Today's historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has had a huge impact on Latina staffers. It is yet another concrete reminder that anything is possible. But as we celebrate such a huge leap for both women and Latinos, we are reminded of the uglier side of politics by racist right-wingers like Rush Limbaugh, who discussed Judge Sotomayor on his radio show today and proclaimed, "Do I want her to fail? Yeah. Do I want her to fail to get on the court? Yes. She'd be a disaster on the Court."
Meanwhile, former Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (we dodged a bullet with that one) attempted to stay ahead of the game by releasing an early morning statement to the press which read as follows:
"The appointment of Maria Sotomayor for the Supreme Court is the clearest indication yet that President Obama's campaign promises to be a centrist and think in a bipartisan way were mere rhetoric."
One huge problem there, Mike! Her name isn't Maria. Contrary to popular belief, every Latina in the United States isn't named Maria. We'll forgive you. We're sure you were just watching West Side Story last night in preparation for this statement and got confused.
There have been a host of other mischaracterizations of Sotomayor, including media outlets that have defined Sotomayor's parents as "immigrants." Being that she is of Puerto Rican descent and that those born on the island have been American citizens since that pesky little Spanish/American War ended and Congress made it so in 1917, this definition is 100 percent incorrect. Puerto Ricans who migrate from the island to New York are no more "immigrants" than those who move from one state to another.
This is just another stark reminder that even though we have come so far, there is still a long, long way to go.