Sister Sotomayor: Lady Justice

By Brenda Salter McNeil 09-04-2009

090904-sonia-sotomayorSonia Sotomayor was confirmed more than one month ago, so why, you may ask, am I just now penning a blog about her historic appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court? The answer is easy -- I was scared. I was scared of offending members of the SMA community because of Justice Sotomayor's position on various hot-button issues.

I did not want to polarize the discussion of racial reconciliation by injecting politics into the mix. However, I could not, and decided that I would not contain my exuberance any longer for several reasons. First, I am passionate about Latino culture. Anyone who knows me knows that I am learning Spanish and am making significant strides toward becoming bilingual. Secondly, I am a woman who is proud of any another woman who demonstrates excellence, character, and the ability to rise above meager circumstances to reach greatness. It matters not whether I agree or disagree with Sotomayor's positions on the issues; what I am excited about is that she is there at all. Her appointment and confirmation as the first Latina and third woman on the high court is a cause for celebration regardless of whether you agree with her or not. She sits on that bench as an example of what is possible to young women of every race everywhere. She sits bearing witness to the enduring reality of the American dream. She sits in affirmation of the notion that a woman can be great and can achieve her purpose regardless of whether or not she has a man by her side. She sits and I am happy because of what it means for her, and what it means to me and all my daughters and sons.

portrait-brenda-salter-mcneilRev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is the president and founder of Salter McNeil & Associates. She is a renowned speaker and leader in the field of racial, ethnic, and gender reconciliation, and author of A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism and Race. This article appears courtesy of a partnership with Salter McNeil & Associates.

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