LatinaLista — On the heels of President Obama’s announcement last week of Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee, the American public was subjected to the sad antics of extreme conservative personalities â€” Gingrich, Limbaugh, Coulter, Tancredo â€” who undeniably relish the media spotlight, and sought those extra five minutes of fame by bashing Sotomayor.
As the week went on, charges by these individuals only got more outlandish. Starting with just labeling her as a racist then going on to say she practiced “reverse racism” to finally saying that she belonged to an organization the equivalent of the KKK for Latinos, these individuals exemplified just how low each of them in their own way would go to get a coveted seat before the television camera.
Sadly, in their quest for ratings, each of the major networks and cable news shows have indulged these extremists to the point that now one of the most eminent Latino organizations has to defend itself against an intentional slander by former Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo has equated the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), a 40-year-old civil rights organization, with the Ku Klux Klan. He obviously has not visited the web site and read the history or ALL the different projects, studies, activities and issues that the NCLR has championed â€” or he just doesn’t care.
He seems to be caught up over the word “La Raza” and seems to think that it’s a nasty word. The same as that other word he and his colleagues have taken such great issue with â€” “Latina.”
As the publisher of a site that makes it a point to use the word “Latina” prominently, I can assure you that it’s not a word that is cochina (nasty). It is a descriptor to let readers know that when they read my posts, it is being voiced by a Latina and not an Anglo or an Asian or an African American woman.
While my viewpoint is drawn from my own experiences, that does not say I can’t be fair. Any regular reader knows that just by reading whom I allow to comment. If I wasn’t being fair, I would only allow those who agree with me to comment.
By stating that I am a Latina allows for full transparency on my part. I am naive enough to think that people appreciate that kind of honesty.
It’s an honesty that is hard to come by with Republican rightwingers. Given the exposure on national television that Tancredo received when he made his purposely incendiary remark about NCLR, the organization has not only been forced to set the record straight but finds itself unnecessarily involved in the qualifications debate of Sonia Sotomayor.
Seeing that no major news show has invited representatives from NCLR onto their shows to defend themselves against such slanderous remarks, or better yet have Tancredo face NCLR reps, NCLR has created an online site to condemn the remarks of these people.
After watching the Sunday morning political news interviews, it’s easy to see that Senate Republicans are quickly distancing themselves from these people as well. However, while saying that the terminology used by Limbaugh and the rest are words, as Sen. Sessions said on “Meet the Press,” that he would never use, he, nor his Republican colleagues, have condemned the remarks.
Instead each of them has said that they plan to give Sotomayor a fair hearing.
That is all anyone can ask â€” and has ever expected. Yet the true test will be if members of the Senate Judiciary committee can use their past experiences in vetting other Supreme Court nominees and ask the right questions and end up judging Sotomayor on her own merits and not how others, attempting to influence the process, have labeled her.
I guess it just goes to show there’s no escaping how experience, whatever the source, always has a hand in the decisions we make.