July 17th, 2009
12:16 PM ET

'Wise Latinas'

David Puente
AC360° Producer

After so many questions about it, Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s now famous “wise Latina” quote will likely not keep her off the Supreme Court. All indications from Capitol Hill point to her confirmation as the 111th person to sit on that court next week.

Her quote got me thinking, and although I know the role of women is paramount in all ethnic groups, all societies throughout history, I can attest to the great tradition behind Judge Sotomayor’s words where I grew up.

Throughout my youth I was surrounded by hard working, dedicated, intelligent and wise, very wise Latinas. The women of my childhood’s immigrant neighborhood played a strong and central role in family and in community.

Today I look up to some wise Latinas who are my friends and fellow journalists – Rossana Rosado, CEO of El Diario La Prensa, our country’s oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper, and Mariela Dabbah, who specializes in writing about education and motivation.

CNN Español correspondent Adriana Hauser, spoke to Rosado, Dabbah and other wise Latinas about the wise Latinas in their lives…watch the video.

Follow David on Twitter @puenteac360.

Filed under: David Puente • Sonia Sotomayor
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Mariela Dabbah

    Thanks David for posting this clip in CNN in English to expand this dialog that has began with a comment from judge Sotomayor. Amazing that Mark from Saint Louis thinks her name is SotomEyEr after the amount of publicity she's been getting, but then again, I guess you can clearly see by his comment that he feels threatened by people who are not the "common white guy" so he probably feels they don't even deserve getting their last name spelled correctly.

    July 17, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  2. Joyce S.

    I taught for 30 years.My experiences as a former sharecropper,the tough struggle of paying for a college education truly shaped my life.Did I bring an understanding of poverty to my classrooms and students?Did I bring a silent bias towards my wealthy students? In all honesty,my 30 years were spent in teaching,caring,listening and mentoring all of my students.I think Sonia Sotoamayor will be able to rule on each case based on the foundation of the Constitution.

    July 17, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  3. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    Judge Sotomayor, is a woman, that's a plus & she's from N.Y. Bronox, that's another big plus, & she is very smart, & to top it off she's a Borricua,it all equals = wise Latina
    Let's get real, men -vs- women, of course Women. Spice or No Spice, of course with Spice.

    July 17, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  4. Jason

    Mark, you missed the point completely, but from your post, that doesn't surprise me.

    Judge Sotomayor did not make that comment at the expense of the common white guy. Her comment was strictly meant to motivate and empower other Latinas in the legal field.

    Quotas and affirmative action are only necessary as long as there as institutional impediments to everyone having an equal opportunity to succeed. The legacies of Jim Crow segregation, race riots, and "urban" renewal brought the nation to where we are today.

    July 17, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  5. Jim,

    King Solomon wrote" I have found one man wise in a thousand but none
    among 1000 women"

    July 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  6. Dawn

    "The minorities should earn your way up the ladder of success without having to use quotas or bias."

    Minorities would be happy to do so, sadly there is still bias that prevents earning our way up the ladder of success. It's far more common than many realize and most would be willing to admit. Her comment wasn't at the expense of the common white guy, as if empowering Latinas (or any other minority for that matter) would be a detriment to society.

    July 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  7. Lampe

    Beverly: Give me a break. Have you ever watched a confirmation Hearing,for SCJ, when it was a Republican Pick? Well I have. The same crap happens to the otherside. Dems do it, repubs do it. Does it make it right, or do I agree with it? NO! But, it is what it is. Can you all please STOP making this about something it is not. What do you think would have happened if a White Man had made the same remarks? If it is not right for one group of Americans, than it should not be right for all.

    July 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  8. Barbara-Dalton

    I am sure the remark has been taken out of context. Truth of the matter is we are all molded, shaped, and affected by our background and there is nothing wrong with that. I for sure know what it is like to have experienced discrimation because I am female and I have
    had my share of wondering how I was going to manage what little money that was available but that does not mean I cannot be fair
    and could not render a good judgement.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  9. Beverly

    as usual, the republicans making a mountain out of a molehill. look at the men their president put on the SC.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  10. prosperit_e

    I took her comment as an expression of Latina pride, nothing more.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  11. yvonne

    wise latinas–is that a joke!

    July 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  12. Floyd Watson

    I personlly can't understand why there is so much discussion about the "wise latina" comment. I understood the remark, and felt is was true in the context from which it was taken.

    I think these Republican senators are having issue with it because there may be a little more truth to it, as it applies to them. I certainly feel more confident of Ms. Sotomayor being chosen for the Supreme Court than most of the other men that are on it. I think she will add a new dimension to the thinking on the high court....could that be because of her background?

    July 17, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  13. Tammy, Houma, LA

    I think all of us fortunate enough to be raised by those wise immigrant matriarchs and their daughters and granddaughters have a unique experience of work ethic, love, family, and God that white Anglo men whose families have been here for generations will never get. We understand not fitting in because of ethnicity. We get being the underdog and having to break barriers of gender and image to make our lives and those of our children successful. I'm third generation Sicilian-American on my mom's side, and I fully understand Judge Sotmayor's comment. While I may not agree with all of her decisions on the bench, America really is lucky to get that wise Latina and her experience.

    July 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Mark from Saint Louis

    I don't mind the concept of wise Latinas, I'm happy to see them succeed, just as all wise people should be able to succeed. I am disgusted though at the way Sotomeyer brought it to the forefront of our culture at the expense of the common white guy. The minorities should earn your way up the ladder of success without having to use quotas or bias. Now, that would truly be an accomplishment.

    July 17, 2009 at 1:51 pm |