The Sour Fruit of Regression

Was February 2022 the worst Black History Month ever? That was a rhetorical question.

In prior Black History Months, achievements by our nation’s for the longest disenfranchised citizens had been extolled and lionized. On one hand, these uplift the race messages either taught or reminded black Americans of their history and contributions to the United States. On the other, they’ve also tried enlightening some of the nation’s darkest mental recesses.

Deny all as the latter group wanted, at least they had awareness forced on them. Tougher to claim ignorance that way.

These illuminations inconveniently – albeit only briefly – interrupted otherwise incessant drumbeats portraying the truest Americans as substandard, unworthy, inferior, and other descriptions invented to maintain falsehoods popular with our society’s less dynamic segments.

In 2022, black America didn’t even get that break. Instead, it’s as if right-wingers and the ignoramuses who mindlessly absorb their spew decided to ramp up the hate. From them, February came across as a 28-day fest of targeted belittlement.

Who expected such enormous blowback when President Biden announced his Supreme Court choice? Clearly his nominee wouldn’t just be qualified, or overqualified, or ultra-qualified, but Olympian as far as jurisprudence. Not only has the president put forward a woman, but in Ketanji Brown Jackson a black woman. A Topsy or Prissy she isn’t going to be.

Biden’s nominee won’t be a mediocrity in thrall to retrograde ideology nor adverse to interpreting the Constitution as it affects Americans now as have been the three Court selections of his immediate predecessor.

Only Republicans get to nominate and confirm second-raters with impunity. Across the last 40 years they’ve done so habitually.

In that same span, nearly every black Democratic appointee requiring Senate confirmation has been above top tier. If Democrats tried ramming Republican caliber black nominees through the process, the GOP would be shrieking “affirmative action!” shriller than meth-addled banshees.

The Constitution is a living document. Too many right-wingers want Americans to forget that fact. The “originalism” promoted by the Federalist Society and other rightward leaning organizations does injustice to the Founders’ intent. That’s why it contains an amending mechanism. Because unlike adherence to faith, real life requires change and flexibility.

Our nation has moved forward since the 18th century. Its guiding document must as well.

Americans have among us people who willfully mistake the Constitution for a religious tract. Why? The Founders made absolutely clear faith would not burden the United States as it had Old World sovereignties. Those men had seen how religion had riven societies across the Atlantic. Knowing a new nation such as they’d invented, one whose self-determination would be an audacious experiment in governance, would face untold hurdles and other unknowns, eliminating guaranteed dilemmas issuing from this or that ecumenical conclave prevented considerable strains.

The Bible isn’t our Constitution. The former may certainly guide individuals. All Americans are under the latter’s sway. Period. Skip the discussion. No objections allowed. Done.

Our Constitution is the basis of the extent we may freely roam throughout society. Left to right-wingers and their exclusionary circles it would instead prescribe privileges to the self-elect and proscribe them to the rest of us.

Those same groups wishing to enshrine the Constitution in stone have more in common with Opus Dei or other faith-based groups – oh, like the Federalist Society – seeking to have sectarian command leapfrog secular authority than let us seek our individual pursuits of happiness. And claim to be conservative in nature as these groups falsely do, they’re increasingly behaving and asserting like reactionaries who’ve bitten what they consider the bullet by hanging their black shirts in closets or keeping their brown tunics folded in drawers.

They’re waiting until the Day.

Be assured, if these adversaries of American freedom ever achieve their Day, it will be bad times for any who oppose their myopic impositions. Meaning most of us will either be in the soup or fighting like hell to stay out of that pot.

While Black History Month strives to repeat or introduce American history some find pretty damn inconvenient to acknowledge, it also reminds greater society that this nation has been quite wantonly deficient in fulfilling its promises to all Americans. Criminally so especially today when state legislatures across the country, as well as noxious elements in both chambers of Congress, beaver feverishly to restrict Americans’ access to ballot boxes, education, and health care.

An oppressed population hinders a nation’s progress. The excluded may eventually decide those lording over them are expendable. People feeling themselves with nothing to lose see that necessity, often to the fatal collapses of any who’ve maintained their oppression.

In the French, Russian, and Cuban Revolutions, we have three fine examples of this neglect and indifference leading to shattering upheavals. The second sure still continues to affect the world right at this moment.

We’re lucky in this respect in the United States. So far. We’ve recognized imbalances and have at least taken steps to redress them. Too often these have been baby steps, grudging ones at that. But better to advance and improve incrementally than remain stubbornly fixed.

This shouldn’t be a newsflash, but those legislators eager to fence our horizons through legal fiats have been elected to serve all the people, not themselves or those narrow communal elements sharing their discriminatory outlooks. If that’s their motivation, then by all means they should forsake electoral politics and, well, join the Federalist Society.