I was driving in my car today, listening to NPR (as usual), when the program was interrupted for live coverage of President Obama's first nomination to the Supreme Court. The first Hispanic ever, and a woman at that, Sonia Sotomayor is his nominee. I was truly elated and proud today. Yes, when Obama won the election, I like many was moved by the profoundness of our nation's election of a black president. But being Hispanic, today's event struck me to the core. I later heard a commentator say: "I cannot overstate what an important event this is for the Latino community." He was right, it is such a monumental moment that it cannot be overstated. This is our moment. Even more moving, was Sonia's story, because afterall, she could have been a Hispanic woman who had come from an already established family, in the way Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN is a formidable black woman who has acheived greatness, but who had educated parents and lots of mentors along the way, i.e. Madeleine Albright is one of her mother's best friends.
Sonia, like president Obama himself, did not have an easy road. Her parents were immigrants, her illiterate father died when she was nine years old, and she grew up in "the projects." Her mother often worked two jobs, but made sure her children attended Catholic schools. Today her brother is a successful physician and she is soon to be a Supreme Court Justice. These are the American stories that give me inspiration. Inspiration to pursue my dreams and challenge myself to not rest so comfortably where I am right now. She is living proof that, in this country, anyone can acheive anything.
I was taken by her acceptance speech when she said that never in her wildest dreams had she dreamt of becoming a judge in the highest court of our land. Little girls from poor neighborhoods rarely dream these kinds of dreams. Yet, here she was, standing next to a black, orphaned boy, the President of the United States.
I am proud to be a Hispanic woman today, I am more proud to be an American.