Watching The Sotomayor Hearings

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I feel like I'm seeing a bunch of glancing blows, nothing landing with any force. I'm very interested in Sotomayor's style of speech--she has painfully perfect enunciation. She reminds me of one of those teachers in middle school who worked hard to scrub away the hood accent. That's not a dis--I think that sort of scrubbing comes from the knowledge that people will discriminate against you based on how you talk. Kenyatta was saying earlier that Sotomayor's speech reminded her of  the women she went to church with as a child.

Now, Sotomayor is Puerto-Rican. So I suspect that her diction comes from a similar and yet different space. I suspect that being Latino puts a lot pressure on you to make your English perfect. And yet in her perfection, she actually sounds hood to me. How ironic.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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