Judge Ketanji Brown — a judge picked by Joe Biden to sit on the Supreme Court, has in the past couple of weeks had the indignity of having to explain herself to a committee of people who purposefully mispronounced her name, who asked her ridiculous questions such as Sen. Marsha Blackburn’s of Tennessee when she asked, “Can you define a woman?”, Ted Cruz and his racist baby book, Senator John Cornyn playing “Smear The Queer,” and other obnoxious things that had no bearing on law.
She sat, dignified, willing to not only allow herself to be bombarded with such nonsense questions but did so in front of her two daughters who looked on.
Yes, those questions were beneath her — they were beneath the senate, to be quite honest, but those questions weren’t really about her. Like Ben Sasse, Senator from Nebraska, they were “…allowing people to be jackasses in front of a camera,” although he himself was disinclined to vote for her.
In recent days, especially on social media, this judge, who worked her entire life to get where she is, has also been the subject of scrutiny by people wondering why she had married a white man. One TikToker, a black male, asked, “What kind of message does this send to young black girls?”
Judge Brown’s husband didn’t go to law school for her, and he didn’t do her job nor earn her reputation, and yet, somehow, people equated her ability to become a nominee for SCOTUS based on the fact that she had married a white dude. Somehow, to these people, his whiteness had opened an opportunity for her that her work and credentials didn’t open themselves.
Jada Smith -
Fast forward to Oscar night 2022, Chris Rock, a black male comedian, decided to poke fun at Jada Pickett Smith’s hair, or lack thereof, thanks to a condition known as Alopecia. It was the slap heard ‘round the world as her husband, Oscar Winner Will Smith, got up and nailed him in front of God and everyone else. He further instructed Mr. Rock, “To keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
Chris Rock had made fun of both Smiths prior for boycotting Oscar’s Ceremony a couple of years ago over the “Oscar so white” controversy.
Today, the internet did as it always does and produced meme after meme, punchline after punchline, outrage posts, and think pieces over what happened at the Oscars- most of all, around Will Smith. Comments on my own page ran the gamut, as I am sure many of yours did.
And yet, I can’t help but wonder why no one was ready to stand up for the black women who were the ones targeted by people like they’re always targetted by people. For some reason, black women always seem to be the punchline. From white southern men purposefully mispronouncing Judge Brown’s name, the way Fox News commentators purposefully mispronounce Vice President Kamala Harris’ name, to the “Shaquitta and Sharqueesha” jokes we hear concerning black women and how ghetto they can be, or how many kids they have, etc. ad naseum.
The myth of the Welfare Queen, perpetuated by Ronald Reagan back in the 1980s, is where my mind goes concerning this segment of our society. It was a bitter and cruel rumor started by a white man who wished to divide the nation over issues of race and entitlement and white people, but not only white people, picked it up and put it in their pocket for future use. Tenacity has often allowed its use, disguising the fact that more white people are on welfare than black people.
That’s just simple mathematics.
The ironic thing is, this old nasty rumor is perpetuated not only by the unintelligent, Q-Anon fevered, uber evangelical segments of conservative “Trump” society but- and here’s the tea- in liberal circles as well.
And yet, a brief google search has led me to multiple articles saying that Black women are the most educated portion of our society and, out of all demographics, the most enrolled at the College level and university. Even if that weren’t the case, and I hate using the example because it seems performative, why hasn’t someone stood up and said, “The treatment of black women is absolute bullshit.”
What Chris Rock did is no different than what those white southern men did to Judge Brown, full stop.
In my white male cis genderedness, there is no way in hell I would have sat for hours, knowing that some Trump pleasing, sleazeball scumbucket “jackass” like Blackburn asking me to define “…a woman” or the immortal anal drip that is “Don’t you know who I am” Cancun Cruz, …having my dignity bombarded and make it a point to elevate myself above them just because “…my country needed me.”
I would have laughed and turned my back on the lot of them and gone on happily with my life.
Jada had to sit there and have some dude use her as a punchline about something she can’t help…
I would have been the one to leap up on stage and slap the motherfucker, myself.
And yet she didn’t.
Both of those women sat there, Jada and Judge Brown, in their beauty, dignity, brilliance, womanness, and black womanness, proving at the end of the day, the indignity of “Shaquisha” is nothing more than something bestowed upon them from their inferiors.
Will Smith and the “White Dude” aren’t the story. These Women Are.