Black-Woman is more than an Adjective

It was predictable that the Republicans would drive down racist-trope avenue to disparage a mythical black woman. President Biden pledged to pick a black woman for the Supreme Court, and the GOP is using familiar adjectives. What seems to be most at odds with Senator(s)Ted Cruz, Roger Wicker, and Susan Collins, to name a few, is the adjective, Black. She has been called an affirmative action choice, unqualified, and insulting to other black women, angry cannot be too far around the bend. What is lost in this Republican hysteria is that no one has been named; the choices are all speculative. Effectively, the GOP is waiting to exhale because no black woman is good enough in their eyes. The protest is against a myth; they only know she may or will be black. What other conclusion can you draw?    

In an article published on Slate.com, former White House counsel in the Reagan administration, Peter Wallison, revealed a conversation with the former President about the “Italian extraction” of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Reagan had asked me whether Scalia was of Italian extraction. I think he used the word ‘extraction,’ and I said, ‘Yes, he’s of Italian extraction.’ Reagan said, ‘That’s the man I want to nominate, so I want to meet him.’ In addition, both President(s)  Reagan and Trump promised to name a woman. The difference was the lack of the adjective Black.

The current objections to the unnamed nominee demean black women. The GOP has deemed her unfit regardless of accomplishments or character. What is the underlying fear of a black woman on the Supreme Court? Is it just another part of the GOP’s infantilizing their base? The GOP standard-bearer [Donald Trump] took great pains to embarrass, harangue and humiliate black women. In February of 2017, during a Trump press conference, longtime White House correspondent April Ryan’s question was answered with a suggestion that she act as his appointment secretary. [Trump] seemingly unaware of the Congressional Black Caucus’ anagram CBC, Ryan queried the President about meeting with the group; his response was as insulting as puzzling. “Well, I would. I tell you what. Do you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting?” he asked. “No, no, no, I’m just a reporter,” replied Ryan. “Are they friends of yours?” Trump asked. “Let’s go, set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus … I think it’s great,” he said. Despite the obvious insult to Ryan’s long years of service, his assumption that all black folks are friends is the definition of a racist trope. At another press gathering, he pointed a finger and told her to “sit down.”

Two other black female reporters also received Mr. Trump’s wrathful insults, Yamiche Alcindor and Abby Phillips. The Phillips insult was particularly egregious, “What a stupid question that is,” he said. “What a stupid question. But I watch you a lot, you ask a lot of stupid questions.” The GOP’s over-the-top attacks on Black women say more about their fear of black female political power than it does for the women involved. For years Republicans have treated black women as an’ oh yeah, them.’ Meanwhile, Democrats were forced to acknowledge that black women are a dependable support structure hewn by years of struggle. President Biden’s naming of a black female Supreme Court Justice is a physical affirmation of the growing influence of black women in politics and Republicans’ worst nightmare.

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