By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
“One of the explicit purposes of racism is to continually debase and defile its victims so that they are forever locked under a cloud of suspicion, ignominy, distrust and scorn which results in their rightful and legitimate place in society always being questioned.”
——- Efal Revillot, essayist.
The far-right noise machine is in overtime with throwing mud and acrimony at the US Supreme Court nominee, Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Black woman of impeccable credentials and an unassailable legal resume.
When you read her curriculum vitae from high school onward and throughout her professional career, you simply must wonder aloud, “Why does such a Black woman nominee have to be so over the top in stellar academics and intellectual vigor to be a viable Supreme Court candidate?”
The answer is quite simple but, yet, still complex as accurately counting the bubbles in a boiling pot of water. We see the water, but the ever rising bubbles can serve as a distraction to cover over a host of other ills.
In the case of jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson, the far-right media wing led by their fearless and moronic leader Tucker Carlson, have decided that the Black woman jurist needs to present to him, an accurate tally of those popping bubbles!
This racist demand of Tucker Carlson, and of those who are complicit with him but simply do not publicly utter the same gibberish, is a kissing cousin to the tactics and tricks used by southern voting officials when they, without shame, tried to eviscerate the ability of Black people to vote in southern elections.
However, even to this date, the racists were never asleep at the wheel. They were constantly devising ways to cast aspersions on any minority candidates who were seeking public office. Remember the blues Republican candidate Herr Trump gave to Democratic nominee Barack Obama when Trump asked to see his birth certificate?
The implication was that Obama was not born in the US and thus not qualified to run for the highest office in the land. Repeatedly, Trump hounded Obama for his birth certificate, and his law school transcripts regarding his grades. Trump doubted Obama’s smarts to get into Harvard law and excel as he did at Harvard.
To quell the rumor mill that Trump started, Obama did reluctantly produce a copy of that birth record but even then, the far-right media outlets opined that the certificate was bogus!
Now the racist rantings of Tucker Carlson have taken on a similar attack regarding the credentials of jurist Ketanji Brown Jackson. He is using his media mega horn to demand that Ms. Jackson produce her LSAT scores. For those who do not know what a “LSAT” (law school admission test) score is, it is used, in part, to score or judge how well a law school applicant could fare in a law school environment.
Like the college board entry exams (SAT), the LSAT is culturally situated to benefit middle class and upper middle class white students. As usual, minorities were not part of any focus groups when such tests were promulgated and applied.
It is via the filters of the college admissions tests and the LSAT tests that access is permitted or denied to students of color to enter the colleges and universities by which they could grab and manipulate the levers of power in both the political and legal systems of the government and in private industry.
So, what does a white nationalist do to slow down or stop the progress of persons like a Ketanji Brown Jackson or a Barack Obama?
You vilify their credentials. You excoriate their resumes. You utter baseless tirades against their personhood in the hopes that your vitriol will cause them to leave the battlefield and that others will join your bigoted crusade and shut them down.
For those readers who may be on the fence as to the position of Tucker Carlson and those of his ilk, remember, Carlson and other similarly thinking racists did not ask the most recent nominees to the highest court in the land such biased questions.
At the senate confirmation hearings for Judge Barrett, Gorsuch or Kavanaugh, no one asked to see their LSAT scores or their birth certificates. No one said that the appointment of either Barrett, Gorsuch or Kavanaugh would “defile” the highest court in the land or would be an embarrassment to the world.
No one. If Justice Jackson were a white female or white male, we would not be having this conversation because it is implicitly assumed that white people are qualified for any position from the time of their birth.
For people of color, the glaring presumption is always: You are unqualified until “we” say you are qualified.
Yet, such inhospitable treatment was directed at Ms. Jackson by Tucker Carlson and for which Tucker Carlson has not paid any price for his racist chastisement of the jurist by either the mogul who owns Fox News or any GOP Republican operative of any standing.
Tucker Carlson would not be deemed worthy to even tote the legal valise of Judge Jackson as she makes her dignified way to her current judgeship position. He is engaged in a game of crude race mongering, and he seems to relish it.
By his malicious attack on the intellectual caliber of Judge Jackson and indicating that she would defile the court by her very presence, Tucker Carlson has, by association, told Black America that the best that you can produce still amounts to an obnoxious defilement of the American judicial system.
My only question to Tucker Carlson is when does he plan to jettison any pretense of his smoldering disdain for all things Black; and simply save money by reducing his business wardrobe to that of a smartly fitted and dapper white and purple Klan robe?
Contact Lafe Tolliver at firstname.lastname@example.org