With the historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court, there’s some question as to whether Justice Benjamin Cardozo was actually the first Hispanic justice of the S.Ct.. Personally, I’m of the view that sometimes it depends on how that person identifies his/her racial/ethnic identification. The term “Hispanic,” as the linked NY Times article notes, wasn’t exactly in usage at the time Cardozo was appointed, plus he apparently identified himself more as a secular Sephardic Jew (of Iberian/Portuguese origins).
Plus, the Slate Explainer article explains how “Hispanic” or “Latino” usually hasn’t included those of Portuguese origins or language speaking. So, I’d posit that Cardozo isn’t/wasn’t the first Hispanic/Latino justice; but Sotomayor might become the first one, if all works out.
Following up on a previous post, on Wednesday night, I really enjoyed watching “Hollywood Chinese” on “American Masters”. It had fascinating insight from Justin Lin, director (who makes that ironic point that in America, he could be applauded – that clip of Roger Ebert defending Justin Lin‘s “Better Luck Tomorrow” as one Asian-American’s way of presenting a story at the Sundance Film Festival was a great clip – but not quite similarly appraised in Asia – well, that was interesting) actors B.D. Wong, and Nancy Kwan, and others.
A friend of mine forwarded the info she found on angry asian man.com – the passing of Ronald Takaki. I read Takaki’s “Strangers From a Different Shore” for an Asian American history course back in college, and still have my copy of it somewhere – such great stuff.
Here’s the press release from UC Berkeley, and Asian Week is putting up statements about Takaki. Poignant that Takaki passes away during APA Heritage Month.