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Islandista on the rise: Judge Sonia Sotomayor

Boricua… morena! Boricua… morena!

Here at islandista we get prouder each day as we witness islandistas around the world continuing to show the depth of talent and skill emanating from these tiny isles scattered along the Caribbean sea.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated boricua Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. 

Photo credit: Alex Brandon/AP
Photo credit: Alex Brandon/AP

If she is chosen, Sotomayor will be the first Latina to sit on the highest court in the US and certainly the first Supreme Court Justice of Caribbean descent.

She is currently a federal appellate judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She was first named to a U.S. District Court in 1992 by Bush I and elevated to her current position by President Bill Clinton.

Sotomayor’s parents Celina and Juan both emigrated to the United States from Puerto Rico sometime during World War II. Her father died when she was nine and she actually did not become fluent in English until after his death, because he spoke only Spanish.

However her mother is still alive and Sotomayor credits her with instilling in her the importance of education. Apparently Celina Sotomayor, like many Caribbean mummies, did not ramp when it came to education – Sotomayor said in a previous interview that she had an “almost fanatical emphasis on education” and it was her drive that pushed Sonia to attend first Princeton and then Yale Law School. Judge Sotomayor paid tearful tribute to her mother at the nomination announcement on Tuesday, declaring:

“My heart today is bursting with gratitude for all you have for me. Yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life inspiration. That person is my mother, Celina Sotomayor. My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me. She worked often two jobs to help support us after dad died. I have often said that I am all I am because of her and I am only half the woman she is.”

Sotomayor was raised in a housing project in the South Bronx and like many, many other Caribbean people living in New York City, kept close to her roots.

Her cousin Jose Garcia Baez told the Associated Press that she visits the island once or twice a year, adding:

“She is a typical Puerto Rican. She always has kept in touch with Puerto Rico regardless of the job she has had.”

Of course, the right wing-nuts of the Repug party are already sharpening their claws for Sotomayor. Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh have already rushed in like the fools they are, using their now standard fall-back against any person of colour  and calling Sotomayor a racist, twisting a comment she made years ago and demanding that she withdraw her nomination.

Long… dutty… suck… teeth. They still ent realise what time it is, nuh?


By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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