Where we fall short

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Speaking on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday, incoming Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson pointed out, “It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But we’ve made it. We’ve made it. All of us. All of us.” President Joe Biden echoed that sentiment, convinced that the bipartisan vote “is going to let so much sun shine on so many young women, so many young Black women, so many minorities.”

While Jackson’s confirmation is to be celebrated, it also reminds us of where we fall short. For example, ironically, not a single Black woman was able to vote for Jackson. Although Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the Senate confirmation hearing (as the President of the Senate), she did not cast a vote for Jackson because, at 53-47, her potential tiebreaking role was inapplicable.

While Republican showboat Sen. Rand Paul held up the tally with his mysterious absence, Harris used the opportunity to give Office of the Vice President stationery to the Senate’s two Black Democrats, Sens. Cory Booker and Raphael Warnock, along with an assignment. Harris asked them, as well as members of the Congressional Black Caucus, to compose a letter to a Black girl who is important in their life.

Calling it a “beautiful gesture,” Booker wrote a letter and will soon decide the recipient. Warnock penned his letter to his daughter, and he proudly shared it on Twitter. Warnock told her that Jackson “is the first Supreme Court Justice who looks like you” and that the Vice President who gave him the stationery “also looks like you!”

   

Warnock closed the letter by telling his daughter that she “can be anything, achieve anything you set your head and heart to do.” Indeed, as Biden later tweeted, “Judge Jackson’s confirmation was a historic moment for our nation,” calling it “another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America.” Step by step, Democratic leaders are proving their commitment to ensuring that racism and bigotry will not stand between Americans and the accomplishments they deserve.

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