“A wise Latina” surmounts the Sisyphean task of proving why she is to be considered, “honorably judicious”
Clenching the senatorial confirmation by an ostensible partisanship-divide of 68-31, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has procured the honorable position of becoming the 111th Supreme Court Justice. And to think, all of this while attempting to placate and mollycoddle the phalanx of uberconfederates of the south–those who took special care and joy in seeing Judge Sotomayor lambasted, pilloried, and lampooned because she dared to think outside the box of conformist thinking. How did she step out of that box and own the territory that many who occupy positions other than those who are deemed “the other” relegate them to? Well now, so to get this straight, those who do the deeming are accustomed to operating in a cherished environment made up of, contrived by, and reflecting the majority-leaning ethnic, class, and racial ideological divides that usually inform decisions. Some would say that this contemporary simulacrum of a good-ol’ boys network, and those who majoritively pull the levers of power within it, are still a bit hurt that others unlike themselves are finally getting their chance for a modicum of equitable representation. Even though paltry in material fashion and quantification, that representation, nonetheless, delivers a sting to the backside of the status quo.
Even though Judge Sotomayor demonstrated a stellar career as an appellate and trial judge for 17 years; editor of the Yale Law Review; Law degree from Yale; history degree summa cum laude from Princeton, she would still be held for the audaciousness of uttering twenty-two words that threw the establishment into a tizzy. She brazenly intimated, while giving a speech at the University of Berkeley Law School’s TheltonE. Henderson Center for Social Justice, that “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” What life could she possibly have been alluding to? The life of prosperity, equitable chance, and untethered opportunities that is witnessed and hoardishly apprehended by those allusive whites whose path to the upper echelons of governmental and social approximation is usually mired and mirrored by others who look and think like them? Well, I don’t think so. You see, in attendance at the symposium at which Sotomayor spoke, were not only the usual student constitution of students entertaining the thoughts of law (here is meant the overwhelming number of white students who have layed claim to the study of law as if it is still an extension of European common law and all of the concomitant social appurtenances therein), but also some aspiring students who mirrored Sotomayor’s phenotype and cultural constitution. I mean, there were brown and black female and male students there who were looking for, and righteously received, culturally-tenable words of inspiration and import. And just like statistical figures can often be contrived, coupled, correlated, and chosen to reflect the apex of one’s views who employs them, I would be willing to venture that some of those very individuals who identified with her did so on her experiences as both a Latina woman, and the experiences they were to await while considering the vocation of studying and practicing law. Perhaps, one question looming in the mind of a student there was, “will I be required to jettison myself of cultural pride, its extant and latent experiences, and femininity?”
Just to keep the last part brief: Congratulations to Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor for your accomplishment. Congratulations for overcoming the fire of brimstones and charcoal that you were made to endure and cross over to make it into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court. Also, congratulations for exposing to us that the maintenance of white supremacy and all of its vestigial accoutrements of power, sameness, standardization, misogyny, and cultural-depredation are still existent. As you said, you will be informed and led by the law; however, being informed and actuated by your sui generis experiences are not all that bad either.