By Deborah McWilliams
Justice Thomas, what gives you the right to take away someone’s rights?
For over 250 years, our ancestors were considered property, savages, and sub-human with no rights whatsoever. After gaining freedom over 150 years ago, our ancestors had to contend with — and still are contending with — segregation and Jim Crow Laws, and verbal and physical abuse sometimes leading to serious injury and/or death for trying to exercise our rights for equal access to housing, jobs, medical care, transit, education, public venues, the courts, voting, peaceful protest, fair legal representation and fair treatment from law enforcement and the justice system and to be recognized as full citizens with all of the rights that this nation offers.
We have fought and defended this nation internationally and domestically, yet we as African-Americans are still suffering the legacy of slavery.
You, who stand on the backs of those women and men who have fought for equal rights for all, not just African-Americans, and who have gone before you now sit in the seat of an African-American civil rights leader and lawyer who fought for justice and became a Supreme Court justice: Thurgood Marshall.
You were a product of affirmative action yet want to dismantle it. You now want to relitigate and take away LGBTQIA+ and women’s rights to be treated equally in this society and to birth control and contraception. Why? What century and year are you living in? Do you want to relitigate/dismantle Brown vs. Board of Education or eliminate the 14th Amendment? How about Loving vs. Virginia, which gave you the right to marry your wife who is of a different race?
Are you ashamed of your color? You do not represent me because I am not ashamed to be a person of color, an American of African descent. It seems you are. I do not force my beliefs on others, but you do.
You and your fellow conservative justices should be ashamed, but then that requires a heart, empathy, understanding, and thinking with common sense and wanting equality to be for all, no matter who they are, what they believe, who they love, or people’s sex or the color of their skin. You are not superior to anyone because you are a man.
Women are not the weaker sex. Woman bear the burden of everything in this world.
If you want to regress, that is your business, but the rest of us want to progress. Going backward leads to stagnation, apathy, and complacency. Progress leads to improvement and learning.
You and your fellow conservatives have just opened the floodgates because we will not go back. We will not become complacent or stagnant or apathetic. We will fight and strive that much harder for a nation where equality is for everyone.
I am a proud female African-American senior citizen who will raise her voice to be heard in whatever way I can. Hear me now: I am roaring, striving, fighting, and I will NEVER go back.