Home » Cultural Differences, Defining Root Problems, Men & Women, The Face of America, Tolerance

Sonia Sotomayor- The Face of America

27 May 2009 37 Comments

Praise to President Obama who is remaking the face of government to reflect the face of America.  Yesterday, he announced that he will nominate Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.  A federal appeals judge in New York, she is the daughter of Puerto Rican parents.  Raised in the Bronx, she was educated at Princeton University and edited the Yale University Law Review.  Her professional background exceeds that of Supreme Court Justices before her, including work as a former prosecutor in NY.   Sonia Sotomayor will bring real-world life experience to the decision-making that shapes our nation.

Of course, the politicos and racists are out in number- seeking minutiae to grasp hold of and contort.  It seems that statements indicating her Latino background will enable her to be a more well-rounded, culturally aware decision maker are threatening to some.  There is contention by some that these types of statements present a reverse discrimination of sorts.

Like it or not, the simple fact is that much of white mainstream America, and including all levels of government, is narrow.  Yes, narrow.  The “boys club” (yes, boys club) has been insular.  Within business and government, priorities have been as much about sustaining the status quo and associated turfdoms, as accomplishing progress.  And the focus of the progress that has been accomplished has most often been within the frame of reference of the needs of the white middle and upper middle classes.

In cities, suburbs and towns throughout America, life focus of many people has likewise been insular.  Priorities for personal focus have included:  family, friends, work, God, a new High Definition TV, a vacation, a new SUV-  more-or-less, in that order.  Both awareness of the larger world and America’s role within the world, and awareness of the marginalized citizens within our own nation (the poor, the old, the disabled) has been limited to afterthought, as time permits around the priorities.

This is not to say that white America is without excellence.   Americans, white, black, red and green are known world wide for their strength of character:  generosity,  compassion, loyalty, integrity, honesty, accountability, responsibility, work ethic.  The world has much to learn from America and Americans.  So, too, do Americans have much to learn from the world.  And we have a tremendous advantage:  a multicultural heritage right here in our homeland.

The day when a person believed that they are somehow “better,” because in twist of fate they were born with blue eyes, is over.  Brown eyes bring perspective and breadth of vision to all.  Brown eyes are an equal part of the beauty of America.  Brown eyes make America more beautiful.  The day when laws were created within a vacuum of short-term thinking are over.  There is a larger world, and thankfully, that larger world is here in our homeland.

We can dine in Indian restaurants and listen to the strumming of Citars and Ouds.  We can order Chinese and even roll our own Won Tons.  We can celebrate Cinco De Mayo and Zumba Dance, and enjoy salsa music- even if we don’t have a drop of Hispanic blood in us.  Gyros and Saganaki, with the upbeat melodies of Greek music..  Italian feasts to violins and “Volare”…   Roti and fried plantains to Bob Marley and Reggae…Burger and Fries to “God Bless America” and the sounds of Country and Credence Clearwater… the fabulous grilled meats and date/almond appetizers of Lebanese cuisine to the sounds of lutes and goblet drums…  And my favorite: Vino (just a bit) to Flamenco and World Music-  Caliente.

It is us.  This is the new face of America.  We are all here.  We all belong.  Our governance is finally matching our face.  The crutches of narrow vision are being cast away.   As America assumes and owns its new face comfortably, and encompasses a larger frame of reference with respect to planning and decision making, we retain those characteristics that make us as a people and a nation strong and beautiful:  We are one nation, under God (yes, under God)- with liberty and justice for all.

Sonia Sotomayor is an outstanding choice for our Supreme Court.


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