Clarence Thomas: The Left Hates Him--It’s not just because of his “race”


Clarence Thomas: The Left hates him - It’s not just because of his “race”

By Dr. Steven J. Allen

WASHINGTON, DC – They really, really hate him.

Justice Clarence Thomas is the intellectual leader of the Supreme Court and, in U.S. history, the highest-ranking and most powerful government official descended from people who were enslaved in this country. That drives his critics nuts.

Like other justices who voted with him, he was targeted after the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Demonstrators illegally and terroristically pursued justices at their homes and places of worship, doxxing them and offering bounties for public sightings. This was done with the tacit support of administration officials who know that a single vacancy on the Court, filled by Joe Biden, would shift its balance critically. Outside Thomas’s home, protesters chanting “F*** the Court and the legislature, we are not your incubator.”

But it’s worse for Thomas than for the other justices. An article by two Washington Post reporters called him “the Black justice whose rulings often resemble the thinking of White conservatives,” capital-W “White conservative” being a term of utter contempt at the Post. A CNN legal analyst declared that Thomas is plotting to bring back segregation. Former basketball player Rex Chapman of the failed channel CNN+ called him a “black white supremacist” and actor Michael Rappaport called him a “c***s****r” (homosexual). At the Savannah College of Art and Design, in Thomas’s hometown, the sign designating the Clarence Thomas Center for Historic Preservation was removed. The ABC News program Good Morning America called the newest justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson, the “first Black Supreme Court justice in US history.”

On the TV show The View, Whoopi Goldberg incoherently ranted, “You better hope that they don’t come for you, Clarence, and say you should not be married to your wife who happens to be white because they will move that, and you better hope that nobody says, you know, well, you’re not in the Constitution. You’re back to being a quarter of a person.” The audience applauded.

Stereotypes and slurs abounded. Hillary Clinton called him “a person of grievance . . . resentment, grievance, anger . . . “ Samuel L. Jackson, one of the top movie stars of all time, suggested without fear of consequence that Thomas was subservient to his masters: “How’s Uncle Clarence feeling about Overturning Loving v. Virginia?,” Jackson tweeted, referring to the Loving case overturning bans on “interracial” marriages like Thomas’s, and to the image of an Uncle Tom. Twitter, quick to censor conservatives and uppity journalists, left up tweets calling Thomas the n-word.

“F*** Clarence Thomas,” declared the mayor of Chicago.

More than any other justice, he is the target of extremists. Much of their hatred is based on his African-American ethnicity. Sometimes racists suggest that he’s not “really” African-American, or that he’s a race-traitor, because his views don’t align with theirs, or because he’s married to a woman who isn’t classified as a member of his “race.” (The fact that Ginni Thomas has a career as a conservative political activist – that a justice’s wife has an independent career – is particularly galling to the sexist, pearl-clutching Left, so much so that a petition to impeach him over his wife’s activities has garnered more than a million signatures.)

Some have criticized Justice Thomas for a comment he made, in a concurring opinion in Dobbs, about a highly dubious legal concept called “substantive due process” – a controversy with which I’ll deal in a future column – but the tone of the attacks on Thomas is nothing new. It has been consistent for more than 30 years.

I believe that it’s rooted not just in the fact that’s he’s African-American, brilliant, and defiant. It’s also that he comes from a social class the Left hates.

Here’s the background.

Clarence Thomas was delivered by a midwife on June 23, 1948, in Pinpoint, Georgia, where African-Americans were not allowed to use the same restrooms, bus seats, or schools as “white” people. When he was two, his mother but became pregnant with her third child, and his father abandoned the family. They lived in a house with no electricity and no running water. They shared an outhouse with other families. Shoes were worn only for school.

Clarence’s mother made $20 a week as a maid and picked crabs for five cents a pound at a plant 30 yards from the family’s house. One day when he was seven, his toddler brother and a cousin started a fire that burned the house down. Clarence went to live with his grandparents in a house built piece by piece by his grandfather, Myers Anderson. Anderson was a truck driver and junk dealer with a third-grade education. He scrounged to come up with the $30 a year to put Clarence in the local Catholic school for black children.

After school, Clarence would help his grandfather deliver kerosene, wood, ice, and oil, then go study at a small Carnegie library. (The main library was for whites only.) At NAACP meetings, Anderson made his grandson stand up and read his grades, to prove that black kids could be just as smart as white kids.

Years later, Thomas remembered: “God was central. School, discipline, hard work, and ‘right from wrong’ were of the highest priority. Crime, welfare, slothfulness, and alcohol were enemies.“ “Old Man Cant is dead,“ Anderson would say; “I helped bury him.“

At school, the nuns were “adamant that I grow up to make something of myself.“ The nuns, who were white, rode with their students, who were black, in the backs of buses and sat with them in the back of the church. The Klan was not happy; one day it sent a hearse to the rectory. The experts that black kids were naturally stupid, but the nuns knew better.

A star quarterback in high school, Thomas studied for the priesthood. He left the seminary and found his way to Holy Cross, where he founded the Black Student Union and worked on a free breakfast program for poor children. Then he went to Yale Law School, where he avoided his professors so they wouldn’t know he was black and give him special treatment.

He became an aide to John Danforth, then the attorney general of Missouri and later a U.S. Senator. He worked for Monsanto Chemical, served as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, and became chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

While at EEOC, he stood up for the victims of discrimination, increasing the number of cases filed on behalf of plaintiffs from 250,000 to 560,000. When he came up for reconfirmation in 1987, the EEOC staff – most of home did not share his political philosophy – lined up around the corner of the Senate office building, taking some of their annual leave to attending hearing and support their Chairman.

When he was sworn in as a federal appeals judge on the second-highest court in the land, several of the nuns were there. He made sure their way was paid.

Then, in 1992, he has been nominated for the Supreme Court. “As a child I could not dare dream that I would ever seen the Supreme Court, not to mention being nominated to it,” he said. “In my view, only in America could this have been possible.”

Getting him confirmed was not easy. Even then, there were a lot of people who hated him with a passion of a KKK grand dragon.

Hodding Carter, State Department spokesman during the Carter administration, had called Thomas a “kept man“ who sought only to serve his masters.“

After he was nominated for the Supreme Court, feminist attorney Flo Kennedy called him “a little creep.“ “I think, in all candor, he fairly could be labeled ‘strange,’” said Jeffrey Stone, Dean of the University of Chicago Law School. Harvard Professor Derrick Bell, a creator of racist Critical Race Theory, said Thomas “looks black“ but “thinks white.“ Harvard psychiatrist Alvin Poussaint suggested that Thomas was filled with anger “that gets displaced on other blacks.“ Editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad called him an Uncle Tom.

USA Today “Inquiry“ editor Barbara Reynolds attacked Thomas’s wife, who was already known to the Left for her work as a Labor Department lawyer. Reynolds said she hoped Judge Thomas would “turn black“ someday.

Mary Frances Berry called Thomas’s nomination an insult. Berry was the Civil Rights Commissioner who said the reason African-Americans did not become Communists was that “they found it impossible to obtain accurate information about developments in the Soviet Union.“

City University of New York law school dean Haywood Burns compared Thomas to a snake and suggested that he be beaten to death with a hoe. (Burns gained national attention when he backed the singing of The Internationale, the Communist anthem, at his school‘s commencement program.)

Senator Howell Heflin (D-Alabama), a member of the committee dealing with the nomination, suggested that Thomas was “strange.” Former presidential candidate Jesse Jackson said in reaction to the Thomas nomination that “President Bush is a bully,“ the Thomas nomination was part of Bush‘s “sinister plot,“ and “Judge Thomas is a strange creature.“

Patricia Ireland of the National Organization for Women promised that “We will Bork him,” a reference to the first Far Left smear campaign against a Supreme Court nominee, Robert Bork in 1987.

The New York Times reported that he once displayed a Confederate flag in his office. Actually, it was the flag of his home state of Georgia. The Chicago Tribune reported that he opposed desegregation, when, actually, he opposed racist practices such as forced busing and quotas, which were and are opposed by Americans of all “races.”

Even Thomas’s religious background came under fire (not for the last time). Doug Wilder, then the governor of Virginia, wondered “How much allegiance is there to the Pope?“ in Thomas’s views, and Washington Post columnist Judy Mann complained that Thomas’s confirmation would put too many Catholics on the court. At that time, Thomas was attending an Episcopal church.

Why do they hate him so?

It’s not just because of his judicial views, but because of the values he has always represented both inside and outside the courtroom.

  • Because he judges people by their character and their qualifications, not by the color of their skin.

  • Because he is a deeply religious man who once noted that “my mother says that when they took God out of the schools, the schools went to hell. She may be right.“

  • Because he knows from personal experience how people’s rights can be trampled when the government is too powerful.

  • Because he understands that welfare for the undeserving is, like heroin, an addiction that destroys families and renders people incapable of taking care of themselves.

  • Because Thomas, descended from the enslaved, refuses to follow an agenda favoring the interests and values of society’s most privileged.

  • Because of the skin color of his wife, and the fact that he hasn’t brought her to heel as the Left demands.

Back when he was up for the Supreme Court, Lars-Erik Nelson wrote in the New York Daily News: “Thomas doesn’t want sops; he wants a real job. He doesn’t want sensitivity; he wants justice. He doesn’t want government programs for blacks; he wants them to have economic power.”

In a letter to the Miami Herald, Paul Bauer of Coral Gables, Florida, wrote that Judge Thomas “represents a unique group of Americans, those who have succeeded in spite of economic or environmental disadvantages. . . . [L]ike the judge, we’ve accomplished our successes not through handouts, but through individual initiatives, hard work, diligence, and more hard work. . . . If Judge Thomas is rejected, it will be a victory for the Ted Kennedys of the world – the poor rich kid to attempt to silence the poor and black they subsidizing them until they lose their self-respect, dignity, and initiative. Judge Thomas is our example of a better way.”

Clarence Thomas is a perfectionist. Under his picture in a high-school year book, his classmates joked: “Blew that exam, got a 98.” But despite his brilliance and determination he has faced racism every day of his life; one white classmate wrote a note that said, “Keep on trying, Clarence. One day you will be as good as us.”

Over the past third of a century, he has been smeared as few have been smeared. But the truth is that, no matter how hard they try, his hateful adversaries will never, ever be as good as Clarence Thomas.


Dr. Steven J. Allen (JD, PhD) is vice chair of conservatives’ national grassroots network, The Conservative Caucus. Contact us for permission to reprint.

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