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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Roland is right. “Where are y’all?”

A couple of weeks ago, political commentator Roland Martin asked the civil rights and other black organizations to call on President Barack Obama to nominate a black woman to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court.   “Where are y’all?” he asked.

The election of Barack Obama to the presidency sent a powerful message to the entire world that America, by majority vote, had come to a place where it was willing to reject the bigotry and prejudice of the past and fully embrace this nation’s much-espoused credo that all men are created equal.

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It also sent a powerful message that a black man can aspire to the highest office of the nation and if he prepares himself by hard work and qualifies himself by his dedication and  commitment to excellence, he can in fact achieve it all.  We need a similar message for the girls.

If Mr. Obama doesn’t do it, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would probably make the call if the ‘Where-are-y’all’ groups thought to ask.

Asking the president to nominate a black woman is good politics.  With a recalcitrant Republican Party insisting on the one hand that Mr. Obama leave the job of filling the late Justice Scalia’s seat to the next president, and reeling on the other hand from the unprecedented prejudice and bigotry now widely associated with the its leading candidate for the Oval Office, nominating  a black woman gives the GOP a chance to mend some fences with this politically powerful demographic.

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The president has done an admirable job in his Supreme Court appointments– but it’s time for a black woman to join the ranks of the white and Hispanic women on the nation’s highest court.

Whatever Mr. Obama decides to do, voters need to understand that the November election is more about the three or four Supreme Court seats that will have to be filled than it is about the president him or herself.  Whoever is elected will serve 4 and maybe 8 years at most.  The persons selected to sit on the Supreme Court will impact legal and judicial policy in this nation for the next 30 to 40 years.

Imagine for a moment 3 or 4 Supreme Court justices that mirror the views of Donald Trump deciding the constitutionality of immigrant deportation, walls along the Mexican border, denying entry of Muslims into the U.S., or the right of the government to make anyone with a Muslim name leave the country.  (Look out Muhammad Ali, Ahmad Rashad, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Leila Ali, to name a few.)

By not voting, we place the futures of our children into the hands of the next president of the United States, whose appointments could very well turn back the hands of time.

Think on that for a moment or two before you decide not to vote this November.

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