In light of the current media infatuation with Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor and her "moving life story," now seems like a good time to read about another Supreme Court justice who humble origins brought him to a very different conclusion about the importance of the individual and the nature of government. Unlike Sotomayer, Clarence Thomas has been vilified rather than celebrated. His memoirs show a man who long ago shed baseless stereotypes and the need to conform while fighting a system that demands rigid ideological unity from members of "grievance classes."
While Clarence Thomas is a compelling figure, it is his grandfather who is the hero of the story. Myers Anderson raised the future justice and his brother. He taught hard work, self-reliance, respect, and honesty. No one owed you anything. If you want something, you work for it. Thomas grew up in the deep South during when segregation was strong and the pushback from civil rights advances was strong. Those core values would serve a young man well whether he chose to work in physical labor or pursue his educational dreams. Values are universal, whether they are positive or negative.
Recently, it came to light that Sotomayor was proud of her status as an "affirmative action" story. That is sad. Of course, this is consistent with her "wise Latina woman" statement and her ties to the racist La Raza organization. She is less of an individual than an ethnicity. Thomas knew that affirmative action impacted his life, particularly at Yale. However, rather than celebrate being a "color" he rejected the implications of being an affirmative action student and made proving himself a mission.
The most disturbing part of this biography involves the disgusting circus perpetrated by Senate Democrats and the mainstream media during Thomas's Supreme Court nomination hearings. Sleazy Leftists in the media and reprobate Senators sought to destroy him professionally and personally through the testimony of a discredited former employee, Anita Hill. Though her story was shredded by other witnesses and an FBI investigation, Hill served her purpose of smearing a good man for political reasons. Current Vice-President Joe Biden was one of the deceitful cretins in the middle of the fiasco. He was already an embarassing buffoon.
Clarence Thomas had committed a crime, but it had nothing to do with sexual harassment or a lack of qualifications. No, his offense was being a Black man who chose to flee the Democrat plantation and live as a Man rather than as a Race. Like other minorities and women before and since, he was the subject of a "high tech lynching" for being capable of individual thought and analysis that didn't lead to group-think conclusions. Thomas was living the dream that Dr. King expressed 30 years earlier, but was being punished for the color of his skin not the content of his character. Thomas' reflections on that witch hunt cut to the heart of racial politics:
"The more I reflected on what was happening, the more it astonished me. As a child in the Deep South, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux KLan; as an adult, i was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along. My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony. For all the fear I'd known as a boy in Savannah, this was the first time I'd found myself at the mercy of people who would do whatever they could to hurt me--and institutions that had once prided themselves on bringing segregation and its abuses to an end were aiding and abetting in the assault. Hypersensitive civil-rights leaders who saw racism around every corner fell silent when my liberal enemies sneered that I was unqualified to sit on the Court..."
My second read of this book left me even more impressed with Clarence Thomas, the man. When he sees a case he doesn't see race, gender, wealth, education or any other extraneous status. He sees a legal case with facts that he must adjudicate in accordance with the United States Constitution. That makes him a pariah in the eyes of the race warlords who gin up outrage and division to advance the desires of the Democrat party. In my eyes, that makes him an American patriot.