Tokenism: On The Confirmation Of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson (April 2022)

Harriet Tubman, Assata Shakur, Winnie Mandela

I watched a bit of the March 2022 senate confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson, the degradation she was subjected to by smug white conservative senators, and how it jibes with the gauntlet of humiliation that Black people must endure to be accepted as tokens into Amerika’s capitalist and racist establishment.

Tokenism, this is what it means to be the “first Black to….” Which is no badge of honor, rather it is a brand that one has proven themself willing to accept being degraded by and hence to be no threat to the status quo. Especially since only such Blacks are ever accepted as at most tokens into the halls of white capitalist power. 

Often this degradation involves Blacks being subjected to racist attacks and insults that turn history on its head, and projects them as the proponents of the very outrages that have been inflicted upon us historically. This was done quite blatantly to Jackson-Brown, when among other things, senators tried to portray her as soft on pedophiles. Which is particularly insulting to any Black woman, since Black children were often the victims of rape at the hands of white men during slavery and Jim Crow. As historian John W. Blassingame wrote in PLANTATION LIFE IN THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH, “The white man’s pursuit of Black women frequently destroyed the possibility that comely Black girls could remain chaste for long.” (pg 82) Adding to this history of the prevalence of rape of Black women and children during slavery Ida B. Wells pointed out that under Jim Crow, “The rape of helpless Negro girls, which began in slavery days, still continues without reproof from church, state, or press.” (1) in fact, Amerika’s most revered founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and others were just such pedophiles.

In Jefferson’s case, DNA has proven the descendants of Sally Hemings, a slave child he began molesting when she was 14 and he was 47, to have come from Hemings children fathered by Jefferson. In fact, the victimization of this child by Jefferson became an international scandal when he visited France on a diplomatic trip promoting the newly founded Amerika as a bastion of freedom and democracy, and brought this enslaved child along as his mistress. Oddly, the senators who chided Brown-Jackson overlooked their own actual reverence for and emulation of pedophiles.

I recall during the early 1990s watching a roundtable discussion among various Black women entertainers, including Queen Latifah, where the subject of the history of the routine rapes of Black women and girls by white men came up. These women pointed out that in the absence of Black men in our communities, due to being swept away by Amerika’s racist mass imprisonment system, Black women were choosing to be intimate with other Black women instead of white men on account of the continuing deep trauma that they still endured from the history of white men raping our women and children. The prevalence of white males coupled with Black women in today’s entertainment industry, commercials and media reveal an effort to whitewash and erase this history and trauma.

This is the REAL fear of the political establishment behind what they call “Critical Race Theory.” Under this rubric, which actually relates only to an academic theory created by Black law professor Derek Bell that relates to the legal profession, they aim to suppress and erase the teaching of the actual savagery and abuse Black folks endured historically in Amerika which underpins our continued suffering and tokenist treatment today.(2)

And consistent with this history, Brown-Jackson was made to prove to the world that she could remain deferential and polite while being publically defiled by white men, in order to win a seat at the table of a racist institution that offers her up as a token of how far they’ve come in changing absolutely nothing! And this willingness to accept humiliation in exchange for token “success” of a handful of individuals is portrayed as an example of what little Black girls should emulate. They certainly should not!

This is why this racist capitalist world order presided over by Amerika must be overthrown with revolutionary Black workers, women, and marginalized in the vanguard, because this system and those who concede to its degradations certainly won’t take the necessary stand to effect the needed changes.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!



End Notes:


  2. Critical Race Theory has nothing to do with anything taught in grade schools as falsely portrayed by the media and politicians, who are using the name to whip up white public opposition to teaching subjects on Black history, but is rather a subject confined to the legal profession. BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY defines it thus, Critical Race Theory: (1) A reform movement  within the legal profession, particularly within academia, whose adherents believe that the legal system has disempowered racial minorities.”
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