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If you’re a frequent user of social media, then you’ve no doubt seen people grasping at straws to find reasons to discredit Ketanji Brown Jackson and her accomplishments. There was quite a lot of ignorant outrage when Biden announced he was going to nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court. People were bent out of shape screaming about how he should be picking his nominee based on merit and that to actively seek a black woman for the position is “racist” (*sigh*). Are those individuals aware that black people are now citizens with voting rights, who can attend university, obtain advanced degrees and accumulate accomplishments throughout their lives? The mere argument that Biden can’t pick a black woman because of merit reveals that those individuals believe black people lack merit compared to other races. If representation and diversity were not sought, they would not exist. There are plenty of successful and impressive people of all races that could fill the Supreme Court spot. So, why wouldn’t we choose a diverse nominee, since for so many decades a woman like Ketanji Brown Jackson wouldn’t have even been allowed to hold that position?

Supreme Court judges have lifetime appointments. If Biden hadn’t chosen Jackson, who knows how many more years would we go without having a black woman on the bench. Some people have a really hard time believing that an accomplishment by a black person is not a handout. But, believe it or not, Jackson will be the most qualified judge on the Supreme Court when confirmed. She attended Harvard University for both her undergraduate and law degree, and she will be the first former public defender to sit on the Supreme Court.

Now, let’s get back to this argument about merit. The last time I checked, the United States has a history of discriminating against people of color and not giving them equal rights. Before the 14th amendment gave citizenship to black Americans, was society based on merit? We have to ask ourselves what merit actually means. I have a feeling that people displeased with Jackson’s nomination are actually just upset because they are conflating the idea of a meritocracy with a society in which white people are given preference over other groups.

I have grown tired listening to people try and pass off their racism and bigotry as political beliefs. You can be conservative or liberal. You can believe our taxes should be raised or that they should be lowered. You can think Biden is the worst president ever or think that Biden is helping revive our country. But, we can’t agree to disagree on what it means to be and act like a decent human being. In fact, might I suggest we all try and move away from extreme views and partisan politics, and empathize with those who don’t think, look or act like us. For the first time in our nation’s history, a black woman will be a Supreme Court Justice. Everyone should be able to agree that this is an awesome achievement that has taken far too long to come to fruition.

Can we all agree to ignore those who are shouting into the void and letting the whole world know how insecure they feel when they must acknowledge the intellect and poise of a black woman? When she is confirmed as the new Supreme Court justice, she will make history and I, for one, can’t wait to see it!

Hi, I'm Olivia! I'm a senior at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing a major in Neuroscience, minors in Spanish, Africana Studies, and Chemistry, and a certificate in Global Health! In my free time you can find me at the gym, listening to a podcast, or hanging out with my friends!