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To Every Thing There Is A Season

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven . . . .

Ecclesiastes 3:1





I’m no Bible scholar. I only know of this verse because of the Byrd’s song, “Turn, Turn, Turn.” It’s a reminder that the things we wish for don’t necessarily happen when we want, but in their season.

My friend Sheila in Denver is a living example of this verse. Whenever something doesn’t go her way or she doesn’t get something she longs for, she simply says, “It isn’t my season” and moves on. That’s it. No whining, no complaining, nothing. She surrenders to God’s plan for her and gets on with life. I wish I were more like her.

I’ve done something I never do on this blog: Included a photo. This is a photo from my garden of one of the rose bushes I brought with me to my new home from my previous rental. I had my doubts they would bloom, even after one of the groundspeople where I work told last winter to cut them back severely. “Are you sure?”, I said, with trepidation. “Yes.” He reminded me that they will come back like gangbusters, in their season.

And they did.

I was reminded that “to every thing there is a season” yesterday when I happened to be home and saw a commentary by Roland Martin on TV 1 regarding Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. He bemoaned the fact that African American women judges weren’t considered for the nomination and suggested that we hold President Obama accountable for his future choices for the Court.

I just shook my head and thought, “It’s not our season.”

Mind you, I’d love to see a sistah judge on the highest court in our land. But what would it have said about President Obama and African Americans in general if, at our first turn at governing the nation, we looked out only for our own interests and not the interests of all the other groups who helped bring President Obama to the White House? African Americans are no longer the largest minority in the U.S., and we need to get with that new reality. We need to forge alliances across racial, ethnic, and other lines to be able to secure our interests down the line with the support of others. We already have an African American justice on the Court (for what he’s worth – and don’t forget, there were black folks who actually supported Justice Thomas’ nomination), and he’s the second African American to have occupied a place on the court. What we need are women of all races sitting on the Court, not just women of two races – black and white. I have faith that, when the proper opportunity arises, President Obama will appoint an African American woman to the Court. However, I want to see all marginalized groups represented on the highest bench in the land, not just my own people.

Plus, the “black for black’s sake” argument doesn’t resonate with me given how conservatives have been teeing up Judge Janice Rogers Brown to be the first African American female justice on the Supreme Court. A former justice on the California Supreme Court who opposed racial set-asides and race-conscious relief in general, Brown was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is well known as a feeder circuit for the U.S. Supreme Court. This was the same court Justice Thomas was appointed to for a little more than a year before ascending to the Supreme Court. In the words of my former judge, “He wasn’t there [the D.C. Circuit] long enough to write his name on a paycheck, much less author any significant opinions.” If Roland Martin were to go shopping just for black female judges qualified for the U.S. Supreme Court, Brown is more qualified than Thomas was when he was nominated. But I wouldn’t want her on the Supreme Court.

Just as the roses bloomed in my garden in their season, I believe we African American women will have our season, too, when it comes to nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court. It just isn’t now.

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