Sunday, September 30, 2007

Your Grandfather wouldn't know you.

I have had a few regrets in life. One of them was supporting Clarence Thomas during his bitter confirmation hearings back in the early nineties. I was still in Law School then, and although I knew his views on things like abortion was right of center, and he was selected by a republican president, I still thought it was nice that a second person of color was about to join the supremes.

I even believed Thomas and his "high- tech lynching" bullshit line. A line that he used to hoodwink us black folks into supporting him, and scaring the rest of the country away from talking about his lack of qualifications and intellect.

For the record, I believe Anita Hill now. I can just see him (Thomas) with that Coke can talking about pubic hair and making pornographic references. It's a fact that three of her colleagues backed her story in sworn depositions, and from where I sit, three is a sufficient crowd when it comes to this issue. Thomas says it was powerful interests groups that were out to stop him at all costs. And, according to him, they used the "age old blunt instrument of accusing a black man of sexual misconduct" to try and bring him down. Yeah right. Amazing how Clarence played the race card when it suited him, but now that he has what he wants, the race card is no longer relevant in A-merry-ca.

I am writing all this about my favorite uncle tonight, because his new book, "My Grandfather's Son", hits the book shelves tomorrow. (I hope Chris has a review because I won't be buying it) In it, he will talk about his childhood living in poverty with his mother and brother in a one bedroom apartment with no running water. And he will talk about his transformation from a George McGovern supporter and protesting college student, to a right wing Reagan appointee and Bush loving lap dog for the right.

So Anita, sorry it took so long, but I owe you an apology. Wherever you are today, I want to say sorry for not believing you about what a creep this guy is. You were right about Clarence Thomas, and our country should have believed you and not him. If we had, I honestly believe that we would have all been better off today.

My favorite uncle will get a million dollar signing bonus for his book. Wouldn't it be nice if he took his million dollars, his fat government pension, and just retired to Idaho or Montana some damn place? I am sure he would get lots of love in both of those places. But you and I know that won't happen. The republicans still have too much for him to do, there is still work to be done around the house, and no one is better at working in the house than Clarence.


rikyrah said...

I'm proud to say that I wasn't fooled for a minute. His 'friends' were suspect, the way he dogged out his sister, demeaning her to his White patrons in order to kiss their ass...once I heard that story about him, I was thru with him for good. I didn't care what bad happened to him, and I wasn't taken in for a minute.

I didn't even need to know about his judicial 'philosophy' once I read the story of how he did his sister. THAT told me all about his character, or lack thereof.

I won't be buying it either. Not one dime to that Self-hating, intellectually weak Sambo.

Have you read some of the quotes?

They are priceless.

Blaming everyone. He's such a 'victim', this self-loathing, Uncle Remus.

Anonymous said...

Did you catch the 60 minutes interview? I didn't catch anything but Thomas' final comment, in which he explained his thinking behind his book's title.

Thomas' explanation didn't make any sense to me. Did it to any of you? Thomas explained that he has come "full circle." He was now returning to his "roots," to his home where he was known as his "Grandfather's son."

In summarizing what he thought he was conveying, Justice Thomas likened his return to that of the Biblical "Prodigal Son."

What? The Prodigal Son returned home after an ultimately admitted foolish, short-sighted and self-indulgent campaign, pursued out of jealousy and against the advice of his elder.

So. . . is Clarence making an admission of prior wrongheadedness in the book? Or, did he admit to an ideological turnabout in the prior part of the interview I missed?

Or, did Clarence just make a clumsy application of scriptural reference, as would be expected by a Catholic. Catholics are not allowed to red or study scripture on their own.

Or, is Thomas--even putting his Catholicism aside--an unthoughtful man who can't articulate himself any beyond mere soundbites? (e.g., "high tech lynching," "prodigal son.") (Is this why he is mostly silent on the bench?)

Finally, about pre-confirmation support of Thomas in the black community, I hope that in addition to regretting the Thomas support that Black men learned to be more careful about going into auto mode to defend a brother against a claim brought by a sister--as if the brother--and not the sister--is a more authentic representative of the race.

rikyrah said...

OT, but on point

An Open Letter to White Progressives About Jena

P6 strikes again

Anonymous said...

Thurgood Marshall he ain't.


KC said...

Anita Hill is now Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's Studies at Brandeis.

The appointment of Clarence Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall was such a vile, racist move it still makes me gag.

Nelson said...


I saw the whole thing. I think he referred to himself as a prodigal son because of this, in contrast with his experience as a young adult. I think he was a little off on what a prodigal son was, but he got the 'returning to his roots' part right.

Basically 3 things in his life have brought him to where he is today:

His grandfather's constant message of self-reliance; Having his law degree marginalized because of affirmative action; The Senate confirmation hearings, which he described as a high tech lynching.

Taken by themselves, it's not hard to see why he is a "strict constructionist" Republican. I think his own reaction to these personal experiences have effectively skewed his view on the law. [I'm not going to get into the Anita Hill thing, a) because of my age, I simply don't know enough about the subject, (although if three of Hill's colleagues supported her statements, that's pretty damning) and b) it happened rather late in his life and seems to have steeled his right wing opinions, but not formed them]

I was unaware of many of the details of his youth, although I had heard of the gullah culture part. Most of my exposure to him has been reading his brief concurrences and dissents. So it was enlightening to hear the whole story (at least from his p.o.v.)

I was surprised to learn about parts of his more activist past. And this formed the basis for what I wrote on my blog--he was such an activist on race, that he simply stopped once he reached the bench. He has been the complete opposite as a judge, which he said was just a job. He identifies now more than ever with rugged individualism, the rugged individualism his grandfather imparted on him.

Someone wrote to me that he isn't currently contradicted, he merely went from being a civil rights radical to a color blind justice. But I got the sense that Thomas is extremely race conscious about his everyday life, while being completely 'color blind' in his opinions. His post law school experience of not being able to find a job because of the stigma of affirmative action made me wonder: Has Thomas ever considered that many of the people who viewed his accomplishment in a lesser light were the same folks who opposed affirmative action to begin with?

Blinders Off said...

Clarence didn't fool most black women when Anita Hill came forward. A black woman goes thru hell when their job is on the line because they refused the advances of their black male superior.

When sexual harassment happened to me in the early 90's I fought the ass hole who fired me because I wouldn’t accept his advances and the organization that tried to protect him without a lawyer and won. It was about principle and being pissed that the male establishment bounded together knowing he was wrong. It took a lot out of me and I honestly believe the stress from that fight out of all the fights I had endure living as a black woman in America woke up the illness I now live with.

I will always respect Anita Hill for coming forward to expose and pull off Clarence Thomas mask; it damn sure wasn't for the money because she wouldn't have put herself through all that based on a lie. I was disappointed when men rallied around Clarence because they thought Anita was lying.

FN, it takes a real man to acknowledge they were wrong about Anita when it came to Clarence. Clarence Thomas “Don’t like Black People”, and I am one of many black people who do not have a desire to read his book for that reason and also for lying about what he did to Anita.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Liberal. Thomas is admitting a conversion. During the confrimation, Thomas didn't appear to value nary a black person. Now, we know there is at least one--although I don't think Thomas heeds his grandfather's message by spending his entire legal career on the government's payroll. That's really not independence and, probably, not the self-reliance Thomas' grandfather contemplated. Relying exclusively on the federal government to pay him (until the book contract) is properly just what Thomas' grandfather would have wanted Thomas to avoid

Unknown said...

Field, I beleived Anita Hill back in the day ... mostly because her story was too off-the-wall to be concocted.

I also beleived that Uncle Clarence was no Thurgood Marshall.

My sad admission is that I held out hope that he was gonna change. I held out hope that he was just acting like a house negro but that once he had the robes he would look out for us in the field.

That is where I was wrong. House was too comfortable for him, Jason Whitlock and others. They can never let go. peace, Villager

Hathor said...

Early in life I had a very disconcerting experience, that confirmed my suspicions of Thomas. My serious concern was whether he was smart and thoughtful enough to be a justice. He was a blank slate at the hearings and his argument about Anita Hill was so lame. As far as his conduct, I didn't think that there would be too many politicians left in government if sexual harassment and sexual misconduct was taken in consideration. My hope would be that women would hold men accountable and report them when it happens. I would not want to hold back Thomas when Newt Gingrich was allowed to be speaker.

I want to know what does self reliance and rugged individualism got to do with being black? Many of us feel the same way and live our lives like that, but it doesn't turn us away from confronting racism. My ancestors were hard working people and some may have been the talented tenth, but white affirmative action, Jim Crow, alway had its boot on them. That didn't mean that they didn't live a meaningful life, but many could have contributed so much more to society and enjoyed a more bountiful life.

Anonymous said...

Your favorite uncle... That was funny. It took me a minute to get it. It's still too early in the morning. I don't wake up good until 6:00.

Looking back on the Thomas/Hill debacle, I realize just how young I was. I remember all of the hearings being on television. But I don't really remember understanding the full impact of what was going down. (I think I was like 16 or 17.... I don't know. However old I was, I'm sure I thought I was grown, but really didn't understand crap. LOL)

Now that I'm good and grown and understand life--And now that I've been sexually harassed and threatened professionally by my harasser, I see how serious the act of sexual harassment is. I now understand what the big deal was. I now see why Hill brought the charges forward. I now understand why people supported Thomas. (It's a mess how we do things.)

Did White America jump on the opportunity to crack the whip across the backside of Thomas? Yep...
But did he really do what Anita said he did? I'm sure.

Y'all have a good day.


field negro said...

raven, I didn't even watch the 60 minutes interview. Thanks for the outline LJ. I can't watch that man for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

kc, thanks for the update on Anita Hill. At least she seemed to have landed on her feet.

"Someone wrote to me that he isn't currently contradicted, he merely went from being a civil rights radical to a color blind justice. But I got the sense that Thomas is extremely race conscious about his everyday life, while being completely 'color blind' in his opinions.."

That is a very good assessment LJ. But I think there is also something more nefarious at work with Clarence. I think he is very calculating, and was always about self first. I think he knew that his decisions on the court would hurt poor people and people of color. Not to mention the country as a whole. But he didn't care.
And for that,he will always be a terrible human being IMHO.

"My ancestors were hard working people and some may have been the talented tenth, but white affirmative action, Jim Crow, alway had its boot on them. That didn't mean that they didn't live a meaningful life, but many could have contributed so much more to society and enjoyed a more bountiful life."

And that is one of the great tragedies of the American experience.That people like "hathor's" ancestors did not get a chance to contribute more to society because of the ignorance of some of the people in it.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with self-reliance!? If more people believed in self-reliance and quit living off the government we'd all be better off.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

I still say if you want to know the whole truth about Clarence Thomas, read "Supreme Discomfort" written by two Washington Post reporters here in DC.

They tried their best to make Clarence sympathetic to the reader, and they couldn't. They even say so in the preface to the book, that no matter how much they found to make Clarence sympathetic to readers, they would then find direct contradictory facts that discredited him and made you want to puke at him all over again.

For my record, I never doubted Anita Hill. What pissed me off was the fact that Biden and crew had all the evidence they needed to toss Clarence out of those confirmation hearings and caved in to his playing "the race card" when it suited him, because they were anxious to replace Thurgood Marshall with another "brotha".

I'd as soon taken another Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Bryer, if it meant that civil rights and liberties were going to be protected, and if it meant that the Court would have told Bush to send the matter of whether or not he won the Presidential election against Gore to Congress for a vote and not THEM.

Just because Clarence is Black didn't mean he was the reincarnation of Thurgood Marshall and since Poppy Bush was so callous to believe that he was, we now know where the Frat Boy got his hubris.

Straight from Dear Ol' Dad, who he can't stand.

No, his grandfather wouldn't recognize him. He'd probably kick his ass for being a toady Uncle Tom, and especially for bringing a white girl home who was ashamed of his ass to the point she didn't even tell her people he was Black until they showed up at the church to get married.

"We think he's a good person, despite his race..." (Virginia Lamp's grandmother, on meeting Clarence Thomas at the wedding).

I threw that book down in rage. I haven't been able to finish it yet, because I keep reading passages like the above one, and have to throw the book down because I'm pissed off all over again.

Ross said...

Dude needs to take some of that money go and buy him some good booty cause he is the most uptight rich privileged motherfucker I have ever seen. This motherfucker might even be a closet radical who switched publicly to get paid, and now he has to play the game. If the shore fits dude wear it. We don't want to hear about your grand pappy. We all can tell these stories. Talk to us about legal theory or profound issues. Nothing will ever come out of this punk. He tried to bang Anita Hill.

Unknown said...

Shit, Thurgood Marshall pegged it from the beginning: "there's no difference between a white snake and black snake; they'll both bite."

Hathor said...

What is wrong with self-reliance!? If more people believed in self-reliance and quit living off the government we'd all be better off.

Who said it was? You just like to listen to yourself?

Anonymous said...

OK Anonymous,

It is still too early in the morning to bust anyone--- But. . . I do not believe ANYONE has
said one disparaging word about self reliance. The word is only toxic when it's coming out of the mouth of a man--Thomas-- who gladly went to school through affirmative action, had middling to poor scores from the American Bar and was most definitely not the best lawyer to choose from the black community. But NOW he speaks on bootstraps and the evils of a system that got his mediocre ass chosen as a justice . . . .

And please--the living off the government thing must stop coming out of people's mouth--it's boring, has overtones of bigotry and ignorance.
And no one but corporations getting huge tax breaks can truly LIVE of this government.

Liz Dwyer said...

Amen to Leota2 about the corporations living off the government. Isn't that the honest truth!

Anita Hill really brought sexual harassment to the forefront of America. She really spoke to what so many women go through both then and now. I remember the confirmation hearings and I remember think that there was no way CT was going to get confirmed. But, he did. I'd like to doubt he could get confirmed now. I hope people take sexual harassment more seriously these days...then again, Isiah Thomas' situation makes me wonder.

T. S. Snowden said...

I never believed his bull! I knew Anita was right on the money. Of course he objectified her, he busy putting massa's woman on a pedestal so the sister's were fair game. I manage a book store and had to set-up early this morning for his book and audio CD(I thumbed through it and I ain't surprised that suddenly he claims to be black)---I even watched his weak-ass interview in which he emphatically announced that "of course I want to help black people, I want to help ALL people". I love that little back door qualifier he used to pacify massa (he wants to help ALL people). I plan to read his book because I need to know where the enemy is at all times.

Anonymous said...

Write a review, Femigog! Your ideas are important--and, no doubt, will deepen understanding of the phenomenon recognized as Uncle Thom--Ass.

Rent Party said...

Great post.

I was always for Hill and:

It is always so disgusting when they replace people like Thurgood Marshall with people like Clarence Thomas and say it's good just because the Thomas person is also Black. It's as though they couldn't see how stellar Marshall really was, and couldn't imagine that there might be Black replacements available who were also stellar or close to it. The, uh, racist attitude is so freakin' transparent.

Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis on Thomas I learned recently:

He got out of law school and couldn't find a job, was approached by the Republicans and began a meteoric rise where he got 5 promotions in 10 years. His conversion from left to right, coincidentally, happened around the same time. Opportunism anyone?

His grandfather has gone on the record as repudiating his right-wing positions.

Clarence Thomas is married to a white woman and lives in Virginia. This is important to know because he has been even more consistent in siding with the states on states' rights issues than Scalia. Before he was nominated to the SCOTUS, there was a Supreme Court case out of Virginia that overturned the anti-miscegenation statute on the books. The dissent argued strongly on a states' rights basis. It begs the question; would Thomas have argued states' rights in that case? Would he have condemned his own marriage?

Just something to think about.


Nelson said...

Jimbo, having read his opinions, yes he would. He would probably move to Maryland and that would be the end of it in his book. Once he puts that robe on the difference between him and the most rabid right winger is negligible.

rikyrah said...

Clarence Thomas only has a problem when Affirmative Action helps someone THAT IS NOT WHITE.

He hasn't mumbled one word about Affirmative Action for Stupid White Boys - it's called LEGACY ADMISSIONS.

And, it's how, after George Bush couldn't even get into The University of Texas...he got into YALE.

Clarence Thomas is a sellout. Affirmative Action got him where he wanted to go, but he doesn't want anyone else to get that help.

And, you want to know something else? This mumbling sellout doesn't say anything about the TRUE beneficiaries of Affirmative Action - WHITE WOMEN.
How come THEY never come into play when he talks about who it injures? Hmmmmm

I've got a surprise for Thomas. Barack Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law, and was PRESIDENT of the Harvard Law Review, and his fellow jokers in the GOP had the nerve to call HIM 'intellectually lazy'.

Negro, Please.

PS-Jimbo, that you could see the obviousness of his SELLING OUT - it's gratifying.

kaya said...

anita hill has an op-ed in the nytimes today...

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...


I saw that Op-Ed. I hope she sues Clarence for slander.

Over on Kos, one poster suggested that if a Democrat gets the White Hosue next year, their first act when a Supreme Court vacancy comes up is to nominate Anita Hill for the position.

That would be some serious Poetic Justice; Clarance having to look at Anita every day when Court is in session.

I'd pay money to see that.

Anonymous said...

I think Clarence Thomas has been giving Isaiah Thomas pointers.

dave in boca said...

Best comment I've seen yet on the Anita Hill controversy comes from G. Will:

"Anita Hill and her allies blazed the path subsequently trod by Crystal Gail Mangum and her fans in the university/media establishment in the Duke non-rape case last year."

But Thomas has an even better last word:

"Once I got on the Court, I vowed I would never do my job as poorly as journalists do theirs."

Bravo! Clarence, you've risen far far above the abysmal bottom-feeding standards of ink-stained hacks & political media-whores like Hill. But this slacker now has a law perfesser job she'd never have gotten had she not sold her soul to left-wing racists---collectivists who hate blacks who think for themselves.

Looks like this blog is another self-hating negro.

Anonymous said...

Dave in Boca, out of curiosity I checked out your blog. It's getting harder and harder to find people like you; the 30% who still believe George Bush is doing a good job.

You strike me as extremely misguided, and I'm sure you would extend the same opinion about me. The difference is that you're going to be on the losing end of the next election. Have fun wandering in the wilderness, your side amply deserves it.


field negro said...

Jimbo, he is up to 30% now? I think that's an all time high for the frat boy.

"Looks like this blog is another self-hating negro."

Now I have been called lots of things, but "self-hating" is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

This guy referring to you as a "self-hating negro", is part of the attempted reframing of black politics by black and white right-wingers, Field. They will simply say, for instance, that you are actually a house negro, and someone like Jesse Lee Peterson is a true field negro. They hope that though repitition, they will be successful in turning reality upside down.

They've been pretty successful with this tactic in terms of the white liberal/conservative debate, but in order to make it work with us, they are going to have to convince the average black person to buy the reframing. I don't think it's gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

What pissed me off the most about the Thomas confirmation was how yet again the "Liberals" caved. They let his "high tech lynching" comment scare them so much they simply stopped.

This dude is a fascist, and the Liberals needed to suck it up, and stop his confirmation. So you get called a racist. People will forget that, but this current Supreme Court can do damage none of us will ever forget.

What I got from his interview wasn't so much that his grandfather taught him "self-reliance," but that he taught him nobody in the world gives a shit about you and you'd better accept it now.

When Thomas was asked if he thought his grandfather loved him, he couldn't answer. Instead he went off on the Wingnut "Well he provided a roof" bullshit. I guess that's all parents (guardians) are for in Wingdingarooville.

At one point he said his grandfather treated him like a "laborer."

Couple that with the racism back then, and it's no wonder he has a hard heart.

Anonymous said...

"Why Blacks Should Think Twice About Supporting Ron Paul"

Check the Post

Anonymous said...

I remember being 9 or 10 when all this ish went down because my parents watched it almost constantly, even at that young age I always believed Anita. I listened to both sides like everyone else, but something about him just didn't seem right to him, he looked like a liar. After all these years I see not much has changed changed.

Funny thing: I was trying to Google his name and I searched "Uncle Thomas" by accident- lol!!

hottnikz said...

Something told me back then she wasn't lying. The coke can/pube joke can't make shit up like that.I know looks are deceiving but I kind of have a sixth sense for pervs, and he definetly fits the bill.

How are you against affirmative action when you benefited from it yourself? That's one of my biggest beefs with him.

west coast story said...

Black people didn't believe her because Thomas made you believe the white boys were picking on him and you fell for it.

"Oh, lawsy, they lynching that po' boy!"

I personally thought it was sickening that black people could be so motivated by race that they would stand behind a guy who, while heading up the Civil Rights Division of Justice, was the subject of investigative reporting on what a piss poor job he was doing investigating complaints of discrimination. Let race define the issues for you and you will screw yourself every time. Bet on it.

Before the "hi-tech lynching," blacks were opposed to Thomas' nomiation 60-40. After the invocation of the l-word, black folks nearly gave themselves a whiplash flipping 60-40 in favor of his nomination.

Plus it was a black women, you know, a jezebel and you can't trust black women. Always trying to keep a brother down.

Thomas' disgraceful record in Civil Rights, that he'd never served as a judge, had done little or no litigation, was an embarrassment to the memory of Thurgood Marshall. But all folks cared about was "they lynching that boy!" and the rest is history. Makes me want to puke every time this subject comes up because it is pathetic proof at how easily mannipulated and blinded we are over the issue of race.

There were rumors that Bush The First was going to pull his nomination but he couldn't have planned a better outcome. Turned out black folks wanted Thomas's confirmation in order to stick it to the racist Senators. And Bush The First was a happy to accommodate them.

I know this post is extremely salty but frankly, I blame black people for Thomas' confirmation. Hi-tech lynching or not, there should have been howls of outrage from the black community that this sawed off, self-hating, fool would be allowed to replace Thurgood Marshall.

The only good thing about the whole mess was the sheer entertainment value of watching John Doggett, III, make an utter ass of himself in front of the Senate committee and the whole country by declaring that he had to step forward to refute Hill's allegations "in order to save the country." American's first black super hero in action. Yee, hah! My cousin called me while he was testifying and we were rolling on the floor laughing at him. What a sorry chapter in black history.

field negro said...

Lawd I almost forgot about John Dagett,III. What a joke!