Tag Archives: Latin

Her Honor: A Portrait of Justice Soñia Sotomayor

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Justice Sonia SotomayerLatina Magazine/Shani Saxon-Parrish—America has never before met a wise Latina like Soñia Sotomayor. Latina contributor and former Editor-in-Chief Sandra Guzmán offers the first glimpse of the woman behind the robe in this exclusive profile of the newly minted Supreme Court justice.

Here is an excerpt from this fascinating story:

I first met Soñia in 1998, after she had been sworn in as a federal judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. I was the Editor-in-Chief of Latina, and a mutual friend, New York attorney Lee Llambelis, suggested that Sotomayor was someone I should meet since I’d probably want to write an article on her (which appeared in our March 1999 issue). Sotomayor’s life story not only inspired readers, but also captivated me.

Since then, we’ve been to each other’s homes for dinner and shared many sweet, honest and confidential conversations. A doting hostess, she puts together cheese platters, makes tasty salads and hooks up a mean churrasco with a tangy lemon marinade. This past spring, she promised to share some of her culinary secrets, so we set a date to fire up the grill in her small yet superb two-bedroom condo in the heart of NYC’s Greenwich Village. Soñia thought things would finally slow down for her by the summer—but that’s when things really started heating up.

During those grueling confirmation hearings in July, Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Jeff Sessions and Jon Kyl dissected her now-famous “wise Latina” phrase, uttered during an inspirational lecture to Latino law students at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law in 2001.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Soñia Sotomayor in the Justices’ Conference Room on Aug 8, 2009. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the new Associate Justice, holds the family Bible during the ceremony.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts, administers the Constitutional Oath to Judge Soñia Sotomayor in the Justices’ Conference Room on Aug 8, 2009. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor, the mother of the new Associate Justice, holds the family Bible during the ceremony

The senators aggressively argued that her remarks proved she would bring bias and a liberal agenda to the bench. But Sotomayor repeatedly explained that her comments were part of a regrettable “rhetorical flourish that fell flat.” “I want to state up front, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any ethnic, racial or gender group has an advantage in sound judging,” she said. She added that she was simply trying “to inspire young Hispanics, Latino students and lawyers to believe that their life experiences added value to the process.’’

As the new personification of an intellectual rock star, Sotomayor has been inundated with interview requests—from Vogue to Newsweek, El País to Le Monde. But the new justice has yet to agree to a sit-down, aside from one she granted C-Span for a documentary on the Supreme Court. When I asked about a formal interview for this magazine, she told me, “I am not doing interviews and have said no to everyone. I do not want to be seen as having favorites.”

She did, however, agree to have her portrait taken for the cover and inside pages. And she went as far as granting me her blessing: “You will have to write based on our history together.”

And that’s exactly what I’ve done.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Change, Creepy right-wing antics, Culture, Entertainment, Hispanic/Latino/Latina, Justice Sonya Sotomayer, Law, Magazines, New York, New York, NY, Partisan Politics, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Presidents, Republicans, Supreme Court, Uncategorized, US, Washington, DC, Women's Issues

A Dog Dances Way Better Than Tom Delay

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLayJust sayin…and the dog works for bacon and doesn’t have any of those pesky legal bills. ;-)

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CNN Can’t Have It Both Ways — Lou Dobbs vs. Latino In America

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Basta Lou Dobbs: Enough is Enough!

Translation:  Hypocrisy: CNN releases documentary "Latino in America" while Hispanics around the country protest against the anti-Latino propaganda of Lou Dobbs

Translation: Hypocrisy: CNN releases documentary "Latino in America" while Hispanics around the country protest against the anti-Latino propaganda of Lou Dobbs

New York Times/Brian Stelter—Instead of being simply a draw for Hispanic viewers, CNN’s four-hour documentary, “Latino in America,” turned into a political rallying cry for activist groups who are calling on the cable news channel to fire Lou Dobbs, a veteran anchor with well-known views on immigration.

An array of minorities held small protests in New York and other cities on Wednesday, the first night of CNN’s presentation. They are trying to highlight what they say are years of lies about immigration by Mr. Dobbs, who anchors the 7 p.m. hour on CNN.

Civil Rights Lawyer Isabel Garcia

Civil Rights Lawyer Isabel Garcia

CNN, a unit of Time Warner, has not commented on the protests or covered them on its news programs. Isabel Garcia, one of the activists featured in the documentary said she tried to raise what she called Mr. Dobbs’s “hatred” on one of the channel’s news programs Wednesday, but her remarks were cut from the interview.

The hypocrisy, critics say, lies in CNN’s decision to woo Hispanic viewers with a prime-time documentary while still giving Mr. Dobbs a nightly forum. Roberto Lovato, a founding member of Presente.org, a Latino advocacy group, said in a statement, “We won’t allow the network to court us as viewers while, at the same time, they allow Dobbs to spread lies and misinformation about us each night.”

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Latino In America” Not The Ratings Hit “Black In America” Was

Soledad O'Brian and Eva Longoria Parker

Soledad O'Brian and Eva Longoria Parker

Huffington Post/Danny Shea—CNN’s “Latino in America” received a lot of attention, particularly from observers interested in the discord between the special and Lou Dobbs’ perceived anti-immigration stance.

The attention wasn’t enough to make it a ratings hit, however.

The two-part special, which aired Wednesday and Thursday nights from 9-11 PM, drew significantly fewer viewers than the summer’s “Black in America,” and led the network to third place in both total viewers and the A25-54 demographic both nights.

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In his piece, The Dobbs Factor, blogger Matt Yglesias writes:

Immigrants Rally In Lou Dobbs Masks

Immigrants Rally In Lou Dobbs Masks

“Dobbs has a long history of spreading hate and paranoia. He has routinely discussed the North American Union conspiracy theory, incorrectly claimed that undocumented immigrants drain social services and don’t pay taxes, and repeatedly amplified the falsehood that undocumented immigrants are disproportionately violent. He has been an unrepentant purveyor of hateful attacks, fraudulently claiming, for example, that immigrants are spreading leprosy and seek to reconquer the southwestern United States.

For all that, if CNN wants to stand by Dobbs then, fine, they should stand by Dobbs. But if they want to stand by Dobbs then they should stand by Dobbs and feature him prominently in their four-hour “Latino in America” documentary. After all, from what you can see watching the network day-to-day the executives at CNN think Dobbs has a credible and important perspective on this issue. Instead, they just kind of want to sweep the crazy uncle under the rug for the purposes of a big special, and then trot him back out again when everything’s back to normal.”

Lou Dobbs and his wife Debi, in the kitchen of their New Jersey farmhouse.

Lou Dobbs and his wife Debi, in the kitchen of their New Jersey farmhouse.

In a 2007 60 Minutes interview, Leslie Stahl got a chance to talk to both Lou and Debi Dobbs who have been married for over 25 years:

Lesley, I have worked with migrant workers in the fields. I’m probably one of the few people in the debate who actually has. I’ve got the greatest respect for those folks. Hard-working, decent, and back-breaking work,” Dobbs tells Stahl.

If that pat on the back is surprising, given the tone of his show, there’s something even more surprising, something he never brings up: the fact that his wife Debi is Mexican-American.

When he is criticized, as he has been, and even accused of being racist as he has been, what goes on inside of you?” Stahl asks Debi Dobbs.

It used to bother me. But now, it doesn’t bother me at all. I know he’s not. People that know him know he’s not. Sometimes I find it amusing,” she replies.

Who Is BastaDobbs.com?

bastadobbsphoto1BastaDobbs.com exists to change how the media reports on Latinos and immigrants in the United States, starting with the worst offenders: Lou Dobbs and his network, CNN. We focus on Lou Dobbs because he, more than any other media personality, has obsessed about and given voice to the most extreme views about immigrants and Latinos. And yet, because CNN refuses to translate Dobbs into Spanish, too few Latinos and immigrants are even aware of the role he plays in spreading fear and hatred in our communities.

***Update***

NJ Law Enforcement Appear to Contradict Dobbs’ Version of Gunfire Incident

New Jersey state police seem to be contradicting CNN Host Lou Dobbs’ account of a gunfire incident near his Sussex County, New Jersey, house.

lou-dobbsOn Monday on his radio show, Dobbs stated that “my wife has now been and I have been shot at.” The alleged incident, which Dobbs had reported to the New Jersey State Police, took place three weeks prior to the October 26 broadcast of the Lou Dobbs Show, and Dobbs told his listeners that it had “followed weeks and weeks of threatening phone calls.” Dobbs’ discussion of the incident during his radio show also included mention of both longtime critic and FOX host Geraldo Rivera and the immigrant advocacy organizations calling for his removal from CNN including the National Council of La Raza, America’s Voice and other “ethnocentric interest groups.”

Without specifying who he suspects of making the alleged threats, he also said on his radio show that “They’ve threatened my wife, they’ve now fired a shot at my house while my wife was standing next to the car.” Concluding with a call for “truth, justice and the American way,” Dobbs cautioned “if anybody thinks that we’re not engaged in the battle for the soul of this country right now, you’re sorely mistaken.” And during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Dobbs spoke again about the gunfire incident, linking it to “threatening phone calls tied to the positions I’ve taken on illegal immigration.”

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BastaDobbs.com teamed with award-winning filmmaker Arturo Perez to make a powerful new video

Laura Flanders of GRIT TV interviews Roberto Lovato of Presente.org and New America Media, Erica Gonzalez of El Diario/La Prensa, and Cathy Areu of Catalina magazine and the Washington Post magazine. The panel discusses ignored Latino issues, from the 2010 Census to the general strike in Puerto Rico, the continued standoff in Honduras and the way the mainstream media equates “Latino” with “immigrant.”

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Celebracion! In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina (Full PBS Video)

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Celebracion! White House Holds In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina

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Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Comedian George Lopez, actress Eva Longoria Parker and actor Jimmy Smits were last night's hosts

Tuesday night the President and First Lady hosted the third installment of the White House Music Series, this one celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Fiesta Latina brought some of the country’s best Latin music performers to the White House, including: Mark Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Jose Feliciano, Pete Escovedo, Thalía, Tito “El Bambino,” Aventura, Los Lobos and Sheila E., with hosts Jimmy Smits, Eva Longoria and George Lopez.

In his remarks at the event, President Barack Obama said of the genre: “In the end, what makes Latin music great is the same thing that’s always made America great — the unique ability to celebrate our differences while creating something new.”

Enjoy some snapshots from “In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina” and in case you missed the livestream, you can still catch the program on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 8 p.m. ET on PBS stations nationwide (check your local listings).

Videoclip de la Casa Blanca Fiesta Latina

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