Since I had already weighed in on the Obama Administration's Supreme Court options a couple of weeks ago in Supreme Court Needs Big Man With Inside Moves, I thought about writing about another topic today, at least until I read yesterday's New York Times article about Sonia Sotomayor. It was a pleasant respite from all of the forensic reporting going on out there that is attempting to take the candidate's life apart, day by day, hour by hour, as if she is a suspect on CSI.
I like her.
Even with all the pictures of Judge Sotomayor circulating on the internet and being shown on TV these days, I still wouldn't know who she was if I ran into her on the street. But I would know, from the way those brown eyes peer out across those broad cheeks, that she is an intelligent and thoughtful woman.
On of the things that stuck out at me as I read the article in the Times was a childhood anecdote about her mother, who always seemed to manage to find another pork chop if an unexpected guest showed up. Maybe this resonated with me because of my own love affair with pork chops, which began in my own childhood. Or maybe it was the way her mother proved to be resourceful in a pinch, the way my own mother was and still is, that immediately made me feel like I had an inside track to understanding Judge Sotomayor's impressionable years.
As I marveled over this common ground of our upbringing, I couldn't help but think of the africano influence that was a part of the Puerto Rican heritage tree.
Another was having a complete edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica in her house when she grew up. The edition that still sits prominently in the center of the bookcase in my parent's house is almost thirty five years old. Short on pictures, and long on precise, exacting descriptions, it was the must have item for families who wanted their children to have the best educational opportunities.
I like her.
My buddy swears that he knows exactly who she is, because he dated a few Puerto Rican women in high school who had the same background. Some of our friends who are black women lawyers are taking the nomination in stride - "we knew he was going to get a hispanic woman over a black woman" - biding their time for "the big payback" President Obama will eventually have to deal with regarding his African American supporters.
I still like her.
The dogfight over her confirmation will begin in earnest in June. By the time the special interest groups have sliced and diced her life's accomplishments into little pieces that they can rearrange to suit their agendas, you may not recognize her. But to me, she will still be the same woman who grew up on a magical supply of pork chops. The woman who studied the same pages of Encyclopaedia Britannica that I did a few years later.
Keep thinking hard, Sonia Sotomayor.