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Sotomayor is a Beacon of Opportunity for All Women


Jill Garvey • Jun 02, 2009

To all the women out there who fight for women’s rights, let me introduce you to our new hero, Sonia Sotomayor. Maybe you’ve heard of her already.

If confirmed, Sonia will be only the third woman to ever sit on our nation’s highest court. And the first woman of color. One more thing, Sonia knows what it is like to be poor.

Sonia said something indicating that she might be a better judge because of these things - because she is a women, a child of immigrants, a minority, a person of moderate means she may be a better choice for our high court than just another white man.

This country is run by men. Sonia Sotomayor challenged the logic of that and these same men came to blow her house down. Rep. Tom Tancredo led the charge. He and other men called her racist. But since we are throwing around crazy accusations why don’t we take a closer look at Tommy boy.

Tancredo is explicitly tied to the anti-immigrant movement. He founded the House Immigration Reform Caucus (HIRC) which holds 110 (102 Republican) members  of the House of Representatives. The HIRC’s current chairman, Brian Bilbray, is a former staff member for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Yep, the same FAIR that has those pesky ties to white nationalism.

HIRC members have sponsored the most draconian anti-immigrant legislation considered by Congress, helping to legitimize vigilante groups like the Minutemen. And while we call this movement anti-immigrant, it is also not too fond of women. There is strong evidence of anti-immigrant sentiment translating to increased oppression of women. This is not just a few women being roughed up in detention facilities. This is women being raped by detention guards, being forced to perform sexual favors in exchange for green cards, women who are too afraid to report crimes for fear of deportation, this is video games depicting immigrant women as “breeders”.

Are these women not worth fighting for because of their immigration status? Is Sonia not to be defended because she doesn’t look the way our heroes did 100 or 40 years ago?

We have entered a new era of oppression against women. The racist, sexist attacks against Sonia are merely another sign of this. If confirmed, Sonia will be a valuable ally in our fight for equality, a beacon of opportunity for our daughters and granddaughters.

Sonia Sotomayor is a foothold for all women into our justice system, one we can’t afford to lose.

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