Bird's Eye View News

She Checks All the Boxes...And Still...

by Johára Tucker, Director of Equity and Inclusion, Head-Royce School

Last week I was attached (glued) to the hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Through the moments of pride, I also had many moments of familiar pain that were affirmed by the various tweets, texts and group chats that followed. We are all witnessing a historic and visible moment in our country’s history and yet it’s been all too clear that Judge Brown Jackson has been questioned unlike any other candidate. This deserves both the real and rhetorical question, “Why?”

Cory Booker in his passionate remarks called Judge Brown Jackson “his star,” affirming that she “belonged here” and listed all the reasons why. These hearings have been a wonderful opportunity for us to learn and talk about what belonging is and what it’s not. Why is this such an uncomfortable topic? Because for many this is par for the course, having to over explain or be questioned in ways that many peers or colleagues have never experienced.  

More explicitly Black and Brown girls and womxn have been made to feel that their accomplishments and achievements must be subject to a more high level of scrutiny and questioning than others around them. Why does Judge Brown Jackson have to fight to be recognized in the ways in which she deserves? Why do we ignore the things that we so plainly see? 

Here are some questions for thoughts or discussion… 

  • When Cory Booker said, “You belong here," what do you think he meant by that?
  • What evidence during the hearings would make you believe that she didn’t [belong]?
  • What do you do when you witness or are part of the mistreatment of Black or Brown womxn? What does an interruption or re-direction look or sound like?
  • If you have seen previous SCOTUS confirmation hearings, how has the difference in treatment resonated with you? 

As we wait for the results of this vote, I hope that our community will reflect on what we have seen and heard and will examine the patterns between what we are watching unfold on the national stage and what we are observing in our own lives.