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Buchanan Mocks Sotomayor For Learning English By Reading Children’s Books

By Amanda Terkel on June 1, 2009 at 8:00 pm

"Buchanan Mocks Sotomayor For Learning English By Reading Children’s Books"

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Yesterday, C-SPAN invited right-wing pundit Pat Buchanan onto its hour-long Washington Journal show. In recent days, Buchanan has made headlines for spewing hatred toward Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Yesterday, he continued, mocking the fact that she was still struggling with English while in college:

BUCHANAN: Well I, again in that Saturday piece, she went to Princeton. She graduated first in her class it said. But she herself said she read, basically classic children’s books to read and learn the language and she read basic English grammars and she got help from tutors. I think that, I mean if you’re, frankly if you’re in college and you’re working on Pinocchio or on the troll under the bridge, I don’t think that’s college work.

Watch it:

Buchanan is referencing a recent New York Times article, which talked about how hard Sotomayor had to work to graduate at the top of her class from Princeton:

Judge Sotomayor is not known to have identified herself as a beneficiary of affirmative action, but she has described her academic struggles as a new student at Princeton from a Roman Catholic school in the Bronx — one of about 20 Hispanics on a campus with more than 2,000 students.

She spent summers reading children’s classics she had missed in a Spanish-speaking home and “re-teaching” herself to write “proper English” by reading elementary grammar books. Only with the outside help of a professor who served as her mentor did she catch up academically, ultimately graduating at the top of her class.

Nowhere did the article say that all of this was Sotomayor’s “college work.” But Buchanan has been doing all he can in the past week to make it seem like Sotomayor is unqualified and simply an affirmative action nominee.

Buchanan has long claimed that Hispanic immigrants are resistant to learning English and has said that it would be easier for them to “assimilate” if they did so. When writing about Mexican immigrants in 2006, Buchanan said that in contrast to Italian immigrants, “millions of Mexicans are determined to retain their language and loyalty to Mexico.” Similarly, he has also said that “the road to culture is language” and “they want to keep their Spanish language.”

So basically, Buchanan yells when Hispanics are allegedly unwilling to learn English. However, when they make an attempt to do so, he mocks them as being dumb.

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