Saturday, May 21, 2022

YOU! HAVE THE POWER | Dr. Ellen Brown

March 18, 2022 by  
Filed under Community

When am I Black enough?

BY DR. ELLEN BROWN

DR. ELLEN BROWN

If she is confirmed, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be the first Afr ican-American woman to take a seat on the highest court in the land. She is an appellate-court judge with credentials that prove her pedigree, knowledge, and accomplishments.

Judge Brown Jackson is not the first Black woman to stand in line for consideration. In fact, Judge Brown Jackson shared during a presentation that she shares her birthday with Judge Constance Baker Motley, who, in 1967, became the the first Black woman to be nominated to a federal court. Yet, there are those in high political places who are making statements about her abilities to serve on this Court.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Some of those statements include comments questioning her credentials to even know and understand the Black experience within the Justice System of the United States of America.

Raised in a family led by accomplished professional parents, Judge Brown Jackson has received criticism for being privileged and not able to adequately relate to the political and judicial inequities that are too often faced by people of color. In other words, she may be Black, and she may be applauded for being the first Black female on the high court, but is she Black enough?

In a very complicated 2017 class action case involving Lockheed Martin, more than 5,500 Black Lockheed employees were seeking justice for inequities linked to discrimination. The resulting decision has led to criticism of her judgement on both sides; specifically, can a Black female justice be without bias in cases involving Black plaintiffs? Her ability to relate to the inequities received by African-American plaintiffs was potentially biased due to her own higher-class upbringing and lack of experiences that would have led to a greater understanding.

Stay tuned to your media sources as this appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson plays out. You may not ever have the need or opportunity to find yourself in front of the Supreme Court, but you can seek the power of knowledge and apply it to your understanding of Who, Why and How in the critical decisions made at the highest court in the land as they can affect lives for generations.

Dr. Ellen Brown is an affiliate faculty member at Regis University, Denver. Contact Dr. Brown at ebrown.nci@gmail.com

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