John Charles Taney IV
I am a descendant of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (pronounced Taw-nee), author of one of the most universally denounced US Supreme Court cases in history, the Dredd Scott decision. He was also the first Catholic to ever serve on the Court, but whatever good he did was overshadowed by his terrible words regarding African Americans, and the institution of slavery. I write this today not to defend my ancestor, but rather to celebrate my family’s evolution away from the attitudes of the past, and towards an inclusive, egalitarian and progressive present & future. My grandfather would constantly remind me that the journey itself is many times just as valuable as the destination, and that our family’s generational journey is no different. Though we don’t know how we’ll end up, or where exactly the “destination” will be, but we do know that it’ll be inclusive of all God’s children, existing in an evolved state of justice and peace.