Robert Birnbaum of The Morning News has asked Dominican American Julia Alvarez for her thoughts on the brouhaha surrounding President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. This is what she has to say.
I was curious to know what Vermont dairy farmer, Middlebury mentor emeritus, Bread Loaf éminence blithe Alvarez (Saving the World, In the Time of the Butterflies) thought about the Sotomayor nomination. Her response:
…Touré, reviewing Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor, talked about Obama being “a post-black president.” The nation was ready to move beyond the Civil Rights paradigm, he suggested, and become a post black nation…
But are we ready yet for a post-Latino nation? Immigration reform is still in the offing, the new civil rights agenda, as of yet not going anywhere. Interesting that this Supreme Court nomination is bringing this fact to the fore. A post-black president is one thing, but a post-Latina Supreme Court justice? Female and Latina could be the double whammy!
That said, it’s through these processes (as with Obama’s campaign and election) that we find out where we really are as a nation, and in this ongoing experiment we call the United States, we have the possibility of making adjustments. So, I’m hoping Sotomayor proves as capable as Obama in navigating the tricky waters of a whole lingering infrastructure of racism and sexism as she goes through her confirmation hearings.
Meanwhile, it’s interesting to listen to different pundits and politicos round their mouths around all her vowels! It’s a good thing she doesn’t have double r’s in her name that have to be rolled. That could do her in!
For the complete column go to http://birnbaum.themorningnews.org/2009/06/10/julia-alvarez.php