Friday, May 29, 2009

Sotomayor is “unnatural” in English

image It seems that there are those that will simply not cease with their complaints when it comes to Judge Sotomayor.   She is too racist for college drop out  Rush Limbaugh, not intelligent enough for Buchanan and to Spanish for Mark Krikorian.  

According to Krikorian, “Deferring to people's own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits.”  Of course those limitations just happen to be relevant when it comes to the first Latina woman to be nominated for the Supreme Court.   The position she is attempting to hold represents America and therefore insisting on the correct pronunciation of her name is asking way too much.   The US is an assimilationist country and to expect ordinary (read: english speakers) to defer to Spanish pronunciation is to demand special treatment. 

Hiding behind supposed difficulties pronouncing her name is based in ethnocentrism and racism.   It is hardly accidental that those that seem to have the largest issue with Sotomayor are white males.   Mike Huckabee’s famous so-called misfire was laden with his white privilege.   He simply could not help himself from channelling Westside Story when he referred to Sonia as Maria. It’s only natural to think of Latina women as Maria;  it certainly does not come from a place of unacknowledged white privilege.

When Sotomayor is examined all of the racist constructions of Latina women quickly become actionable.   The loud, whining and crying of these over privileged white men has its basis in fear.  They have become accustomed to exploiting and devaluing WOC at will and to see one rise to the top of her profession, despite all of the blockades placed in her way is threatening to them.  To debase her, or her accomplishments is to maintain Whiteness and its so called fitness to lead.  As the racial balance continues to shift the fear and the panic from White men who have become accustomed to the ability to wield power will only magnify.  2050 is coming and with it the chickens just might decide to come home to roost.

On Limbaughs show he stated the following:

Here you have a racist — you might want to soften that, and you might want to say a reverse racist. The libs, of course, say that minorities cannot be racists because they don’t have the power to implement their racism. Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power. … Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he’s appointed one.”

It is not Sotomayor that is unnatural but the systemic racism and sexism that allows some to profit off of the exploitation of others.  These isms have only become normalized in our discourse because of  the previous inability of POC to check the hegemony of elite white men.  In their resistance these  men lie and twist facts in the full knowledge that the crimes that they have committed and continue to commit are harmful.  Fear of a loss power and fear of retribution will continue to spur their actions, which only reveals their level of desperation.  Might does not equal right and the time is fast approaching when POC will get out due. 



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