Overqualified

Wow… so in the midst of war in the Ukraine, horrible tornados ravaging parts of the US, and inflation making everything from gas to food extraordinarily expensive, we are witnessing history being made… the nomination of the first Black woman to the Supreme Court. It is historic. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is among the most highly qualified judges to ever be nominated to the highest court. Her qualifications are stellar. Yet the behavior of the primarily White male Senators on the right has been appalling, but unfortunately not shocking. Surprise Surprise!

They have gathered together in Donald Trump’s name to make this very important job interview, if you will, into a performance of sound bites for the 20 Republican Senate seats up for reelection in 2022. They clearly plan to make critical race theory, transgenderism, child pornography, abortion, and the topics of police and gun law reform the trends in these elections. So they have decided to play a game of dodgeball with the Judge, to try to both expose her as unqualified and to advance their policies. But this is not an underdog story and Judge Jackson is far from your average joe… she has clerked at every judicial level up to the Supreme Court, served as a Court of Appeals and District Court Judge, worked in private practice, and as a federal public defender, written for the Harvard Law Review, and worked on the sentencing commission. She is the hi-hat and these sad little men are the spoons… in that confirmation hearing room, their arms are indeed too short to box with this goddess.

She is OVERqualified… beyond, above, more than, plus, double it and add tax. Sis is a whole mood…

…she knows what these little men are doing. She can smell their cologne with base notes of fear and top notes of privilege, race-isms, and sex-isms. Yet she remains poised and patient. She says, “thank you Senator” at every turn, but never fails to school them on the limits, powers, scope, policy, and procedures of the judiciary, something she knows much better than they do. But she even manages to pull their Congressional card, letting them know what their duties entail and how they are, in fact, responsible for much of what they are attacking her for. She is a quintessential educated Black woman, more qualified, dignified, and certified than these men she will soon outrank, outearn, and at EVERY turn outdo. They only like their little women “in the kitchen or the bedroom Florida”, but Judge Jackson commands rooms… confirmations to courts. Recognize. This is not Little Women, this is Big Bosses.

She is us and we are her. I know a myriad of amazingly successful Black women engineers, doctors, PR professionals, superintendents, lawyers, teachers, professors, nurses, directors, VPs, and judges who know all too well the unbearably uncomfortable stench of racism staring back at them through beady pupils void of all humanity, with thin persed lips that let nigger slip between them freely in White spaces, and let microaggressions pour onto the floor covering our feet so they are hard to lift. We also know, because we are stars, just like Cory Booker said of Judge Jackson, that we are singlehandedly the harbingers of hope that America will ever be as great as all proclaim. For if we are still the most disrespected, underpaid, and ignored people in America… when we are among the most educated and most entreprenuerial … things White men have been heralded for for centuries, then America has not fulfilled its promise. It indeed has not, but we won’t stop busting ceilings and busting heads until it does. Gang gang.

Being overqualified in a sea of mediocrity is not new for Black women. While we were keeping weak ass, fainting ass Missy from passing out in her corset by sneaking her tea cookies, we wear waist trainers under our suits to work like fucking what waist bosses! When we nursed lily White babies and kept them free from consumption, smallpox, and whatever was killing off White folks, our bodies kept enough magical milk to feed the babies we grew in our own bodies, often sister or brother to the baby who drank first. When we walked the halls of the first integrated schools while being harassed and assaulted, we fixed our starched shirts and perfectly pleated skirts, before tapping our curls into place to go learn and excel in spaces we weren’t wanted but knew we needed to show our faces in, so our own children would walk those halls like they owned them. And when Althea Gibson, Patricia Harris, Mae Jemison,Constance Baker Motley, Shirley Chisholm, Cathay Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Phillis Wheatley, and, Kamala Harris all became the first Black woman to reach some magnificent point of excellence, once only allowed to wealthy and powerful White men, through dedication and hard work instead of the typical privileged and nepotistic means… a way was made for this moment. This is what we do… cause lovely chaos.

So how fitting, as Black women and our allies all gather together in Ketanji’s Onyika’s name, which mean’s “lovely one”. We recognize the magnitude of Judge Jackson’s nomination and coming confirmation to the highest court in our nation, where women have gained rights and liberties once denied to us. We also join in her celebration… as this moment, like all of our biggest moments, are shared with our sisters. She is the dream and hope of our ancestors, who with us, have her back. And we feel the same way sweet Laila…who is seen below looking at her mom with the sweetest admiration, joy, and pride… your mother is our hero too! Overqualified personified!

Black women… never be afraid to be your best and bravest self… our daughters are watching!

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