This isn’t a post about politics. That would be too easy after watching this week’s historic Supreme Court confirmation hearings for nominee The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson. No, this post isn’t about that. It can’t be. Because if it was I’d have to detail all of the grandstanding and accusatory lines of questioning and the disingenuousness of the Senate members that claimed they were being tough on behalf of America.
I can’t write about that.
This post, all of it from beginning to end, is about centering and respecting a Black woman. It’s about acknowledging her credentials and giving her the respect she deserves. It’s about making sure that the most qualified nominees in the history of the Supreme Court is supported. Praised. Given her professional flowers. And that’s exactly what Senator Cory Booker, straight outta Newark, has done this week.
It couldn’t have been easy for Booker to watch his colleagues bend over backwards as they verbally accosted Judge Jackson, pelting her with misinformed question after misinformed question regarding her judicial record. With straight faces. Watching them paint her as a liar, a cheater or an inept officer of the court clearly made him wince more than once, even prompting him to seek advice from other lawmakers as to whether what they were doing was even legal.
However he felt about what they were doing, Booker made sure to let Jackson know how he feels about her nomination. About her work. About her lifelong dedication to the law and to the nation. And he did this, not once, or even twice. In fact, he used every opportunity available to him to praise her. To center her. To make sure that everyone who was listening knew that despite his colleagues’ incredibly tone deaf agenda, nothing was going to steal his joy. The joy of seeing someone that looked like him, and like his mother and cousins and like half of America, ascend to the highest court in the land.
Senator Booker stood up for a Black woman, using emotion and intellect. Using facts instead of fiction. Using his voice to ensure that everyone who was watching these confirmation hearings understood who she is. He said her name: Ketanji Brown Jackson. Loud, and strong. And with pride.
Seeing him, a Black man, do that for a Black woman, was a sight to see. It was like if “we all we got” was a person. It brought the judge to tears. It brought me to my feet.
Ultimately, the judge will be confirmed, just as she was the other three times she appeared before the Senate. And whether or not those ridiculously questioning her credentials feel even a twinge of regret for displaying their worst attributes for all the nation to see, what I’ll remember about this week is joy. Respect. Praise. And the time a Black woman had an advocate, and made sure she knew she did.
Check all three days of Senator Booker’s remarks below as we prepare for history to be made in America. Just typing that last sentence brought me joy.
What a time to be alive.