I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. The National Review wants to make fun of Sonia Sotomayor’s “wise Latina” remark, so they dress her up like a Buddhist monk? And make her look Asian? Let’s see, how many insulting stereotypes can be jammed into one picture?
I can’t see the details of Buddha Sonia’s right hand, but if her thumb and forefinger are touching, this is called the vitarka mudra. It represents teaching and discussion of the dharma.
Update: I agree with Matt Yglesias; this isn’t so much racist as deranged.
I’m still befuddled that the National Reviewers chose an iconic image of a southeast Asian Buddha to represent “wisdom.” It’s something of a back-handed compliment, I suppose. However, since the intention of the cover image is to ridicule, are they saying there is something ridiculous about Buddhism? Wasn’t there an iconic image from western culture they could have used? They could have dressed her up as Justice holding the scales, for example.
Consider also if the National Reviewers had used Christian iconography to ridicule Sotomayor — dress her up as the Blessed Virgin, for example. How many nanoseconds would pass before William Donohue was all over mass media screaming about anti-Catholicism?