In the background, though, race looms still, in how the life and worth of anyone accused is framed. Kavanaugh has denied anything happened, though oddly, some of his defenders add an “if,” and refer to the kind of man the judge has become.

While the tendency is to relegate anything that may or may not have happened 30-plus years ago to a category of youthful hijinks or acting out “under the influence,” that only applies to certain folks. Those breaks, that benefit of the doubt and eagerness to wipe the slate clean, elude black and brown children and teens such as Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin, always expected to have known better before on-the-spot and often fatal “justice” is meted out.