around out there about the hair of her honor! Ah, one “type” of Latin@ getting up in the world always gets us alll throwing punches for a minute! But let’s be happy for her and prove Rushlimbo wrong about this dividing Latin@s.)

From two of the blogs on Manny’s blogroll … an announcement from American Taino, with one of the prettiest pictures of Sotomayor I’ve yet seen.  From Latino Like Me is posted The Radical Right vs. Sotomayor, focusing on Rush Limbaugh’s idiocy and the promulgation of the “affirmative action” meme.

I’ll be keeping an eye on these blogs to see how the story unfolds from the diverso-perspective.


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  1. … here.

    The misinformation coming out is going to be huge, but we already know that.

  2. They will attack her for voting in her interests as a minority, a female and a plebian.

    Republicans find it threatening when poor/non-white/non Christian/minority people vote and act in their own interests. The only way to win an election for the 1% is to trick another 50% into voting for rich people, fear and hatred is to trick them into it with falsity, fear and wedge issues. If more people succeed like Judge Sotomayer the GOP will lose. The last thing they want is educated and informed plebians acting in their best interests. If that shit catches on it is the end of the GOP.

    Sotomayer will be opposed on the front lines of the class war. Whether she or we know it or not, Sotomayer just stepped up to the status quo. Expect them to take this threat seriously.

    They have not figured it out, even now, that racism/sexism is OVER for 70+% of the USA. We literally surround them.

    The only arguments the GOP can make against Sotomeyer will be on sexist/racist/elitist or flat out ridiculous grounds. This is class warfare. Sotomayer just took center stage.

    Prepare for war.

  3. talking about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg… how she feels lonely and unheard on the court.  “there needs to be more women in general in that court” — I do know, Nezua.

    • rossl on May 27, 2009 at 03:16

    but there’s some good news about Sotomayor on the election law front:

    Judge Sotomayor was the first federal judge to rule favorably in a constitutional case involving write-in voting, after the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision that ruled against write-ins. Irving Gelb, a candidate for Bronx Borough President in 1995, was removed from the Democratic primary ballot, and thus became a write-in candidate. However, he discovered that New York city was not printing write-in space on absentee ballots, nor on sample ballots, nor was it obeying a state law that required pencils to be in the voting booth. He was a taxi driver, not an attorney, but he filed a pro se lawsuit in U.S. District Court, and drew Sotomayor.

    Sotomayor’s decision in Gelb v Board of Elections in the City of New York is reported at 888 F.Supp. 509 (March 24, 1995). She refused to dismiss Gelb’s case. She noted on page 517 that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burdick v Takushi (which said that Hawaii was not required to provide write-in space) did not foreclose victory for Gelb. She wrote, “Burdick v Takushi reaffirmed the principle that states cannot structure elections in a manner that favors candidates of established parties.”

    Although Gelb did not ultimately get any relief in this particular case, since the ultimate decision in this case was that the Board of Elections in the 1995 primary was not likely to continue to injure write-in candidates, in several later cases, Gelb prevailed. His lawsuits forced the city to begin printing write-in space on all primary ballots in which there are at least two candidates printed on the ballot in the same race, and he forced the city to put write-in directions on ballots, and to put write-in space on absentee ballots.

    Sotomayor also ruled in favor of ballot access, in Lopez Torres v New York State Board of Elections, a case that involved difficult procedures for getting on a primary ballot for Delegates to Judicial Nominating Conventions. And she ruled favorably for voting rights in general in her dissent in Hayden v Pataki, 449 F 3d 305. The issue was whether the federal Voting Rights Act protects racial minorities in the area of the law concerning felon and ex-felon disenfranchisement.

    • pico on May 27, 2009 at 04:48

    to the GOP’s facile opposition to her is that they’ll lose whatever gains they ever made with Latino voters.  I’m certainly not complaining.

    • Robyn on May 27, 2009 at 14:27

    have to do twice as well as men to be thought half as good.

    Old quote.  I’ll leave off the punchline.

  4. is appointed/nominated to pretty much do anything in government other than say be a secretary or a chauffeur, there is going to be a segment of the population of pundits who will argue that person MUST HAVE advanced through affirmative action.

    Because the idea that those “other folks” might actually just be qualified on their own individual merits freaks them the fuck out. The idea that the chicks and the non-white folks might have I don’t know, spent the last 20-30 years getting educations and exercising their intellect is still really radical and shocking for some I guess.

    I was hoping for a liberal/lefty woman of any color to make Republican heads explode and to preserve Roe vs Wade, clamp down on corporate interests, and put teeth in environmental laws when challenged. I do not know enough about her to give a well informed perspective.

  5. “The media’s whiteness will show in all its unholy glory. ”

    Excuse me? Cool new slur you got there buddy. Of course, there’s the implication that being white made you racist.  Who knew, you can judge people by the color of their skin!

    And of course the blogger goes on to cite as an example, a quote of someone interviewed as an example of a conservative viewpoint.  (note, his organization’s mission is to ” to clarify and reinforce the bond between the Judeo-Christian moral tradition and the public debate over domestic and foreign policy issues.”  Need I say more?)  How does this show the media’s “whiteness.”

    Let’s be clear, these folks are opposed because they are conservative, not because they are white.  This is about conservative backlash.  Or have you forgotten about the white people who worked and voted to get this black president in office?  Guess we’re should go off an backlash now.

  6. The current SCOTUS has at least 4 and maybe 5 members who are from the far, far right fringe nutosphere.  Four of these people are white men of privilege who have shown no compassion for those who have been given less. They’re so far out there that some folks think that Anthony Kennedy is a centrist.  Are you f*cking kidding me?  If he’s a centrist, I’ve fallen off the left wing end of the world and probably  most of you have as well.  So adding Judge Sotomayor to the Court is a step, a small step into realigning the ideology of the Court to be mid-American. And it is also a small step in making the Court look like America looks by adding a Latina.  And that will give the court some diverse life experience.

    The republicans, who you will recall are mostly white men of privilege, are intent on destroying whatever Latin@ support they may have developed by attacking Sotomayor on made up, bullsh*t arguments, and in saturating the media with them.  So be it.  If they want to make themselves all the more irrelevant, have at it.

  7. So here is my personal diversity experience.

    I did work for a global diversity embracing company.  They had their little groups each with their appropriate labels and all was well for awhile.  The little groups with their little labels didn’t really do much to increase tolerance and or knowledge about the situation so people started to walk away rather than be ambassadors for their specific groups.  We were all professionals and saw through the nonsense of management doing something only to justify their end year bonuses.  We knew our common enemy was China and or India as this was after all a company manufacturing a real product.  The Asian group presented on the new Chinese factory.  The more “diversity” as a concept grows the less I like it and that pains me, coming from that solid egalitarian science based world.

    In being existentially biased the most neutral thing I can say about diversity is it belongs in Orwell’s doublespeak dictionary with an asterisk beside it.

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