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History Made – Barriers Broken By Mark Lampkin

After watching the vote in the U.S. Senate today, April 7, 2022, that confirmed the historic appointment of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court…the following quote from James Baldwin came to mind:

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”

The Senators, male and female, mostly white except for Tim Scott of South Carolina, exhibited behaviors that many of us thought were behind us. Yet, as witnessed during her confirmation hearings, with the asinine and inappropriate questions posed to her about religion, what is a woman, and is she soft on pedophiles, today’s actions took the proverbial cake.

Given the monumental moment at hand when a Brown-skinned Woman, The Vice-President of the USA, read the results of the Senate vote, thus confirming Ms. Jackson as SCOTUS, the applause rang out from the Senate chamber. Well, the Democrats and the three GOP members who voted “aye” applauded. Then, in an act that will forever be seen as shameful and petty, the Republicans in the chamber walked out. Despicable. Deplorable. Disgusting.

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”

Those committee members who refused to accept that someone who’d studied, interned, worked and played the game by all the rules set forth by the “system”, yet would deny her appointment, could only be what Mr. Baldwin described; trapped in history. A history where only white males wield power and dictate the rules by which U.S. citizens must abide. A future that they could control. The way it used to be.

People are trapped in history, and history is trapped in them.”

We will celebrate this moment. We will dance and shout to the Ancestors…who dreamed of this day. Who believed in the promise of America. Who fought for, bled and died believing that this moment was possible. The sad truth is that many of this nation’s white citizens have never believed in anything that did not allow them to have dominion…and now, at so many turns, it is turning into that for which they are ill-prepared. A Nation where “privilege” is not a given based on the one thing that is out of our control, skin pigmentation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created EQUAL! This is our time to bring those words to LIFE!

Today, we freed those who are trapped in history. It is up to them, individually and collectively, to release the history that is trapped in them. One day, when many of us are with the Ancestors, this historic moment will be viewed with equal stature as the Montgomery bus boycott and the election of Barack Obama as President. On that day, I pray that our less-melanined brothers and sisters will see how foolish and short-sighted their perspectives have been and will now, once and for all, work together to build a More Perfect Union.