Monday, June 1, 2009

Viva Sonia !

A bit preachy, but here goes....

While spending nearly two weeks in Asian countries that are, by comparison to our own, essentially mono-racial, the controversy (or, rather the slimy Republican attempt to create controversy) over the Sotomayor nomination became even more of a headshaker for me.  This judge is tough-minded, sharp, quick, bright, opinionated, and passionate about how her Puerto Rican background informs and inspires her ideas about the law and social justice.  Hooray for us that we have such eligible women of diverse race and ethnicity to promote to high office !  How this can be construed as affirmative action gone wrong is beyond me. 

You won’t see very many racial issues in public debate in Japan, or Hong Kong, or China, or Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, the list goes on.  (Singapore an important and notable exception.)  Fine and accomplished societies they are, with so much to teach and inspire us---but among our singular strengths in the USA is the diversity of races and national origins that some called a melting pot but now consider to be the ‘gorgeous mosaic’ coined by tktk years ago.  Our free spirited, inventive, ambitious, restless, nonconformist, self-indulgent society is a direct result of this mosaic that changes shape, color, and texture every ten to twenty years. 

“We” in the US are not better than “they” are in Asia.  We’re unique in that we are of many colors, beliefs, and languages at home, at school, and in our houses of worship.  The Sotomayor nomination speaks to the best of our diverse traditions.  So, come on, folks.  This is one of our great Only in America moments.  Instead of a wave of gratitude and excitement that Hispanic peoples can finally have a true champion at the highest levels, we get churlish combativeness from those frozen in the conviction that nothing this President can do is good enough.  And our media---ever irresponsible and distorted---report the messy thinking of this nominee’s opponents as if it were perfectly reasoned and of equal moral weight to that of the proponents. 

Sotomayor’s views, opinions, judicial philosophy, and temperament should receive tough, careful scrutiny.  But, let’s not permit the Bad Guys to get ahead of this story.  Make your views known on blogs and facebook and letters to the editor.  And savor this wonderful moment of history.

1 comment:

  1. You will see my view on my blog and FB. I hope you are right about SS. I am worried but want to trust Obama.