Well, it didn't take long for others to ask my take on President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor. The quick answer: I'm still working on that.
However, I will say that it kind of bugs me that she wasn't picked so much on her judicial abilities as she was picked based on her race and gender. Would a white male of the very same ideological qualities and personality type been nominated? So what does that make Sotomayor - a token Hispanic and woman? Is that something to be proud of?
I've always said all along that if I am ever fortunate to be famous for my opinion writing or my editorial cartoons (or both), then I want to be known for those skills alone, and not that I happen to be Hispanic while exercising those skills. Don't get me wrong - I am proud to be Hispanic, and I most certainly want Hispanics to succeed in life, and I certainly support Hispanics that have "made it" to try to be role models for other Hispanics to follow in their footsteps.
...if I'm ever given the privilege of being a role model for other opinion writers or editorial cartoonists (regardless of their race or gender), then I want it to be because I have proven to be that good at those skills. You know what I'm saying? In other words, I want to be known as an opinion writer and edtoonist who is Hispanic - I DON'T want to be known as a Hispanic opinion writer and edtoonist, because being Hispanic is NOT why I write and draw.
I am Hispanic - I had no control over that, it simply is what I was born into. Again, while I'm proud to be Hispanic, I am not Hispanic because I worked at it and became one; I can't take an achievement pride over being Hispanic, because I did nothing to become one.
However, I am also proud of being an opinion writer and an edtoonist. That IS something that I worked at. And that I happen to be a Hispanic who is from the "wrong side of the tracks" and still became a writer and artist is gravy.
Some of you might be thinking that I want to hide my Hispanicness. Far from it. However, being a "Hispanic writer and artist" is too limiting, because this implies that I will limit myself to "Hispanic" themes and topics (however that is defined). No, I demand the freedom that comes with being a writer and artist PERIOD. No cultural definer attached.
Thus, I have to wait and see how things turn out with Sotomayor and how she is presented, and how she is received. If she's qualified to be a Supreme Court judge because she is Hispanic, then you might as well nominate me too, because I likewise satisfy that qualification.
If she's going to be the token Hispanic on the bench, then I can't support that, because she did nothing more to become Hispanic than I did. Am I supposed to feel some sort of justice done or vindication for the country's past and present racist sins against Hispanics just because a sitting president uses tokenism to pick his candidate? Isn't that instead, something of an insult - that Sotomayor would not have otherwise been nominated had she not been something that she had no control over being?
To be nominated just for being Hispanic, I think, is about as bad as being denied nomination just for being Hispanic. In either instance, it's the cover, not the book's contents, that are being judged. So was Sotomayor a token nomination? Time will tell.
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3 months ago