I just finished reading Justice Sotomayor‘s autobiography. I’m from Brooklyn, (grew up in Brooklyn Heights, near the Carroll Gardens neighborhood the Justice once lived in. I could walk there on a nice day and would house sit the dog for friends of my parents on 2nd Place).
My father Marvin Charton grew up in the Bronx, in the West Farms neighborhood near the Bronx Zoo. I knew Co-Op City though, where the Sotomayor family moved from Soundview. Another Bronx friend I plan to write about soon, grew up near Parkchester. I plan to send this posting to them.
Dad took me to Freedomland when I was a kid. I tried to go fishing off Orchard Beach once. I passed Co-Op City driving North, toward New England and riding on the train many times.
I’m always interested in how people end up where they do. I enjoyed Justice Sotomayor’s story about wanting to be a lawyer, then a judge, because of Perry Mason, when she found out her Type 1 Diabetes (I have Type 2), prevented her from being a police officer. It’s ironic how things set us in motion.
People may complain about her being an Affirmative Action baby, but she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton. I would not have survived there and I know it. (My father was the genius, not me).
I will be honest. I grew up in New York City, but for me, Puerto Ricans were never more than acquaintances, and possibly people who wanted to rob you. Why I laughed when Justice Sotomayor had the roommate from New Mexico, who thought West Side Story represented Puerto Ricans.
Folks, there should be several object lessons here. 1. Not all Hispanics are alike. 2. Hispanics are part of our nation and obviously many are doing quite well. 3. I’ve admitted to my youthful silliness and I have the courage to admit it. (Yes, I’ve used insults like spic. Why I teach people, you can never COMPLETELY take something back). I’ve said this before. When you apologize and someone forgives you, they may be doing it so they can move on. You are not necessarily any more brilliant. If I can teach someone and prevent them from learning a lesson the hard way, I want to do it.
Our great country is built on different types of people and the debates about immigration should not be derailed, because two punks in Boston took advantage of it.
Sorry for the digression. The short cut turned out to be longer. I was still living in Brooklyn, when Justice Sotomayor was an Assistant District Attorney under Robert Morganthau in Manhattan. It was a tough time for New York City with the money problems and the crime.
Read the book. Justice Sotomayor is a major American success story. We should all be so lucky.
- Tonight on AC360: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor talks to Anderson (ac360.blogs.cnn.com)
- Sonia Sotomayor and Rita Moreno, a candid and inspiring pair (voxxi.com)
- Sonia Sotomayor Brilliantly Shuts Down Racist Federal Prosecutor (jezebel.com)
- Sonia Sotomayor rebukes federal prosecutor for racially charged remark against Latinos, blacks (nbclatino.com)