Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination, hearing, and confirmation dominated the weeks before what many are calling “the most important election of our lifetimes. ” The process, from its association with what has come to be known as the Rose Garden Massacre to its its hasty process, has proved a national tension that runs parallel to a contentious presidential race.
Though I do not entirely dissent from those who deem the hearings and their engendered discussions a distraction, I do believe the hearings articulate important messages for the black collective.
- The bar is lower and far easier to climb over if you are not black
While Coney Barrett endured over thirty hours of questioning, her hearing evidenced little else than aerobic rhetoric that danced and bent Barrett’s way around every question asked. She also illustrated an unfamiliarity with notable laws delineating that the white mediocrity phrase that many reference as whiteness itself. Barrett’s performance substatiates opposition to the cliche saying that blacks must be twice as good to receive half as much, because as both she and Donald Trump evidence, those of the majority do not have to be good at all; they just have to be white.
2. The power of the race card for the white mother
The most disturbing component of the nomination and hearing alike was the use of Barrett’s adopted children to illustrate Coney Barrett’s commitment to diversity. What this “move” illustrated was that white proximity to blackness, be it as an employer, sponsor, philanthropist, deem race a card accessible by members of the majority. Despite its pseudo altruism, all of these relationships reinforce the master-slave dynamic. Particularly, this dynamic enables the oppressor to employ the oppressed as a token of their goodness while working to actualize the myths of their superiority.
3. The Democratic grapple for Republican Power
Though the Democratic Party displaces their opposition to Barrett’s nomination as “in the best interest of the American people,” these efforts are sheerly implemented to preserve their presence in the court. The Democratic and Republican parties essentially represent a distinction between how those of the majority choose to showcase and implement their supremacy. This is perhaps best underscored by the overwhelming, and seemingly intractable, whiteness that inundates the court.
4. The Able do what they Will
The expediency afforded to Barrett’s hearings also delineates how quickly the government can get something done if and when it desires. Thus, these hearings illuminate that free health care for all and reparations for the descendants of slavery constitute feasible implementations when the able are willing. To put it bluntly, “wait,” “not now,” or sheer evasiveness reflects not an inability or impossibility but incompatibility with the white nationalist values of this nation. These hearings were never about Barrett, it’s about the showcase and perseveration of the power vested in ensuring that white supremacy remains an “abling” force that engenders the willing.
5. Trump’s Republican Message for the “Ladies” of the Majority
The Republican race to fill the late Ruth Ginsberg’s seat is undoubtedly a showcase of power. There is, however, something else at play here. The fight to secure Republican interest despite the election being only days away also sends an important and resonant message to the white female voter. While Joe Biden gained bipartisan traction for pledging to pick a female running mate which made a notable distinction between the two white male faces that occupy the top seats in the Republican Party, Trump one-ups Biden by gifting his white female constituency a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. Trump’s actions “trump” Biden’s four-year-appointment to a potential female Vice President by not only in affording the white female conservative a perennial position, but affording the white women upset over the potential that a black woman will obtain a position they have not with something no black woman has yet to accomplish in this white settler space.
In conclusion, Barrett’s confirmation “confirms” that the constitution is here to stay and that its interpretations are to remain within its racist bounds. Needless to say, these hearings proved as much of a power grab as a power-wielding. From tokenized black children to a close vote days before America, well the electoral college, selects the next President, the confirmation “confirmed” America as a white nationalist space that preserves its reigning supremacy by any means necessary.