Limbaugh: Sotomayor’s Wise Latina Comment is Worse than Macaca

On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh declared that Sonia Sotomayor’s wise Latina comment was worse than George Allen’s macaca comment. Limbaugh said, Sotomayor’s comments are much worse than macaca, and they are frequent, and they are long held.” The only problem with Rush’s comparison is that wise Latina isn’t a racial slur.

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:


Limbaugh said, “So Russ Feingold, a couple of words that Sonia Sotomayor said taken out of context. You mean like macaca? George Allen saying macaca, we heard about that for weeks and months as the Washington Post and the Democrats sought to destroy Allen. He had been a governor, a congressman, and senator. Sotomayor’s comments are much worse than macaca, and they are frequent, and they are long held. You see how this race thing works folks. If you are a liberal nothing can be held against you.”


The difference between Allen and Sotomayor is that Allen was using a racial slur to describe S.R. Sidarth, who was volunteering for his opponent’s campaign. Here is the video:


Feingold was correct. As has been proven again and again, Limbaugh is taking the wise Latina comment completely out of context. Plus, the term wise Latina is not a racial slur, unlike referring to a non-white campaign volunteer as a macaca. Even by Limbaugh’s standards this comparison is a real stretch.


If it is ok for liberals to be racist, then how would Limbaugh explain the fact that Bill Clinton caught holy hell for trying to introduce race into the South Carolina Democratic primary last year. Republicans love to claim that liberals are racist, but they have scant few modern examples outside of Jesse Jackson’s Heimeytown remark in 1984. Limbaugh is trying to create a scandal where none exists in a futile last ditch attempt to rally the GOP base against Sotomayor, who will certainly be confirmed, and the only question is how many votes over 60 will she get?

4 Replies to “Limbaugh: Sotomayor’s Wise Latina Comment is Worse than Macaca”

  1. The other fact that Limbaugh fails to mention is that Sotomayor was using the phrase “a wise Latina” to refer to herself. She did not malign or denigrate anyone else in her comment. So….are we supposed to believe that Sotomayor was making a slur about herself? I don’t think so.

    And of course, Limbaugh fails to mention that where Sotomayor HOPES that the different, in some ways more challenging experiences of a ‘wise Latina’ might help her make a better, wiser decision, it is not racism to suggest that some experiences are more productive in giving rise to wisdom than others.

    White people can have very difficult, very challenging lives as well; lives which give rise to greater wisdom than less challenging ones. A point that Sotomayor goes on to make at length in her much quoted speech — but which somehow doesn’t get quoted by Limbaugh or the other detractors.

    And of course more than anything, Limbaugh and other detractors don’t like to mention the very positive, non-biased, non-racist view of the independent analysis that has been done of Sotomayor’s decisions, particularly the analysis that focuses on her Constitutional Law decisions.

    Because that wouldn’t be racist, and Limbaugh himself is the one who likes to be racist, not Sotomayor.

  2. Her constant comments about being wise and Latina show that she has a self-esteem issue. It’s also pretty obvious that she cannot be unbiased as she constantly promoted the word “latina”. Can you imagine if a white judge constantly promoted himself as being a wise, white man? Do you think that would go over well? Doubtful.

    –Chris S

  3. She has certainly not made that comment constantly. It has been taken out of context over a period of more than 25 years, nearly always from speaking engagements where Sotomayor was encouraging latino/a students.

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