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Say What? Senator Talks to Sonia Like Ricky

"You'll have lots of splainin' to do."

— Republican Senator Tom Coburn tried on a Ricky Ricardo accent today at Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing. Does this sound, to you, like racial insensitivity or an unfortunate accident? To see the clip for yourself,


Image Source: Getty
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likeKlikeJ likeKlikeJ 8 years
i don't know for sure if he said this because she was Latina. IMO he said it because she is a WOMAN. i'm japanes/german, and my dad says that to me all the time. i think all we really know is he loves Lucy, and that's not a crime.
mermei mermei 8 years
Vsugar, Graham has already stated publicly that she will be confirmed, because they have no reason not to confirm her. What you seem to think is that Republicans have no right to put a liberal judge through her paces first, which is ridiculous. (Look back on confirmation hearings of Bush appointees - did Democrats ask tough questions? Damn right they did - and should. That's the whole point of confirmation hearings.) I honestly doubt very much they really care that she's a woman and Latina - beyond the fact that *she* claimed it made a difference in her decision making for years before recanting it now - what they care about is her politics. And that's their job.
Vsugar Vsugar 8 years
The issue here is not only Senator Coburn, but ALL of the Republican Senators on this committee, and their obsession with race. Lindsay Graham just asked her if she had ever known a "low-income Latina family" who was against the death penalty. WHAT does that have to do with her judicial qualifications??? I have been watching the hearings quite a lot, and they are all clearly uncomfortable with the idea of a Puerto Rican woman sitting on the court - the world is changing, and they ARE "conservative" - they DO NOT WANT change. Too bad.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Ok, so the "wise Latina" has some "splaining to do". Seems like they are both 1 for 1 on the not-the-smartest-thing-to-say list.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
is it racially insensitive? perhaps did he mean it to demean her? likely no did she seem to shrug it off/accept it with a smile? yes does she have a lot of "splainin'" to do? YES. that is the point of these hearings
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Its over reacting. She does have lots of explaining to do, and he just goofed on saying that.
LonelyShifter LonelyShifter 8 years
At best, it's *very* unprofessional.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Okay I've never done this once in the two and half years I've been on this site. God has it been that long, but I scrap everything I said. Two things, I couldn't watch the video at work and secondly I forgot the sugar staffs fondness for making things sound worse than they really are. I guess that's called baiting in journalism and maybe I've been off playing on citizen 4.0 to long. Anyhoo after watching the video and seeing with my own eyes the personal exchange between the Judge and the Senator. I saw the good rapore and I heard her laughter in an approving and understanding tone when he made the comment. Further more I saw that little catch he did right when he said it because I think he realized that may not have been taken well but when he heard and saw that she approved he relaxes and continues to laugh with her. But I can see how some people would be offended. Earlier because stupid me couldn't see the video I thought this was over a heated exchange but IMO what happened is harmless.
mermei mermei 8 years
She was offering a hypothetical in which she shot a sitting Senator, he made a joke about it, then they both laughed. Seriously, what's wrong with that? Or do people here only have a sense of humor when Democrats make the joke?
Beauty Beauty 8 years
This blows my mind. There's no way Coburn would have said that to a non-Latina/Latino judge.
zuke zuke 8 years
I think people are being more anti-republican than they are anything else. (Sorry, just my opinion, and sorry for the extra comment.)
zuke zuke 8 years
I think it was an accident, and she didn't seem to think anything of it. If Ricky Ricardo had never used that line, no one would think anything of it, and we would accept the fact that some people are going to say 'splainin'.
niicoley niicoley 8 years
The way he said that was not right...but she does have some major explaining to do! I do not believe she is fit to serve on this Court.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
*to be not (to me). sorry
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
"In that context I didn't find it racially insensitive at all." I think I'll disagree with that because although I think most of us agree that his intent was not to be racially insensitive it doesn't take intent for it to me racially insensitive. Especially in the context of grilling a Latina judge over the subject of race. I think he was absolutely trying to be a smart @ss but didn't think through the consequences of his chosen phrase. I'll agree that under other contexts it probably would have been harmless but this was not one of them IMO.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
No, it wasn't a mistake. He knew exactly what he was doing.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 8 years
i think it was probably an accident, i know plenty of people including myself who have made mistakes when speaking including splainin'
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
He didn't use a goofy accent or anything, so I think it was just an unfortunate moment of inarticulate speech. It doesn't seem like he meant it, and honestly I'd usually take any opportunity to make fun of a conservative senator.
plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 8 years
Y'all overreacting. In that context I didn't find it racially insensitive at all.
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
What a douche bag!! That is not at all ok and is extremely racially insensitive. First, she is Puerto Rican not Cuban. Ricky Ricardo was Cuban. They are totally different countries. Second, this behavior is unacceptable for a senator of any party. Would it be ok to talk like a character from the Soprano's at Alito's hearings? This is gross!
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