WaPo Mag Editor: 'Any Latina Could Make a Better Decision Than a White Man'

In today's "She Really Didn't Say That, Did She?" segment, a contributing editor to Washington Post magazine claimed that if Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor were being really honest with America, "[S]he probably would want to say, 'Not only do I mean a wise Latina, I meant any Latina could make a better decision than a white man could.'" 


For those unfamiliar, besides being contributing editor of the Post mag, Cathy Areu publishes Catalina which she created to portray a positive image of Hispanic women in the media and entertainment industry.

With that in mind, appearing on CNN's "Campbell Brown" Wednesday, Areu made statements that if made by a white person would certainly be deemed racist (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript, h/t NBer dronetek): 

CAMPBELL BROWN, HOST: So, what have we learned? Judge Sotomayor follows the law. Not exactly a controversial statement. Let's dig a little deeper into, though, not just what's being said at the hearings but what perhaps they would like to be saying at these hearings.

This is a segment we're calling "Sotomayor Kabuki Theater." And here to help us out, Sam Seder, who is co-host of Air America's "Break Room Live" and Cathy Areu is contributing editor of "The Washington Post" magazine.

Welcome to both of you. I just want to go through some of the examples that have just kind of been mind-blowing to me watching all of this. Take a listen. This is one of the exchanges on the now infamous "wise Latina" comment. Listen.


SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: Have you ever seen a case where -- to use your example -- the "wise Latina" made a better decision than non- Latina judges?

JUDGE SONIA SOTOMAYOR, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: No, my speech was intending to inspire the students to understand the richness that their backgrounds could bring to the judicial process.

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: Are you standing by that statement or are you saying that it was a bad idea, and you -- are you disavowing that statement?

SOTOMAYOR: It is clear from the attention that my words have gotten, and the manner in which it has been understood by some people, that my words failed. They didn't work.


BROWN: Words chosen very carefully now. Cathy, if she weren't sitting before this committee right now, and with so much at stake, would she really be backing off of that statement?

CATHY AREU, "WASHINGTON POST" MAGAZINE: No. As a wise Latina, I can tell you, no, she's not backing down. And she probably would want to say, "Not only do I mean a wise Latina, I meant any Latina could make a better decision than a white man could."


AREU: I'm just saying, I'm just saying. It's not just in her mind. She may not say it, but maybe she's thinking that.


Let's assume for a second that before Samuel Alito was confirmed, it had been revealed that he had on a number of occasions said, "I would hope that a wise white man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina woman who hasn't lived that life."

Assuming his nomination wasn't immediately withdrawn -- which of course it would have been -- let's further assume that during the confirmation hearings, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol said on Fox News: "As a wise white man, I can tell you, no, he's not backing down. And he probably would want to say, "Not only do I mean a wise white man, I meant any white man could make a better decision than a Latina woman could."

Think there'd be calls for his immediate termination?

Yet, Brown didn't even bat an eye when her guest made this statement.

To quote Areu, I'm just saying.

CNN Sonia Sotomayor Cathy Areu
Noel Sheppard's picture