On Thursday (April 07), the American Senate voted 53-47 to appoint Ms Ketanji Brown Jackson as the First Black Woman Judge of America’s Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court of America was established on 24.09.1789. It has taken 233 long years for the USA Supreme Court to have its first black woman Judge.
I am reminded of the March 1857 judgment of the Supreme Court of America in the Dred Scott Case. The 7-2 judgment was disastrous in its scope and consequence. The Court ruled that blacks “are not included and were not intended to be included under the word ‘citizen’ in the Constitution.” The US SC further held that neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution had been intended to apply to blacks. The blacks were so inferior that they had no rights that white men were bound to respect. The slaves were private property, and the Constitution protected slavery.
It took a civil war and the 13th and 14th amendments to the American Constitution in 1865 to annul the obnoxious judgment.
While reading the debates in the Presidential elections which elected Lincoln as the American President, I found the following passage in the speech of his rival Douglas portraying Lincoln as a Negro-loving agitator, “If you desire negro citizenship, if you desire them to vote on an equality with yourselves, and to make them eligible to office, to serve on juries, and to adjudge your rights, then support Mr Lincoln and the Black Republican Party.” The crowd responded, “Never never.”
In response, Lincoln clarified that he had “no purpose of introducing political and social equality between the white and black races.” He was not in favour “of making voters or jurors of Negros….”
Even today, black Americans have to fight the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. A policeman there can kill a black in full public view by pressing his knee on the victim’s neck until he suffocates and dies. The blacks are killed praying in a church.
Truly, the fight for equality and dignity is a global matter and not limited to any particular pocket or amongst the castes.