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Hispanic Community Reacts to Sotomayor Nomination

May 27, 2009

At the New York Times, the reaction by Hispanics to the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is discussed. There is, of course, a great deal of pride in the historic nomination. But also a more measured response that reflects a hesitancy to reach broader conclusions about the role of the Hispanic community in America based on the success, however great, of just one person. An excerpt:

In restaurants, homes and offices across the country, Hispanics responded to Judge Sotomayor’s selection with a puff of pride, some gratitude and considerable discussion. In interviews in Miami, Los Angeles and New York, many said this kind of recognition from Washington — Democratic or Republican — was long overdue given the growing size of the Hispanic voting bloc.
The hope, they said, is that her hardscrabble life and accomplishments will add prestige to the public image and self-image of Hispanics.
“This is a Jackie Robinson moment,” said Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, the first Dominican elected to the New York Legislature. “Puerto Ricans, who have been Hispanic pioneers in so many fields in this country, have broken another barrier for all of us.”

[…]

“There’s not going to be this enormous outpouring of ethnic triumph,” said Roberto Suro, the author of “Strangers Among Us: Latino Lives in a Changing America.”
Rather, Mr. Suro said, Judge Sotomayor’s selection represents one significant step toward recasting the way Hispanics are viewed.

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