What is the significance of this photo (taken from the White House Flickr account)? According to the official caption: “The youngster wanted to see if the President’s haircut felt like his own.”
How much impact do you think that moment had on that little black boy? What impression do you think was made on his formative young mind, to know someone who looks (and feels!) like him is the President of the United States of America?
It would be hard to measure. But I think it has to matter.
And so I’m having my own little private celebration today upon hearing the news that Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has been confirmed by the Senate. Not because of her judicial philosophy, or her credentials, or her dramatic life story. Simply because she is a Latina.
You see, my daughter is half-Caucasian and half-Latina. Growing up in America, she will certainly self-identify as a Latina—perhaps to varying degrees at different stages of her life. But I am happy that as she is growing up, she will have the privilege of seeing someone who looks like her in such a prestigious position.
I think it has to matter.