This brief article is not about anyone’s political beliefs, any policies anyone has supported. It is not about legislation that may have passed. It is not about Democrats or Republicans. I will not be getting into that, so do not tell me about that. I have had my own issues with some things that Cory Booker has said in the past. However when someone gets it right I will speak just as loudly as I do when they (as I believe) get it wrong. The challenge I issued to Cory Booker several years ago, was answered yesterday.
The words of Senator Cory Booker were a moment of selah – a moment of praise and pause in time. That is what Senator Cory Booker provided to Black women. There was a moment of recognition and reprieve in a sea of hate and hostility towards Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
It wasn’t about politics. It wasn’t about an agenda. This was a moment for us. It was a moment that Black men and Black women needed. It was a moment that wasn’t for anyone else but for Black people. It was a moment not filtered through Whiteness. It was a moment that we don’t often see portrayed on television, in magazines, or online. It broke through the White narrative about Black men and women. It was a moment of Black unity that will be recorded in history.
Black women are berated daily online. Black women fight to hold up the sky, while others use our backs as steppingstones. Black women are always called in to fix it, often at the expense of ourselves. Black women are the perpetual scapegoat. Always the canary in the coalmine. And rarely are we defended.
But not this time.
On full display for the world to see a Black man, Senator Cory Booker, stood side by side with a Black woman. A Black man was fully supporting a Black woman. A Black man essentially said, “Sis, I have your back.” A Black man said, “You are not alone. I am here with you.” A Black man affirmed a Black woman, letting her know that she was worthy despite all the noise, the false accusations, and the insults. A Black man held a Black woman up on a pedestal. It was a moment where a Black man essentially said, “I will stand with you. I will work with you. I will fight for you.” A Black man understood our struggles and let us know you do not fight alone.
Senator Cory Booker’s words allowed a moment for a Black woman to be vulnerable and shed tears, but certainly not tears of sadness. I believe the tears came because, at that moment, because Senator Cory Booker saw Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. And he let her know, I see you. I see the work you have done. I see what they are doing to you. I see the anger your greatness brings out in these mediocre men. I see how hard you are fighting to remain poised. I see you.”
That was a moment for us.
And as a Black woman, I appreciated every word. While most Black women will NEVER be called to serve on the Supreme Court and sit through grueling questioning, we have had to sit through racism. We have had to sit through having our character called into question. We have had to sit through White men and women who think they know more than we do based on nothing else but skin color. We have had our skills, expertise, and credentials called into question. We have had to sit and smile through microaggressions. We have had to remain silent even when our souls were screaming because we thought of the greater good. We understand Judge Brown Jackson because we are fighting an uphill battle every day in our world.
Watching the confirmation of the first Black woman being appointed to the Supreme Court has been challenging to say the least. It is difficult to watch a Black woman who is more intelligent than anyone in the room being questioned about her credentials. It is draining to know we must continue to prove ourselves to those who aren’t even on our level. Black women needed the moment that Senator Cory Booker provided. Thank you, Senator Cory Booker, for reminding not just Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson but many Black women that we are seen, we are heard, and we are worthy.
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