It is time for change.
President Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to sit on the Supreme Court, Feb. 25. She could be the first Black woman to be appointed and confirmed — a monumental, positive shift for our government, as she faced questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee this past week.
“I believe it’s time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications, and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level,” Biden said.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is of mixed Jamaican and Indian heritage, was the first Black American woman to hold the second-highest office in the country, and represented a major change in the inclusion and representation of the highest courts. Appointing another woman, especially that of minority and marginalized groups, is something that we vitally need as a country to continue change among the conservative leaning Supreme Court. Especially, as a Black woman has never been nominated to the high court, and out of 115 justices over the past two centuries, only five have been women, with one woman being minority.
Changes in real representation like these are a step toward equality, reparations for years of minority and marginalized group mistreatment, and giving those a voice that have been silenced for an extreme amount of time.
Changes like these push young children who may not look like the idealized candidate to run in the future. They no longer will feel their skin tone, their ethnicity, culture and heritage is being dehumanized and ignored by a white supremacy-run institution, and it will instill that someday those who dream of a better future in political leadership will follow in Jackson’s footsteps.
As of 2021, there is greater representation in some areas, as “57 House members in the new Congress are Black, putting the share of Black House members (13%) about on par with the share of the overall U.S. population that is Black,” according to a Pew Research report. Currently, there are three Black senators, and no Black governors. It is not enough representation for those who have had none since the beginning, among a system that was built to fail those who are not the typical cis gender, white man.
We need to keep pushing.
That starts with Jackson actually being appointed into a position on the Supreme Court. The court currently has six conservative justices and three liberal justices, that control abortion, gun control and religious liberty issues. This makeup impacts the implantation of more legislation that would protect those who are unable to have a voice, and most of all — the direction we are moving in as a country.
With numerous human rights issues that still have yet to be touched in Congress, we are shifting day by day closer to a more inclusive America. We need to allow ourselves to see a different future, and keep that hope that with each protest, each letter sent, and each outcry for change will get through to those who are supposed to make everyone feel welcome in a country that preaches freedom and justice. And that our leaders will allow us even the smallest victory, in a sea of constant guessing whether or not we will be judged and reprimanded on the basis of the skin we were born in.
This is not a normal day for America,” Sen. Cory Booker, the New Jersey Democrat and only Black member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “We have never had this moment before.”