Sonia Sotomayor doesn't like commercialization of "wise Latina."

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said recently that she is troubled that "wise Latina" remark she made has been turned into a slogan sold on T-shirts, buttons and coffee cups.

UPI POY 2009 - Washington DC

"I can't tell you the number of people who come up to me and hug and
kiss me and touch me, and some of them in tears," Sotomayor said in a
press conference in Puerto Rico, reported by the Associated Press.  "I
wish there was a way of keeping that without the commercialization of
me. Because when I spoke my words I spoke them freely, and I never
intended for people to make money off them, because that seems wrong to

Justice Sotomayor is spending the holidays in Puerto Rico, where her mother was born.

While I understand her concern over commercialization, Latinas who bought "wise Latina" T-shirts, myself included, wear them as a sign of pride.

It doesn't mean that we think we are better than non-Latinas, but that we are proud to see a Latina woman on the Supreme Court.

Sure some people are making some money off the T-shirts, the same way they do off all the President Obama paraphernalia. But that comes with celebrity political or otherwise.

I hope Justice Sotomayor can understand that we want to celebrate her achievement and can express that by wearing the "wise Latina" T-shirts.

By the way, her first few months on the Supreme Court have gone well. In her opinion on Mohawk Industries, Inc. vs, Carpenter she used the terms "undocumented immigrant" instead of "illegal immigrant" or "illegal alien."

"Undocumented immigrant" is in my opinion a more objective term and it is the term recommended by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. The other words are criticized by immigrant advocates who argue it is dehumanizing to call people "illegal" and worse to call human beings "aliens."

But of course the right-wing believes the use of "undocumented immigrant" is leftist or politically charged.

I'm encouraged to see Justice Sotomayor showing sensitivity on the Supreme Court.


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