Carrie Ferguson Weir
"Perhaps if we spent more time knowing each other, getting each other, giving each other a few passes for boberias we wouldn't have to 'splain ourselves so much."Carrie Ferguson Weir of Bilingual in the Boonies recently reflected on Senator Tom Coburn's Ricky Ricardo punch line at the Sotomayor confirmation hearings. Weir sees in Coburn's comment a reminder that Americans need to get to know each other a little better.
From the editorial:
Coburn's Ricky Ricardo channeling, in what video shows was a light-hearted moment during mostly annoying (in my opinion) Senate hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, was wrong. But, I give him a break because he doesn't, or didn't know, it was wrong.Read the full editorial here.
Not wrong like morally offensive or racist (though some see it as such), but wrong in that it shows nice and brightly how little we know each other. Sen. Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, attempted to connect with the chica from the South Bronx housing complex in perhaps the only way he knew how.
It's like people who just met me, find out I'm a Cuban from Miami and first thing they ask is if I used to watch Miami Vice.
Here's another. A few weeks ago, I went to a lovely little restaurant in Nashville with a group of about 10 Latinas. I was the only American-born Latina. The others were from places like Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica. Among us were an attorney, a pediatrician, a dentist, doctor, a couple stay-at-home moms and several execs. Spanish and English and Spanglish was being spoken.
The very nice waiter, who spoke a little Spanish, asked if we were a group of teachers. No. Then, he made a fist, as in solidarity, and asked: "La Raza?''
Here's what I know for sure. Sonia Sotomayor is an American who happens to be of Latino descent. She knows her cultura, but I am putting down money she also knows mom and apple pie. She knows baseball, the American dream. And she even probably knows a thing or two about Mayberry and "the real America.'' How much does "the real America'' know about her, and Americans like her? How much does it assume about her based on her ethnicity?
So, he stuck his foot in his mouth. She stuck her foot in her mouth.
The beauty is we can all learn from it and move on.
Perhaps if we spent more time knowing each other, getting each other, giving each other a few passes for boberias we wouldn't have to 'splain ourselves so much.