Si se puede…que?

Sonya Sotomayor, the first Latina supreme court justice, was sworn in today, amidst cries from the Latino community of “Si se puede!” (“Yes we can!”). This cry is a traditional triumphant cry in Spanish, having the cultural undertones similar to “We will overcome!” It’s a phrase laced with racial meaning.

So let me ask you this, amigos. Si se puede que? What can you do that you could not do before? Now that there is a Supreme Judge, can you judge your own culture from a new light? Can you see its flaws and its strengths, and present them to the rest of the world in a mutually beneficial way? Can you now educate the poor immigrant, can you now teach them English so that they can get a better job? Do you now have the moral authority to keep your kids off drugs and out of gangs? Does this event allow you to tell kids not to get pregnant at a young age and not be hypocrites because instead of being a flawed role model yourself you can point to Ms. Sotomayor and say “Don’t do what I did; be like her!” Can you now allow yourself to integrate into American society and feel comfortable that it’s not us against them in power? You should have done these things all along!

I suppose every populace needs its Moses, and maybe Ms. Sotomayor, with all her flaws, is that leader that la raza was waiting for. I’m inclined, as many of you know, to be a pessimist and say it’s all the media. However, I think I’ll be optimistic on this one and say that even if it is just the media hyping this story, or even if it is silly to wait for such a leader (one who has very little contact with the people, at that!) to decide to empower your race to live responsible lives, I really hope that good will come of this. Frankly, I don’t care who your leader is or the fact that you need to be the leader in your own home and community rather than wait for someone else to do it. But I do care that it gets done.

Si, siempre se podia, y si, se puede siempre, con la gracia de Dios.

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One Response

  1. I think it probably just means “Yes, Hispanics are capable of being placed in positions of national level authority and honor.” and that is probably a pretty big deal for them, proving that they’re capable.

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