Georgia Forewoman’s Big Mouth

Sometimes we get in arguments over good topics that are seen from different perspectives. Often the “legal” and constitutional views conflict with the lived experiences of especially but not exclusively Black people.

The jury forewoman from Georgia, Emily Kohrs, is the latest to cause friends and allies to argue from different perspectives.

Legal folk, journalists, scholars and political minded folk defend her based on legal, freedom of press, constitutional and state law reasons.

And they are right.

Many Black folk — me included — see it differently because we know if she were a Black woman, the responses would be… different.

A lot different.

Because we know the same people defending her and her media tour would not have the same energy to defend a Black woman, or latina/Hispanic, or Asian woman. It is similar to how journalists’ repeatedly rally around corrupt and compromised Maggie Haberman and other bad-faith media darlings, but not April Ryan or other Black media personalities.

When the person is Black, especially Black women, there’s an equation folk seem to take:

Black woman does something x energy needed to justify her being wrong even if her acts are legal.

Versus the typical equation done for white people:

White person does something x energy needed to tell us all the legal ways she is right.

Then there is frustration with social media mutual followers we respect and like, who seem not to understand why we don’t reflexivity give the benefit of the doubt to a person like forewoman Emily Kohrs.

Mutuals who after months and years of interacting, reading, talking, sharing.. may *still be surprised at our response. And who will with genuine intent, tell us why she is within her rights, why the media is right to give her multiple platforms, and why “Everything is fine”

It is the exhaustion of it all, I think, that causes my folk to just not have energy for it because it is hard enough expending energy educating on the Big Things that we get lulled into thinking a little thing will be easily understood.

Does that make sense? I hope it does.

I once wrote, about white Americans: You are among the most educated people in history. You write all the education books and curriculums. All the laws, rules, regulations, and contracts. But when it comes to Black/Brown people it is always like every day starts at: Please teach me.

Please teach me why Black people see that forewoman acting silly, giggling, being coy and weird — from the grand jury investigating historical malfeasance by top leaders in the nation.

Photo by Good Free Photos on Unsplash

We shouldn’t have to teach you that, and you should know why she and the media pissed us off.

But instead we get you attempting to teach us why “Everything is fine” because: State law, Constitutional law, Grand Jury Law, Freedom of Press Tradition, and Precedence.

Trust that we also know those things because like you… we live here.

What we want you to factor is that none of those things apply when the race is changed. And especially when the gender is a woman, but especially a Black woman.

So something like the Georgia forewoman thing happens and we each present our views and then the arguments start.

And we want our mutuals, friends, and allies, to tap into their vast knowledge and recognize/remember that hammering us with that stuff carries a lot of baggage, hurt, and harm because… you know why.

Photo by Freddy Kearney on Unsplash

It doesn’t make you wrong to quote law and all that because you will often be right in that limited sense that the law and all its iterations are fair and favorable to white people.

So when we say: If that forewoman was a Black/brown woman we will often be right in that sense that the law is unfair and unfavorable to Black/brown people.

You know that as well as us, so let’s stop arguing about what we both know to be true.

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