No Matter What?

By Rev. Stephen Tillett


Rev. Stephen Tillett

I am compelled to express my disgust at the determination of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the White House to ramrod through a Supreme Court (SCOTUS) nomination no matter what. While Brett Kavanaugh might meet some standards for a Justice, as far as his legal training and experience, there are other factors which weigh heavily with this nomination. I am well aware that "elections have consequences," so whomever the president is when a SCOTUS vacancy occurs has earned the right, by virtue of the votes of his/her fellow citizens, to nominate a person to fill the vacancy (unless you are President Barack Obama in the winter of 2016).

There are so many things that are being done out of order now that undermine any façade of comity or cooperation, that we find ourselves in a constant state of toxic politics. I am concerned that our democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of political expediency and ideological purity. I am especially troubled that some women would dismiss, out-of-hand, a complaint about sexual assault or harassment from other women just because it is ideologically inconvenient. While I expect, but don't excuse, that cognitive dissonance from men in positions of power, I expect better from women. For some senators to earnestly assert their "sympathy" that Dr. Ford was assaulted, but to also claim that she has mis-remembered who assaulted her is insulting and laughable.

This is not about ideology nor the usual bloviations about "right" and "left." This is fundamentally about human decency and respecting the claims of women about the abuses they have faced, whether there were eye witnesses to it or not (such as with the accusers of jailed comedian Bill Cosby. I'm just sayin'...) One has to wonder what the daughters and granddaughters of some US Senators think about their father/grandfather's politically dismissive attitudes toward sexual assault.

This obsession over abortion overlooks a few realities. First, less than two percent of all the cases the SCOTUS hears will involve abortion. Second, even with the White House, both houses of Congress and a conservative majority on the SCOTUS, they will probably never end all access to legal abortion, because that would deprive some candidates of their go-to campaign issue every election season.

I know and believe that all life is precious, but not just pre-born life! Some of the same people who are obsessed to end abortion are also the people who oppose programs that would enhance the standard of living for the children once they have been born. How can one insist a child be born but then oppose AFDC and SNAP benefits,

Head Start programs, health care for said children and free or affordable college or vocational education? If we made the world more child (and parent) friendly, there would likely be a lot less abortions.

Third, most of the political leadership, while manipulating the abortion issue to their own advantage are really more concerned with the other 98 to 99 percent of rulings the SCOTUS makes. And many of those rulings from a "conservative" (i.e., corporate and pro-business) court will lead to negative outcomes for most Americans, such as, rulings made asserting that corporations deserve the same rights as people.

The court makes many more rulings that damage our nation concerning the burgeoning security and police state in America, the environment, worker's rights, voter suppression and gerrymandering and any number of other matters that affect the daily lives of many Americans.

This is about a lifetime appointment to our highest court. Irrespective of how long it may take, we have to get this right - no matter what!

Rev. Stephen A. Tillett is pastor of Asbury Broadneck UMC, Annapolis, MD, president of the Anne Arundel County, Maryland Branch NAACP and author of Stop Falling for the Okeydoke: How the Lie of "Race" Continues to Undermine Our Country



Rashida Strober, who was once mocked by Charlemagne That God and the Breakfast Club as "Donkey of the Day" for being the Dark Skin Activist(TM), is fighting back with a new production that addresses darkism.

Rashida Strober, the Dark Skin Activist(TM)

The world's first and only dark skin activist, the woman who put dark skin on the social media map, Rashida Strober will be performing her one-woman play, A Dark Skin Woman's Revenge on Saturday, November 17th and the world is invited to watch. A dark skin woman’s revenge will be performed at Playback Sounds located at 675 Metropolitan PKWY suite C12 in Atlanta, Georgia at 7pm Eastern standard time. People can attend in person or watch online through livestream pay per view.

Rashida will also give one of her classic darkism talks on Friday, November 16th at the Ancient African History Museum located at 675 Metropolitan PKWY Suite 3118-B in Atlanta. She will discuss how and why she created dark skin activism, the first platform in history for dark skin created in 1998, and its impact on popular culture including social media. The darkism talk also features her newest book, Token Dark Girl: The It Dark Girl of The Moment. Tickets can be purchased at

Rashida created and developed the dark skin lane in 1998 and later introduced it to social media and TV starting in 2009, making her the first person in history to introduce the platform of dark skin issues to social media and TV. Since then she has worked tirelessly and selflessly to promote dark skin activism through various means. One of the major ways she has reached the masses with the Dark Skin Activist platform is through her brilliant and groundbreaking performances of her award-winning play, A Dark Skin Woman's Revenge. A gifted performer, since 2006 she has performed for the masses at venues like The Washington DC Black Theater Festival, The University of South Florida, The Atlanta Black Theater Festival and the Maysles Documentary Center.

Despite Rashida's innovation, originality and dedication as the creator of a new paradigm for dark skin she remains the unsung hero of dark skin. Still, her story must be told. The story of the world’s first dark skin activist has been bitter sweet. It is the story of how she created the first platform for dark skin and was relentlessly mocked, called crazy, attacked and received death threats then later had her work copied, stolen, ripped off and plagiarized. Still, no one else has championed for dark skin equality as hard as Rashida. In fact, before Rashida no one realized that darkism was a relevant issue that was worthy of a real platform. The only person that came close was writer Kola Boof who spoke about the hardships of dark skinned women in the 1990's. However, Rashida has been mostly unappreciated, plagiarized and unacknowledged by the very people that she has been fighting for.

Ironically, back in 2006, when no one cared to speak about dark skin, Rashida created a play called A Dark Skin Woman's Revenge with the idea of providing dark skinned actresses roles but was told by many that the issues put forth in the play was not important. She was told that speaking about dark skin was stupid and would never gain any traction. However, Rashida did not listen. She invented dark skin activism. Honest people all over the world know that Rashida is responsible for bringing the topic of dark skin issues to the world through social media, TV, books, plays, social commentary and live theatre.

Rashida is also a self-producing artist and is in need of funding to produce this show and others. If you would like to help out with production costs go to her Paypal email at or to her GoFundMe at For media and social media interviews contact

To purchase tickets and/or for more details about Rashida and her work, visit

(Dark Skin Activist is a registered trademark owned by Rashida Strober)