Danielle Deadwyler portrays Mamie Till-Mobley and Jalyn Hall is Emmett Till in the movie "Till". Credit: Orion Pictures

Let’s redefine Black trauma

In commemoration of Emmett Till’s 81st birthday, a new trailer for an upcoming biopic detailing Till’s life, death, and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley’s unfathomable resilience was released—and was immediately met with polarizing responses.

This film is an opportunity to educate people on the ugly realities of racism, which is especially timely given the current climate and agenda of educational erasure. The director, Chinonye Chukwu, said she was careful to not show the actual violence so she wouldn’t traumatize or re-traumatize audiences. She chose to tell the story empathically, as opposed to explicitly.

Minutes after the trailer hit social media, people began dismissing it as “Black Trauma Porn.” I get it. Hollywood has an affinity for stories of disenfranchised Black folks and their plights—as opposed to stories of our successes. But come on….We watch Tommy take out twelve drug dealers in “Power,” and glorify it on social media. We see drive-bys, random murders, executions daily in film and TV, and we don’t see any of that as traumatic. But when we deal with the horrors of reality, it’s “too much.”

There is enough out there to balance out the “heaviness” of films like “Till.” And if you’re like me, enjoy them for what they are (shout out to “P-Valley”). But don’t dismiss films like “Till.” It’s important that we realize that if you’re ignorant to history, you’re doomed to repeat it.

Term-limits for SCOTUS? Here for it

Did you know that five of the six conservative justices on the bench were appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote? And they are now racing to impose their out-of-touch agenda on the American people. And it’s nothing we can do about it.

Or is there?

Justice Clarence Thomas sits during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, on Friday, April 23, 2021. Supreme Court justices have long prized confidentiality. It’s one of the reasons the leak of a draft opinion in a major abortion case last week was so shocking. But it’s not just the justices’ work on opinions that they understandably like to keep under wraps. The justices are also ultimately the gatekeepers to information about their travel, speaking engagements and health issues. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)

Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee is among the House Democrats seeking to pass legislation imposing 18-year term limits regarding how long a justice could serve on the high court. The Supreme Court Tenure Establishment and Retirement Modernization Act would allow a president to nominate Supreme Court nominees every two years. This would occur during the first and third years of their terms. Justice Clarence Thomas will immediately be moved to senior status if this bill is passed. Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito would follow once they hit the threshold in a couple of years. It’s a lot more details behind the bill, which you can read about at defendernetwork.com but we’re here for it and hoping it passes.

If you’re questioning whether that’s really necessary – Thomas, the longest-tenured Justice, has been on the bench 30 years. More than 1.5 million people have signed a petition to get him off the bench. He’s dismantling rights like he’s removing lint because he knows there’s nothing anyone can do about it. This bill could change that.

We are not like them

I don’t know what Mark Ponder was thinking when he donned his red MAGA hat and headed to the nation’s capitol on Jan. 6 to take part in an insurrection. But Brotherman is now seeing firsthand that we are not like them.

In this image from a Washington Metropolitan Police Department officer’s body-worn video camera, and contained in the statement of facts supporting an arrest warrant for Mark Ponder, Ponder, on right side of image, carries pole on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. Ponder, the man who attacked police officers with poles during the U.S. Capitol riot was sentenced to more than five years in prison on July 26, 2022. (Department of Justice via AP)

Ponder, who is Black, received one of the longest sentences thus far for his role in the terroristic riot (because that’s what it was). The federal government sought a 60-month prison term for Ponder in court this week, which he got, and the judge threw in three more months for good measure because he is seen on video attacking an officer. His punishment is tied for the longest with the December sentence of Robert Scott Palmer, a Florida man who struck Capitol Police officers with a fire extinguisher.

Out of 850 J6 defendants so far, the one with the longest sentence is the one Black guy. If this were a different case, I’d be shaking my head. But….what y’all doing this weekend? ***shrugs*** #MakeAmericaGreatBehindBars