Mar 21, 2022Liked by Mark Isero

I'm watching the first day of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson after just finishing reading the FEAR chapter.

I'm simultaneously heartbroken and outraged at the fear-driven comments from Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; I hear the echoes of all of those dreadful policies, laws, attitudes and behaviors from this chapter in her comments (which I'm sure will soon be available online somewhere) directed toward Judge Jackson. (including some choice remarks about The 1619 Project specifically.)

And I'm also uplifted and hopeful as Judge Jackson herself speaks for the first time in this setting: while Blackburn illustrates how far we have to go, Jackson personifies how far we have come.

I'm really grateful for the juxtaposition of this chapter with these events.

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A few connections I noticed: (1) How the Haitian Revolution bolstered Louisiana’s sugar industry (“Sugar”) at the same time it led to fear and Black Codes in the rest of the South (“Fear”). (2) How Reconstruction was a brief moment of greater equality (“Democracy), but it was reversed because white people were scared to lose supremacy (“Fear”).

Also I noticed that the Alexanders seemed hopeful at the end of the chapter. Was this because they wrote this essay in 2020? Would they say the same thing now?

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