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June 5, 2009

Your Turn: The Wise Latina

The Wise Latina.jpg

Ohm my, talk about mixed metaphors!

The place to turn for a thoughtful and robust deconstruction of National Review’s racial oddity? Easy, it’s the BAGnewsNotes readership.

(h/t: CP. illustration: still looking)

  • mfphotog

    The illustration is either lazy intellectually, shocking I know, or unable to differentiate that ‘brown’ people might have more than one approach to religion/faith, or both.
    The last eight years have consistently highlighted how impossible it is for conservative minds to see shades of grey beyond the black and white they know and understand. The fact that the nominee is in fact Catholic and Latina and that the illustration highlights an entirely different faith does not come into play because she is the ‘other.’
    These are the same minds that celebrate being pro-life and condone killing people or who do not protest the number of innocent Iraqis who have been killed during our occupation of their country.
    The worst thing I can say is that I am not surprised. It continues a long line of events, comments and positions that I find increasingly sad.

  • WIthnail

    Black people we understand. We’ve been dealing with black people as long as we’ve had america. They were slaves, then it took them 200 years to become real American citizens.
    But other ethnicities? That’s confusing. We really can’t tell the difference between brown and yellow. They’re not black. But they’re not white. What are they?
    At least they can all be played by Rob Schneider in a bad Adam Sandler film as the wise old ethnic who shows up in the last reel with some foreign advice.

  • thomas

    “Jonah Goldberg On His Critics” !!
    Now that’s hilarious. Everything is just a big joke over at NR.

  • Margarita

    Mocking wisdom. Zombie Nixon strikes again.
    … But wait just a sec. What exactly is an “Exclusive Newsweek
    Excerpt”? How could it be both exclusive and in Newsweek?

  • the littlest gator

    The art is just bad too- is that a tree behind her, a mushroom? Was this painted by bob ross and he had to add happy little deer prancing about. Is she snow “white” I mean brown? what the hell is this?! these people are something else.

  • HubrisSonic

    is she sitting in front of a large vagina? I know thats what terrifies these people. does her hand gesture double as throwing a gang sign?

  • Sirius, The Star Dog

    “The Other”
    Anagrams for ‘wise latina’:
    It was alien.

  • Tena

    Ohm man, indeed. Where do you start with something that snarky? It says so much:
    A. She thinks she’s better than anyone else
    B. She thinks she’s smarter than anyone else
    C. She thinks she has the answers
    It’s about 67 kinds of insulting and demeaning and it has Otherness/anti-Americanism thrown in for good measure.
    Those are some nasty folks at the National Review.

  • yg

    the knuckledraggers are jealous of more enlightened creatures.
    if obama is the messiah and sotomayor is buddha, what does that make the right? satan?

  • ids

    Buddha, or a big baby, secretly giving the o.k. sign to the pro-life people?

  • paulo

    Obama is gazing down from on high – at his acolyte? He’s looking over an approximately upside down triangle (2d pyramid). In God We Trust? Is she channeling or is he blessing?
    And what’s with the apparent lipstick smudge on his cheek?
    And evidently Newsweek is the gate of knowledge. Who knew?

  • doranb

    It’s so obviously “off” that I can only assume they don’t care what we think. This is just more preaching to the base, reinforcing all they’ve been told about this snooty woman who obviously thinks she’s above the regular working folk. The mistaken ethnicity is indeed meant only to convey “she is not one of us”. The target audience could care less about its accuracy. It has the added benefit of putting her outside the fabled “Judeo-Christian” tradition which the Christian Right claims as proof they are inclusive of other beliefs (ie. Jews will be OK, once they come around).
    I also can’t help but notice this also places Jonah Goldberg (speaking of acceptable Jews) above Judge Sotomayor. The peek-a-boo Obama is clearly dismissive and, if that is indeed lipstick as it appears, attempts to remind everyone about the last Democrat in the White House.

  • magurakurin

    remember when everyone said that the New Yorker’s Barack and Michelle picture would have definitely been racist if it was on the cover of the National Review?
    Well…here it is.
    Shocking. What’s next Obama eating fried chicken and watermelon with Bin Laden?
    All I can say to these jokers is watch your back, because what goes around, comes around.

  • DennisQ

    Some time in the history of National Review there arose a confusion between what was genuinely conservative and what was merely smart-alecky. Buckley combined both qualities and spawned imitators. Today’s conservatives think that their assumed moral superiority to the rest of us allows them to be sophomoric.
    Too bad for them that George Bush left them in the lurch. He had none of the qualities traditionally associated with conservatives. He ran up huge debts to pay for expensive policies that had nothing to do with national defense. He swaggered around looking for ways to sabotage tradition, not uphold it.
    As a group, conservatives must be feeling somewhat battered. Nobody’s interested in what they’re selling, and this NR cover reflects their increasing desperation. If this is the best they can do, they are in deep trouble, and they know it.

  • tinwoman

    Oh man, this is just so many kinds of wrong.
    exotic otherness, inexplicable, they have made her from an even more “foreign” “brown” place than Latin America….India, or maybe China.
    India/China is where little children die of starvation and all the missionaries go, dontcha know? Those are places that need civilizin´.
    Ans we all believe from our traditions that sitting on the lotus is not really “wise”, its just mystical escapism. And exotic, and foreign. Etc.
    I´m a little uncomfortable with constantly calling her The Latina, as though she weren´t an American and didn´t have a name! it´s as offensive as constanly calling Obama the Magic Negro. I know some people do, but its wrong.

  • ivyleaves

    That was the first thing I noticed when trying to go in depth on this cover. Talk about a waste of time, that headline alone makes it imperative to not go past the cover for anything in the magazine, ever.

  • ivyleaves

    It’s merely a take off on a classic: Example”>>Example Image

  • thebewilderness

    She’s fat
    She’ female
    She’s foreign
    What more is there to say? More cowbell,less dogwhistle?

  • vcInCA

    its so simplistic its actually funny. type ‘buddha’ into google, and the second image you get is clearly the one they used as a guide (
    Changes/specific oddities: 1) although sotomayor is female, and not stick thin, they did not give her breasts (maybe they didn’t know how they would look under this type of draping; 2) they added a third deer, but i can’t figure out if that is meaningful or not; 3) budda is never portrayed with his mouth open–I’m particularly bothered by the expression they gave her–it looks smug, self centered, and a bit sneaky, with the eyes shut, like she has a secret that she’s not telling, like she’s not actually holier than thou or full of empathy. 3) the ‘aura’ emanating from buddha’s head is less aura/sunshine like in the revised picture–it almost looks like there is a hole in the tree & you can see the sky behind her through it. definitely doesn’t help to portray her as intelligent; 4)i don’t think anything ‘gang-like’ should be interpreted from the R hand-this is a typical gesture that buddha is portrayed as using, and is reflected in the other image ;5) her eyes are very slanted upwards towards the outside of her face, evoking (to me) an epicanthic fold. now, she’s not east asian, but this does a great job of evoking the ‘other’, and when we evoke the other, and frame someone as not like ‘us’ that often coincides with the other being framed as ‘foreign’ and then ’scary’–i’d say the pic does a great job of scaring people (who want to be scared), making them think that she’s a bad choice simply because she’s not ‘from here’ and then inviting them to think ‘we don’t want ‘foreigners’ on our most hallowed court, do we?’

  • TB

    And conservatives continue to be surprised that people think a lot of them are racists.
    Gee, I wonder why that is?

  • bfeinberg

    Maybe we could conclude that this is a cruel depiction, too.

  • zatopa

    I have a hunch that the first idea to get bounced around imagined Sotomayor as a Virgin of Guadalupe instead, but they figured that the Catholics in their readership were worth keeping.

  • Russ Nichols

    To be a present day conservative you have to believe in lots of impossible things: In this case a Latina is somehow indistinguishable from an Indian (from India) lady doing yoga amidst lotus blossoms. After all, they all look alike all those little brown people.

  • doranb

    Good catch with that Buddha image.

  • yg

    i couldn’t find it again, but TNR had a cover of obama as buddha back during the primary season. that one was more complimentary. iirc, the article discussed why obama wasn’t slamming hrc harder like people wanted.

  • acm

    ridiculous on many levels. the only thing I can guess is that they were aiming for something like Sotomayer as inscrutible figure, perhaps offering blessings to some (other Latins, perhaps), perhaps fully Other to the rest… (with a little dollop of fat commentary thrown in)

  • Daniel

    Though I agree it is intellectually lazy, I don’t think it was intended for the intellectual elite. It’s a joke. Maybe it is in poor taste. But since when have political cartoons been in good taste? Newsy’s recent video about the cover mostly bashed it, but they did quote Rich Lowry’s defense, and I think as far as defenses for political cartoons go, it’s all right.

  • Gasho

    eh.. I’m not so distressed about it.
    I’m a buddhist. I’m familiar with the classic depictions of the Buddha and this is just a take on one of the classics. Finding that other Buddha image with the deer is no ‘gotcha’.. it’s a very common image. The Buddha gave his first sermon in Deer Park, India. It’s a reference to that.
    The watercolor is a little lame and the exaggerated features are weird, but borrowing the Buddha’s iconography to suggest wisdom is kind of a basic idea. Why do we have to read it as a transformation to an “asian” character – why not just a contemplative one?
    I’m usually right in line with the Bag Readers on stuff – but this one just isn’t killing me..

  • braidwood

    This is the second picture of her that has really irritated me. What????? Why don’t the illustrations of her look anything like her?? Should I infer that there is more sexism and racism than I am aware of? I feel puzzled about what is in people’s minds that they could possibly find this illustration similar enough to represent Sotomayor.
    I feel so irritated.
    Also I think its in bad taste that her breast- if they had drawn breasts- wouldn’t be covered if she moved her arm.
    And what the hell is behind her head?

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