Bro said this with a straight face, like this country wasn’t literally built on the backs and by the hands of Judge Jackson’s Black ancestors, done wrong for centuries by the decisions of a Supreme Court bench occupied almost exclusively by white men who decided from said bench that segregation was a go, Jim Crow was completely okay
, separate but equal (even though it was grossly unequal) totally should be a thing, and, more recently, that laws obliterating a woman’s right to her own bodily autonomy and Black people’s rights to vote are it
as far as the court is concerned.
What’s more: the implication amongst naysayers like him and other loud-mouthed-and-wrong Republicans that Biden’s focus on his nominee’s skin color and gender somehow makes her less-than are not only blowing that same tired, racist dog whistle they have glued their lips, but all putting on front street that they either don’t know or are famously ignoring that ol’ African American adage that we Black folk “have to be twice as good to get half as much as the whites.”
And isn’t that the gag? That Black supernovas like Jackson can be so easily dismissed precisely because of her skin color, no matter that she’s spent a lifetime working, earning, sweating, excelling in ways that make moments like these possible? No matter that she can run circles around the very people putting her down?
The dismissiveness of Jackson’s accomplishments precisely because of her skin color is familiar—typical. It’s the same argument that’s got a chokehold on affirmative action
, the program that, for decades, has sought to even the playing field for people traditionally locked out of everything from college admissions to workplaces
to government contracts and more because of their race, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation, age and ethnic origin. Of course, with a conservative majority mucking up the swamp that’s become the Supreme Court, the landmark program is likely to be struck down, ushered before the justices by those who use that same wrongheaded logic as Tucker annem: any Black person who got an extra look because of their skin color can’t be right for the school/job/contract and doesn’t have what it takes to succeed
—an argument that’s dumb as hell.
What that screwy logic refuses to take into account is that affirmative action hires tend to be some of the baddest students/employees for their positions. Nobody’s pulling slouches. When I won a college scholarship and a series of summer internships from Long Island Newsday and an internship and job from The Associated Press—an award and positions that were part of an industry-wide system of affirmative action programs designed to bring some semblance of racial parity in the newsroom—I was chosen because I was Black, yes, but I was also cherry-picked from hundreds of applicants because I had a clear-eyed focus on being a journalist.
I was not “handed” a job. I worked hard and earned it.