Now that a Wise Latina is a Supreme Court Justice. . .

Early next Saturday morning I will board a plane with my daughter to spend a week in Honduras.  While there, we will be coming along side and under the direction of Hondurans who are developing a free trade coffee co-op to empower their impoverished community.  We will also do educational, social, and spiritual outreach as led by our hosts. 

I have, in the past,  been on similar trips to my adopted community on the fringe of Monterrey, MX.  My sons and my wife have also participated.  From past experiences, I am confident that on this trip my daughter and I will be able to learn lessons from wise Latinas and wise Latinos that we could not have learned from others with out similar experiences.  There are countless lessons I have learned from Latino/as, African-Americans, Hmong, Koreans, Native Americans, Africans, Europeans, and others.  The lessons they taught me were specifically rooted in the life experiences they had had. 

 I congratulate our newest Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. However, I was frustrated listening to all the controversy that arose from some who wished to conserve the old order of things.  As I European-American “white” male I wondered, “why were so many white males so threatened by the thought that someone other than they might come-up with a “better” conclusion?”  Looking over the history of the court I can see plenty of times when various backgrounds might have help this country avoid some of their horrible mistakes. 

Perhaps a wise Latina could have offered the court a dissenting voice on the Indian removal acts.  I’m sure a wise Latina would have viewed the Dred Scot case differently.  I even believe a wise Latina could have helped some white men better understand the real issues of sex, pregnancy and parenthood in the case of Roe v. Wade. 

 I believe the deeper issue is not that Justice Sotomayor said (and even somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that wisdom could come from the experiences of a wise Latina.  The deeper issue that chaffed so many white men (mostly Rushites) is that her wisdom and experiences could give her better insights, at times, than white males.  Those who are used to holding the reigns of control are frequently hostile at the thought of giving up such control.

Now it is true, had a white male said the reverse it would have been a racist comment and would have blown up in the media.  Why?,  because that statement would have only supported the racist status quo of the past 220 years of American history.  For most of our history it has been tacitly, and explicitly, stated that wisdom to make social and political decisions lies solely in the hands of white men with wealth.

 Is it fair that a Latina woman can say something a white man can’t? 

Let me ask a few deeper questions: Are we seeking fairness or justice? 

For the sake of “justice for all” why should we even care? 

I know many of my readers are Christians so to them I ask, following the example of Christ are we not to “lay-down” our rights to power in order to empower others with the gift of God’s love?

Sometime in order to get to real “fairness” we must first sacrifice some control and seek justice.  This is the way of reconciliation and love.

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3 thoughts on “Now that a Wise Latina is a Supreme Court Justice. . .”

  1. Good points, my friend. I pray that one day God will give us the wisdom and the strength to use it that will allow us as a nation and then as a world to understand that all men are created equal. How hard is that concept?
    I like to hear things like the first African American elected president or the first Latina elected to the supreme court but it also hurts my heart that we still, after all these years, have to pay any attention to the race or nationality of someone. It somehow still makes a difference to us.
    Lord, I pray first and foremost that Thy Will Be Done but also that you would reach down and touch the hearts that hate because of race or nationality. I pray that you would show us that we are all one race, the Human Race. Lord take these ridiculous thoughts from our minds so that we can use that energy to help all the peoples of the world to have at least the basic necessities of life. Lord, help us to live up to our potential and to make you proud. Thank you Lord. Amen

  2. congrats on being on the sojo blog, marque!! it was great to see your name there (and to know you were back to writing)

    🙂 elise probasco

  3. hey Marque! Good to know you are still brining stuff up challenging the status quo of this very racially divided Christian community that I seem to belong to. I am so glad to know that God is challenging Christians from many different voices to get over themselves and begin to love people no matter who they are, what they have done, or where they come from

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