June 6, 2009

"National Review's Wise Latina Caricature Inexplicably Asian."

Brian Beutler says the magazine's editors seem "flummoxed by the very idea of a 'wise Latina' — have caricaturized the Puerto Rican-descended Sonia Sotomayor as an Asian Buddhist."



What was the National Review thinking? Possibilities:

1. The Buddha in meditation is a quick visual representation of wisdom... and specifically the kind of wisdom that is inappropriate for a Supreme Court Justice, since the Buddha is not consulting texts but looking inward (or at nothing or whatever) and generating new wisdom. Even if she is wise, we don't want that wisdom. We want competence operating in the orthodox judicial mode of reading, analyzing, and interpreting the law as it is written.

2. Americans usually think of the Buddha as fat, and it's a way of calling her fat. Just a free-floating insult — to both Sotomayor and the Buddha.

3. The Buddha is a male, and it's a way of suggesting that Sotomayor is insufficiently feminine and perhaps even lesbian.

4. She's other and all those other groups may be blended together and viewed as threatening to the American way of life.

Let's hope it's #1.

130 comments:

Roger Sweeny said...

The Americans who were here before Columbus descended from people who had recently come over from Asia, so a "full-blooded Mexican" is in some ways Asian. Of course, a person from Puerto Rico may have an ancestry that is completely European. But, hey, they're all "hispanics."

Ah, what a tangled ethnic web we weave when we try to divide all of humanity into few enough boxes to count on one hand.

EnigmatiCore said...

I have never thought of introspective, fat, lesbian Buddahs as being "threatening to the American way of life," so I am personally going to discount the possibility of #4.

traditionalguy said...

The "thinkers/intellectuals" just cannot allow Sotomayor's mixture of a sensitive and caring whole woman with her educational and life history, which totally outshines theirs, to go undestroyed. That cover reminds me of the "Evil Japs" caricatures following Pearl Harbor. The national Review seems to feel surprise attacked by Sonia.

michael farris said...

My bet is 4.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Is that Obama peeking at the scene in glee from the corner? I think that speaks more to the intention of the artwork than anything else.

I would be interested to know how anyone else would go about depicting someone as wise other than depicting them as Buddha.

P. S. (I think a colon is needed after Brian Beutler's name)

Tex the Pontificator said...

Upon seeing the picture and before reading the comments, my take was essentially number 1. Buddha can be taken as a symbol of wisdom. I don't think you need to probe more deeply than that.

SMGalbraith said...

If a liberal/left publication - The Nation, New Republic - had run the same caricature, would there be any criticism? Would anyone have even noticed it?

Anyone at all?

Case dismissed.

Judge and jury, I am.

dbp said...

The Corner would suggest #1 is what they were going for:

Huff Post on the Case Too [Rich Lowry]

An outraged Huffington Post says we "perplexingly" depict Sotomayor in an Asian manner—apparently not entirely getting the Buddha reference, or Buddha's association with wisdom. Can they really be this clueless?

rhhardin said...

It seems like a readiness to be offended looking for an offense.

The only unusual thing is how many ready-to-be-offended groups it attracts.

All it does is attract attention to the NR issue, which otherwise I would never have heard of.

Chip Ahoy said...

No, an introspective, fat, lesbian Buddha is not "threatening to the American way of life."

But one, if she were one, which she's not -- this is just a cartoon satire based on something she said and reinforced by her own repetition -- could possibly be threatening to American law if it were taken seriously, which apparently it is.

But I object to all this racial sturm und drang, but not to cartoons which are just so amusing. What do we want from the ultimate Supreme Court justice anyway? A computer loaded with the law library and fitted with a program of algorithm to sort it all?

Though I do relate to this particular objection that the partisan Right is making. Once I had an employee under my supervision challenge that I was unable to understand poor people from another race because my family was not poor nor Latino. Such a quaint thing to say to my esteemed self. My answer to her was if that were true then I would be unable to understand anything that I wasn't raised up in, and as it happens I am capable of understanding things that I myself have not actually lived, like deafness. (She had been waiting for a deaf employee to leave my office.) But all this seemed like such an odd challenge to make coming as it did from someone who didn't even speak Spanish. The Right can drive this point as far as they like, and apparently they are, but they are unlikely to get much mileage out of it and nothing beyond having made their point.

AllenS said...

Remember when Firedoglake painted Sen. Joseph Lieberman in blackface?

SMGalbraith said...

A computer loaded with the law library and fitted with a program of algorithm to sort it all?



No, we don't want - or can even have (at least now) robots ruling on the law. Judges are human and they can't escape their skin (no pun intended).

It is one thing to acknowledge the subjective nature of the enterprise; it is another to argue that the subjective nature is to be embraced and celebrated and, most important, that there are innate superior qualities of one race, ethnicity or gender over others making these rulings.

Anyway, what is the "wise Latina" experience? I have me many Latin women - some wise, some not.

But all unique and different.

There is no more "wise Latinas" then there are "wise white men." All are different people who see the world based on their own unique experiences and perspectives.

bearbee said...

5. The loose fitting off-the-shoulder robe relieves our American narrow-mindedness that she may be inappropriately groping herself.

In the 19th century Puerto Rico had large scale Chinese immigration.

When I first saw her picture I thought she had strong Asiatic features.

Should I apologize?

TitusAlreadyPinchedTwiceToday said...

It looks like Kathryn Jean Lopez from National Review.

I love Katey Joe. A young, exciting face and voice for the republican movement.

Katey Joe is absolutely the best.

For the life of me I can't understand why she hasn't found a man yet.

-Peder said...

Another possibility, you can't caricature a minority (at least a liberal one) without being called racist.

TitusAlreadyPinchedTwiceToday said...

What I find so brave and admirable about Katey Joe is that she stands firm against gay marriage yet is able to live in Chelsea.

And she has the gay horror stories to prove what hell it has been for her to live in Chelsea. For that she deserves Two Snaps Up, Way Up!.

Love her.

Some straighty needs to snatch (I said snatch) her up.

Lem said...

The ominous bar code on the lower right could detent and perhaps even compromise the desired effect of the caricature.

Both representations side by side and yet could not be further apart.

(no titus i said detent - not dedetented ;)

elHombre said...

Obviously, it's number one.

And, lo siento mucho, Tita, what caricature would have been recognizable and appropriate for a "wise Latina woman," Frida Kahlo? Evita?

Rose said...

Don't forget the 'progressive' photographer's depictions of McCain - the one who got fired - what was her name?

As for this characterization, it does look like her, and I'd theorize it is #1. And I probably wouldn't have used that artwork.

Free speech is free speech and I don't object to her brash statements about a 'wise Latina woman' - it's funny, in context, I am sure, and part of her schtick and bravado. It's her apparent belief that she gets to 'make policy' as a judge that is a real problem.

I hate that, when it comes to a vote, you see party line votes even on the SCOTUS. That should not happen.

Bob Sacamano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

Agree with Tex that it's #1 with much less brain strain. If you're looking for a universally recognized symbol of wisdom, what were the alternatives? Judge Sotamayor is anything but Blind Justice, according to her critics. An image of King Solomon threatening to split the baby could easily get sidetracked into another discussion. Buddha is the best of an imperfect lot. BTW, speaking as an Asian American, I am not offended at all by the image, although perhaps Hispanics have a greater right to grievance--these rules are confusing to non-whites too!

former law student said...

A comment on one of the feminist blogs points out that the lotus flowers are not lotus flowers, but stylized vaginas.

ricpic said...

Sonia's listening to her inner Tito Puente.

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

Me? I would have made Judge Sotomayor into a wise old owl.

What the heck. Let’s throw in some sound effects: Whoochey Whoochey!!!

Jason (the commenter) said...

Bissage : Me? I would have made Judge Sotomayor into a wise old owl.

I'm sure Brian Beutler would say depicting her as a bird is sexist.

Maguro said...

How insensitive. Hispanics should only be caricatured with Hispanic props - chihuahuas, sombreros, cans of refried beans, kilos bags of cocaine, etc.

Sotomayor should demand a re-caricature.

SGT Ted said...

I see it as an example of how twisted in knots libs will get in the noverending effort to paint conservatives as racists. Nevermind Joe Leiberman in blackface fellating W or Condaleeza Rice being called Ws "House Nigger". Leftwingers have no credibility or moral superiority in this matter whatsoever.

ddh said...

You guys, including Ann, totally missed it, and the evidence is before your eyes. The caricature shows Judge Sottomayor as a bodhisattva, one of those great souls of Mahayana Buddhism who delay achievement of nirvana so that they may guide others to enlightenment.

traditionalguy said...

New Yoricans do seem to have a wisdom that comes from living in a world City that manages to bring the best out of the many cultural traditions that have come and settled there. Using the Asian meme, they are like Hong Kong citizens as compared to mainland Chinese. They are familiar with using the British style of government yet they also retain the Chinese perspective of living in a 4000 year old culture. That is precisely the wisdom that Sotomayor flaunts. Her test now is to use that wisdom to endure the coming attacks from mainland Americans. She will do fine. The question is whether her attackers are falling for the bait and creating a "Bloody Shirt" for the Obama Boys to waive at the Hispanic jury next election cycle.

SMGalbraith said...

Is there any caricature that National Review could have done that wouldn't have been attacked as racist by the left?

Of course not.

It is passing strange (whatever that means) that a person who apparently believes in the "inherent physiological superiority" of one race over the other when making rulings is being defended by people with such racial sensitivities.

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you meet the Living Constitution on the road, kill it.

Eric said...

This is reaching even for the 10-micron-resolution detectors of racial blasphemy liberals seem to employ. It's #1. Duh.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garage mahal said...

I don't think it's racist, and neither do I see anyone "outraged" or calling it racist either. I heard alot of conservatives call her a racist, but I'm wondering where all this supposed outraged and racism from "the left" is located. Anyone?

Parker Smith said...

I think I'm learning more about the people commenting about Sotomayor than I am about her.

And as to an owl caricature - Hooters girl?

That would play against the whole fat lesbian thing (not that there's anything wrong with that).

And you'd get hot wings - so, you know, it's all good.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I think they were going for Buddha in lotus land. Inwardly looking at the true wisdom denied the rest of the world. All the little woodland creatures crowd around the wise Latina in wonder and worship. Everything is perfect in the La La Lotus land of the Wise Latina.

The halo behind her head looks like a shadow of Obama's noggin.

I don't think there was a fat insult as the caricature of her face represents her face, and she has a plump face. IF they wanted to insult her as fat, her Buddha body would have been fat and it isn't in the drawing.

Lem said...

Notice the ice behind Sotomayor.

In The day after tomorrow (2004) the end of days comes via an ice age.

But have no fear my friends. The Latin Buddha like the Chinese tank man will stop global warming on it's tracks ;)

Lem said...

The animals feel safe enough to approach.

Safe from who? from hunters? the NRA?

Fred4Pres said...

Wouldn't something like this be better?

SGT Ted said...

garage: That's because when someone makes many speeches about how "Wise Latinas" will make better decisions than white men and have inherently richer lives solely because of their being a Latina, it pretty much points out a attitude of superiority based on race.
She sounds kinda like Pat Buchanan talking about White American culture being superior. Both are wretchedly bigoted based on racial categories.

SteveR said...

Pick #1 or you'll set off the idiot detector, which I assume was part of the reason to use it.

Big Mike said...

Or, #5, maybe they were just making fun of her. People who characterize themselves as "wise" seldom are.

babsheep300 said...

5. She thinks she is Budda, i.e. she believes she is wiser than the American masses and we should therefore respect and follow her rulings. This is nothing more than poking fun at the typical elitist mentality of progressives; "your" values are obsolete and bad, "my" values are progressive and good. She has spent nearly two decades attempting to support that view.

SMGalbraith said...

She sounds kinda like Pat Buchanan talking about White American culture being superior.

Hmm, but she's not talking exclusively about culture.

She's talking about "inherent physiological" qualities.

That's not acquired (culture); that's inherited (genetic).

Troubling.

Pogo said...

I'm sure all 82 readers of the National Review get it.

And sure, it's a Buddha linked to the word "wise", as in 'wiser than white males,' but there has got to be something racist about making a latina look asian, right?

It's like some double secret racism, a gordian knot of subtleties, hiding racist images in non-racist images.

And if you hold the cover up to the light, it contains a hidden image of an ad for hiking boots, surely a reference to lesbianism, and the phrase Drink more Ovaltine, a sly reference to illegal immigration.

jdeeripper said...

It is difícil to come up with any association of Puerto Rican and "wise".

And Sotomayor doesn't look the least bit Asian, right?

The former President of Peru. Looking very inexplicably Asian.

Let's hope it's #1.

Oh yes, PLEASE. Let's hold hands and pray that the cartoon doesn't reflect the deep seated pathologies of White Anglo, Eurocentric, xenophobic racism, sexism and homophobia. This is the Age of Obama after all.

traditionalguy said...

Run down the check list that Sotomayor actually passes with flying colors and compare that with the attack poster attributes: (1)She is a Christian in a Christian country...not a Buddhist,(2) She is a New York wise ass in a wise ass country....Not a sweet little maid, and (3) she is a caucasian in a majority caucasian country...Not from a Hispanic-roid Race. Have we no decency left in conservative circles now using the mantle of Jim Buckley's magazine that I have enjoyed reading for the last 40 years?

Bissage said...

Regarding my 9:52:

You know what? I meant "who" like "who is it?" but an owl says "hoo" like Parker said. Whoochey could be read as Wooochi.

So let’s change it to “Hoochey Hoochey.”

Close enough? Cuchi cuchi ≈ hoochey hoochey?

Damn, getting the spelling write is pritty tuff!

kentuckyliz said...

It's not racist. They're portraying her as a wisdom figure. Duh.

I am the Wise Caucasiana.

I am classy.

If I really went about claiming those things about myself, I deserve to be mocked in caricature.

Auguste said...

Also a completely non-racist cartoon.

Beth said...

No, Pogo - Drink More Ovaltine is a sly, Second Amendment reference.

TitusAlreadyPinchedTwiceToday said...

She has taken quite a bit of scorn though.

Michael McNeil said...

traditionalguy says:
Have we no decency left in conservative circles now using the mantle of Jim Buckley's magazine that I have enjoyed reading for the last 40 years?

You mean William F. Buckley Jr., whom you obviously know so well?

Prosecutorial Indiscretion said...

When I saw it, it seemed obvious that they were going for #1. I can't think of an image that would better depict wisdom than the Buddha.

William said...

Well, of course it is #1. The other reactions are an example of the dexterity of the left in finding racist or sexist thinking latent in the most deserved criticism. Sotomayor made a stupid remark and deserves to be ridiculed for it. That's the way the in group enforces its norms on the out group. This is sometimes called assimilation....Sotomayor deserves some stings and barbs. The attempt to reduce those casting those stings as being ignorant rednecks is itself an example of bigoted thinking. It's a way of the out group enforcing its norms on the in group. This is sometimes called dissimulation.....When I was young I had a severe case of freckles. I knew what it was like to grow up both dark and white in a world populated by monotones. Freckled people despite, or perhaps because of their bitter experiences among the unocomplected, have learned not just wisdom, but also silence and cunning. Sotomayor's lack of silence and cunning on an inflamnatory subject suggests a lack of wisdom. If I were to brag about the superior wisdom of the freckled, I think I would encounter the same amount of criticism that Sotomayor has....And if you think the right's criticism of Sotomayor is harsh, just wait and see how the left will attack her if she should someday make a pro life decision.

Dark Eden said...

So once again I just have to compare and contrast.

"latina woman better judge than white male" = NOT RACIST

caricature of said wise latina woman as a buddhist monk = RACIST

Got it

Seems like you have to check party affiliation and race and gender before deciding whether something is racist these days.

LonewackoDotCom said...

The cover is just mocking her "wise" comment, and reading more into it is pretty stupid. And, this incident helps illustrate a few things:

1. Leftwingers will call practically anything racist.

2. People like Althouse are easily distracted.

3. Most BHO opponents - and almost none who run blogs - have no clue about how to oppose BHO. In this particular case, the way to have minimized any negative impact from the cover would have been to have discredited those leftwing bloggers in advance by pointing out how they've lied about other things. Charges of racism coming from someone who has little credibility aren't going to have much of an impact. NationalReview and their blogger fans have no clue about how to effectively discredit someone and instead mostly just play games.

4. Perhaps instead of posting about magazine covers, Althouse could consider discussing, you know, things that actually matter. For instance, SS's extreme ethno-centrism and membership in far-left groups that support illegal activity and that gave an award to someone who proposed genocide.

Genocide? No, really.

Gahrie said...

C'mon folks...this cover is not even in the same ballpark of offensiveness as the one by Emerge magazine depicting Justice Thomas as a lawn jockey.

paul a'barge said...

It's number one ... and anyone who implies otherwise is a moron.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Has any post on this blog about alleged racism against a traditionally disadvantaged group ever been met with comments other than, "That's not racist/offensive"?

Palladian said...

"Has any post on this blog about alleged racism against a traditionally disadvantaged group ever been met with comments other than, "That's not racist/offensive"?"

Has any right-of-Lenin criticism of a political figure from a "traditionally disadvantaged group" ever been met with comments from the left other than "Racism!!!! You racists!!!"?

You're all playing the Democratic Racial Extortion game: "Don't criticize our candidates who are from "traditionally disadvantaged groups" or we'll completely slime you as racists!"

It's a repulsive and pernicious strategy that unfortunately works (see Obama, Barack) for the Democrats and will ultimately lead to discord, violence and the complete destruction of our nation. But you're willing to risk that if it means absolute power for the Democrats in the meantime.

Palladian said...

I love how the Ivy-league educated President of the United States and an Ivy-league educated nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States can be claimed to be "disadvantaged".

It takes a bird-brained white boy to come up with that sort of thing.

Auguste said...

It's the eyes, teeth, and appropriation, you blithering idiots! I can't believe we've gone 63 comments in and no one's even mentioned the eyes! FOR F'S SAKE!

chickenlittle said...

I love how the Ivy-league educated President of the United States and an Ivy-league educated nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States can be claimed to be 'disadvantaged'.

OT and wrong thread, but that reminds me of another of Sarah Palin's charms: She gives the Ivy's the hives!

Beau said...

The caricature shows Judge Sottomayor as a bodhisattva, one of those great souls of Mahayana Buddhism

Specifically, Quan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

Palladian said...

"It's the eyes, teeth, and appropriation, you blithering idiots! I can't believe we've gone 63 comments in and no one's even mentioned the eyes! FOR F'S SAKE!"

OMG SHE'S AN EVIL CHINAMAN!!!!

Auguste said...

So because Sotomayor has "Asian features" (in your opinion), that makes it a-ok to caricature them so drastically?

I suppose you collect Mammy dolls, too.

former law student said...

I love how the Ivy-league educated President of the United States and an Ivy-league educated nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States can be claimed to be "disadvantaged".

First, Obama never claimed to be disadvantaged.

Second, the "advantaged" seldom grow up in housing projects. Unless they were swapped as infants in the hospital, of course.

But this new idea that good fortune experienced as adults wipes out whatever hardship you suffered in childhood is amazing, a breakthrough.

Abe Lincoln's comfortable brick home in Springfield thus cancels out the log cabins of his childhood. Practicing law, Lincoln can no longer claim the rails he split in his youth. Herbert Hoover's successful mining career means he was no longer an orphan.

Auguste said...

Frederick Douglass, child of privilege!

John Althouse Cohen said...

Has any right-of-Lenin criticism of a political figure from a "traditionally disadvantaged group" ever been met with comments from the left other than "Racism!!!! You racists!!!"?

Yes.

onparkstreet said...

#5

BUDDHA is EMPATHY

Palladian said...

"Yes."

Weak, even for you.

John Althouse Cohen said...

Weak, even for you.

At least I answered your question.

Fred4Pres said...

Jonah reminds of of what an offensive cover really is...

Palladian said...

"So because Sotomayor has "Asian features" (in your opinion), that makes it a-ok to caricature them so drastically?"

Yes. It's a caricature. It's supposed to be exaggerated. The nature of caricature and satirical portraiture is to exaggerate physical attributes for comedic and critical effect.

Art doesn't have to abide by yours or anyone's narrow political dogmatism.

You just don't like it because it's satirizing someone who you're supposed to like. If it were a caricature of your political opponent, you'd have no problem with it. I wish you people were honest in your partisanship.

Palladian said...

Is this caricature offensive? How much do we have to tune down our caricatures in order to not offend the perpetually faux-offended? Maybe there could be some sort of electronic measurement device.

TS said...

OT and wrong thread, but that reminds me of another of Sarah Palin's charms...

Her charms were, in order of girth, her breasts and her sweet, sweet ass.

Beyond that, however: meh.

Palladian said...

"Her charms were, in order of girth, her breasts and her sweet, sweet ass.

Beyond that, however: meh."

Ahh, the sweet, sweet feminist sensitivity of the left!

MrBuddwing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

mmm, i think NRO didn't help itself or its case with that cover. And i say this as a pretty vehement opponent of sotomayor's appontment.

I wouldn't say it is racist or whatever, but it just inserts a certain creepy element into it that just distracts.

Palladian said...

"I wouldn't say it is racist or whatever, but it just inserts a certain creepy element into it that just distracts."

You're pussy whipped!

Lem said...

Has any post on this blog about alleged racism against a traditionally disadvantaged group ever been met with comments other than, "That's not racist/offensive"?

If I recall correctly one of the arguments offered as to why blacks cant be racist was that you cant be racist if you don't have the 'power'.

The popular definition is racism = prejudice + power.

If you reduce this belief to its essential elements, democracy as expressed by the will of the majority could be interpreted as a racist act.

Electing Obama was racist and therefore all the choices arising from him including Sotomayor is racist.

See were we are going?
Do we want to continue to go down that path?

So when somebody says that something "is not racist" they are doing so just on sheer instinct, reflex, self preservation; as in 'what is it this time'?

Synova said...

"Agree with Tex that it's #1 with much less brain strain. If you're looking for a universally recognized symbol of wisdom, what were the alternatives?"

For those of us mostly unfamiliar the Buddha represents wisdom. From the comments it would seem that for those familiar the symbolism more specific... someone did some homework on it.

The miss-match of races and response to that says a whole lot about us, I think. Can the Buddha represent wisdom for people who are not Asian or are all such symbolisms exclusionary? Am I, for example, limited to Norse symbolism? Can I get proprietary about Norse symbolism and set up a test of Norse-ness for anyone who wants to invoke Thor?

It would be really silly to do that. And it's silly to go on as if the most important thing about Buddha is his race.

EnigmatiCore said...

"but I'm wondering where all this supposed outraged and racism from "the left" is located. Anyone?"

Garage, let me introduce you to jderipper. In between your challenge and this reply, he chirped in.

I am sure the only reason Jeremy (as opposed to 'the other Jeremy') did not as well is because his mother threw him out of the house until later.

rhhardin said...

How about a more modest cover of Sotomayor walking and chewing gum.

That would be the first degree of wisdom.

bearbee said...

Palladian said...
Is this caricature offensive? How much do we have to tune down our caricatures in order to not offend the perpetually faux-offended? Maybe there could be some sort of electronic measurement device..

You're making it too complicated. Only need Offens-O-Meter calibrated to who drew the caricature.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Law school has become the graduate school for the great unwashed, the final resting place for a plurality of college graduates without an employable degree."

"Law school is the most hospitable locale for undergraduates with no specific expertise."


(Apparently, the Supreme Court serves the same function ?...a holding tank for the dregs of society !)

traditionalguy said...

Mike Mcneil: Sorry for the slip of the name on Bill Buckley. I was late for the golf course. It is 72 and breezy and sunny in Atlanta today. A temp in the high 80's is normal. The National review was in my home since I was 11 years old. The radio Firingline and later the TV show were exquisite pleasures to hear. My only sin was to attend a "liberal arts" college called Emory. My father was always suspicious of me since then, as you seem to be now. Sorry, but a good liberal arts school teaches you to keep on learning for a lifetime. Let' justs learn more about wise hispanics before we identify this Judge as an enemy.

Quayle said...

I've never been able to understand why Congress would ever approve of a judge that didn't want to pay every ounce of attention to the written law Congress made.

To do otherwise is to lessen the power of Congress. Whey would they tolerate such a diminishing idology?

Do they think that the Supreme Court steamroller can only drive in one leftward direction?

Lem said...

Maxine pulls no punches.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let' justs learn more about wise hispanics before we identify this Judge as an enemy

I know a lot about Hispanics, having lived in Mexico for years, (my God Parents are Mexican nationals), growing up in California a decidedly Hispanic State, and being related to Latinas from not only Mexico but also South America.

A "wise" Latina knows better than to tell everyone that she thinks she is "wise".

I don't see Sotamayor as an "enemy", however I do see that her attitude of cultural, gender and racial superiority is very much NOT what we want in an impartial judge.

Once again: No one expects a judge or anyone else to be able to completely leave their personal thoughts and experiences at the door when they take up a position. The very troubling thing about THIS "wise" Latina is that she seems to revel in using those items in making judgements rather than striving to be impartial.

Very troubling.

EnigmatiCore said...

"To do otherwise is to lessen the power of Congress. Whey would they tolerate such a diminishing [sic] idology?"

Senators rarely (Lieberman aside) survive without the favor of the party.

As such, the party comes before Congress.

chickenlittle said...

A striking likeness really.
You guys are so mean!

Sy said...

I think its time for Obama to pick a wiser woman.

ricpic said...

No posts since 8 AM. Is this tie the knot day?

garage mahal said...

Has any right-of-Lenin criticism of a political figure from a "traditionally disadvantaged group" ever been met with comments from the left other than "Racism!!!! You racists!!!"?
.

Let's see them. I seen a few "WTF is this" blog posts, and aside from the usual skins vs shirts tit-for-tat that the left and right engage in, I haven't seen any that said the NRO cover was "racist". You're moderately intelligent, don't you bore yourself with these predictable strawmen all the time? Snap out of it man!

chickenlittle said...

No posts since 8 AM. Is this tie the knot day?

You talking about Carradine? Maybe somebody should check their room. :-)

Actually IIRC, it ain't until August, but I'm too lazy to look back though archives.

jdeeripper said...

He is White, male and privileged so that givers the haters moral carte blanche to portray him as a genocidal racist or as a chimpanzee hybrid.

Jason (the commenter) said...

JAC : Has any post on this blog about alleged racism against a traditionally disadvantaged group ever been met with comments other than, "That's not racist/offensive"?

I think everyone agreed what Rangel said about Obama not wandering around Harlem was racist. A lot of people here believed some of the things that happened to Palin were sexist and offensive. I know when Althouse made her comments about Jindal I called her a racist. And I'm sure a lot of people felt the constant allusion to Obama being a historical candidate and pandered to by the press was racist.

Paul Zrimsek said...

As one of the head-in-the-sand right-wingers who denied that the "Good Night" pajamas were racist, Garage lacks the moral authoritah to speak to this issue.

john said...

One of 9
One of 9

Who's to know?

Auguste said...

Yes. It's a caricature. It's supposed to be exaggerated. The nature of caricature and satirical portraiture is to exaggerate physical attributes for comedic and critical effect.

Like this? Or this? Or, for that matter, this or this?

Auguste said...

Sorry, I doubled-up one of those links: this?

ironrailsironweights said...

In the 19th century Puerto Rico had large scale Chinese immigration.
When I first saw her picture I thought she had strong Asiatic features.


That was my thought exactly when I first saw her pictures. Perhaps Great-Granddad was a Chinese immigrant shopkeeper in San Juan. I grew up in a city with a substantial Puerto Rican population, they accounted for close to a quarter of my high school, and while their features run the gamut I don't ever recall seeing one who looked at all Asian.

On the other hand, there's the case of Seth MacFarlane. He also looks vaguely Asian, but I don't believe he actually has any Asian ancestry. Sotomayor may be a similar case.

Peter

Will Cate said...

1 with a touch of 4

Revenant said...

She's drawn as the Buddha... the Buddha is Asian... so why is it inexplicable that she's drawn as Asian?

I guess you could say "it is inexplicable that she's drawn as the Buddha". But considering she's being sarcastically identified as "wise", a person would have to be fairly slow to find that inexplicable. :)

Palladian said...

"a person would have to be fairly slow to find that inexplicable"

We're talking about Obama's hordes here...

Freeman Hunt said...

Saw the cover before I saw Althouse's comments on it.

To my mind:

Obviously, number one. The first thought I had when I saw it was "Ah, the wise Latina thing." As I am a National Review subscriber and so part of the target audience, I think my reaction is probably the one they were going for.

I've never thought of the Buddha as fat, and I'm always surprised when I see him depicted that way, so I didn't think of the fat angle. Also, the body of the caricature isn't fat.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt : I've never thought of the Buddha as fat

I agree. They're thinking about someone else.

southpaw said...

Like the New Yorker cover during the campaign, it's clear that NR hit what they were aiming at. They wanted to put out a racially cathected caricature and retain some measure of deniability, and they've done so. Bully for them.

The symbols of the image are derived from mahayana buddhism (see here here or here), specifically depictions of Amithaba. None of those traditional depictions, however, gives the buddha the features NR gives to Sotomayor (which are reminiscent of jazz age depictions of chinamen or, for that matter, abercrombie tshirts).

amba said...

I'm gonna echo the very first comment. First of all, Buddha is just a cliché for "wise," and second of all, to the extent that Sotomayor may have some Amerindian blood she's "Mongolian."

ironrailsironweights said...

The symbols of the image are derived from mahayana buddhism (see here here or here), specifically depictions of Amithaba. None of those traditional depictions, however, gives the buddha the features NR gives to Sotomayor (which are reminiscent of jazz age depictions of chinamen or, for that matter, abercrombie tshirts).

The Buddha would have looked South Asian, not East Asian.

Peter

Michael McNeil said...

amba says:
I'm gonna echo the very first comment. First of all, Buddha is just a cliché for “wise,” and second of all, to the extent that Sotomayor may have some Amerindian blood she's “Mongolian.”

In my view there's absolutely no reason why anyone should have to possess either Asian or American Indian ancestry before they may be (politically correctly) caricatured as a Buddha.

But beyond that, though Hispanics in general incorporate a considerable admixture of American Indian “blood,” my understanding is that essentially all the American natives of Puerto Rico in particular were exterminated by Spanish reprisals and atrocities, in conjunction with pandemics of Old World diseases (smallpox, measles, typhus), by the early 16th century.

As a result, folks today of Puerto Rican origin may have an Indian or two somewhere back in their remote ancestry, but pretty darned few.

Methadras said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

Here is a stunning revelation. Wisdom isn't and shouldn't be something you advertise as a characteristic you possess. Wisdom is a projection of the acquired knowledge and experience of life put into positive action through advice, suggestion, and most importantly, love.

If someone like Sotomayor has to advertise how wise they are on a constant and continuous basis, I will be you good money that they are not and probably have no inkling of what it means to be wise.

downtownlad said...

It's a cartoon. Yawn.

NKVD said...

I thought that was a picture of Al Gore.

It snowed in the Dakotas yesterday. Gore is wise.

ironrailsironweights said...

Here is a DNA-based analysis of Puerto Ricans and racial background.

Peter

former law student said...

The Buddha would have looked South Asian, not East Asian.

I'm still waiting to see Christ depicted as a Middle Easterner. As of yet, no crucifixes have had a hooked-nose Jesus with a unibrow -- a pre-electrolysis Wolowitz.

amba said...

I agree that you don't have to have Asian blood to be caricatured as a Buddha; the two points were meant to be unconnected.

However, Sotomayor does look unusually Amerindian for a Puerto Rican. If you just saw her, you might think she was Mexican. I mean, who cares . . .

amba said...

As for claiming to be wise, Lao Tzu say: "Those who know don't speak, those who speak don't know."

Michael McNeil said...

I'm still waiting to see Christ depicted as a Middle Easterner. As of yet, no crucifixes have had a hooked-nose Jesus with a unibrow — a pre-electrolysis Wolowitz.

As the saying goes, “peasant wait on hillside with mouth open for long time before duck fly in.” You obviously haven't looked very hard at all — why then be surprised that nothing has flown in?

Here, for instance, is the Akeroptera (sp?), ”Rome's most holy picture” according to historian and archaeologist John Romer, located today in the chapel of the ancient palace of the Popes of Rome, but supposedly painted by early Christians on the walls of Pontius Pilate's palace (while actually it comes from pre-iconoclastic Constantinople of the 7th century).

Christians round the world indeed very often represent Jesus as a member of their own people. Here, for instance, is Christ as an American Indian (in the Old Jesuit Mission in the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation at Hays, Montana).

ironrailsironweights said...

I'm still waiting to see Christ depicted as a Middle Easterner. As of yet, no crucifixes have had a hooked-nose Jesus with a unibrow -- a pre-electrolysis Wolowitz.

Not as bad a gaffe as in Schindler's List, where some of the naked "Jewish" men in the concentration camps were Anteaters rather than Helmets.

Peter

Michael McNeil said...

ironrailsironweights says:
Here is a DNA-based analysis of Puerto Ricans and racial background.

Thanks for the reference. Interesting piece.

kentuckyliz said...

If the same exact cover art were on The Nation, it would be cooed over as a compliment to The Wise Latina.

Daniel said...

In response to traditionalguy, I don't think the "thinkers/intellectuals" were really the target of this caricature. I'd argue it was simply meant as a humorous caricature (well, maybe a little prod at the "wise" comment, but not much else).

Newsy.com just recently ran an analysis of the cover with some thoughts both from Rich Lowry and from some of the cover's critics. I found it relatively balanced, though it struck me as falling a little bit against the image.

Major-General said...

Maybe 10 years ago, NR got into a bit of hot water about a caricature on the cover. The next issue, they caricatured the staff to show they can take as well as give; both were done by Roman Genn.

Genn's depictions of the staff included a Russian staff member as nesting dolls, the Italian publisher (Ed Capano) eating pasta with a tommy gun dressed as a gangster and other fun images which I forget.

But here's where I stand: SS thinks she's wiser than the rest of us (as a heterosexual white male I belive that she's said as much) and depicting her as Buddha drives that point home.

And I would like to point out that in all stereotypes is some truth. Be it the lazy Mexican (excuse me, Hispanic), the dumb Pole, or the niggardly Scot, there is some truth at heart of the stereotype.

Off topic: Speaking of stereotypes, here in the hell-hole of Southern California people wear shirts proclaiming that they are Mexican, not Hispanic or Latino. The shirts proclaim that "Hispanics are Anglo Europeans from Spain" and that "Latinos are Anglo Europeans from Italy." I have on several occassions pointed out that that is only half correct. Hispanics and Latinos are Europeans, from Spain (and Portugul, Gibralter, and Andorra) and Italy respectively, but that they are not Anglos, who are actually Germans living in Britain. It also means I am not Caucasian, because I do not descend from people from the Caucasus.

John Hayes said...

Who said you can't study law and meditate? She could study and read law all day, then when she is tired and needs to sleep, she can sit and meditate for 30 minutes, maybe she feels that it helps her focus, then she wakes up, meditates, then after meditating she is ready to read the written law, there is a science behind meditation, when you sit still and lower your eye lids for 30 minutes or so you are building a muscle, in your eyes, which are the closest thing to your brain, meditation builds a muscle in your brain and in your eyes, it makes you more intelligent, intelligence is wisdom, they are the same thing, and if it helps her read and keep up with all those laws, then let her do it, that's why when practicing meditation, it's best to do it as privately as possible, or people are going to think your strange.

John Hayes said...

Basically the picture is shaming Buddhism, meditation, ect. it's shaming it, they don't condone meditation, they don't not like, and they do not understand, and they hate it, so this is their way of trying to get her to stop, also they want people to ridicule her, it's not simply "making a joke" about meditation, haha what you can't take a joke? No, the message of this picture is to shame her meditation and have people ridicule her everywhere she goes, that is what the people who oppose her want to do, if she actually practices daily meditation, she will have no problem with this, in today's society, stereotypical cartoons that shame another person's race or religion is the norm,it makes us laugh, and it's funny, but the REAL motive of the picture is , like I said, it's the people who oppose her, they want to give her ridicule from the people who are going to see and recognize her, the picture wants them to ridicule her, and put her meditation practice to shame. That's the truth.