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Sunday Morning Book Thread 11-10-2019 | Main | If It Sounds Too Good To Be True. It Usually Is.
November 10, 2019

Clarence Thomas, American Hero

As a child growing up in the '60s and '70s in Brooklyn, it was only natural I gravitated towards the counter-culture movement, albeit only for the music and just to reflexively go along with my peers not really fully understanding what things were really all about. But having one side of my family miraculously survive Hitler intact while the other side lost one of its sons on Saipan, I was inculcated from a very early age with a love of this country and the ideas and ideals upon which it was founded.

That said, despite being instinctively repulsed by anything and anyone of the Left, liberalism, socialism or progressivism, I was never interested much in politics. I attended college, pursued my creative interests while attempting to get paid for it, all while chasing women, mostly unsuccessfully, and that was that. For me, and I suspect for many of us, the knife in the chest that fully "raised my consciousness" to coin a phrase from those fabulous '60s was that horrible day in September 2001. If ever there was an event that truly defines the word "woke," that was it. The world had changed forever.

But if that event framed the final act of a decade-long awakening of my political self, what was the opener? A little over ten years before 9/11, July 1st, 1991 to be precise, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to be an associate justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, replacing the seat previously occupied by Thurgood Marshall. I didn't really think much of it except "okay, black guy, he's probably a shoe-in," and that was that. To say I was wrong would be the understatement of a lifetime. A black man who lifted himself up out of a world of poverty, ignorance and blind hatred to become one of the most learned legal scholars in the country was subjected to one of the most vicious smear campaigns in American history - by people who since I was a child supposedly were the champions of blacks, and other historically downtrodden and abused minorities. As the disgusting spectacle thrust upon us in particular by Anita Hill and most notably Joe Biden played out over the course of a couple of weeks, I started to think what the hell is going on here? And the rest, as they say is history.

In any case, please excuse the rather long preamble to the nub of this post, which is about a forthcoming documentary about the associate justice to be aired next year on PBS.

...Thomas is an American hero. Born to nothing, he grew up knowing only hard labor and unyielding discipline, episodes of deep faith, years of searing anger and stints as a seminarian and a college revolutionary. Ultimately, he graduated from Yale Law School and earned a seat on the highest court in the land.

And, yet, because he's a conservative, a sin especially grave to some because he is black, and because he opposes Roe v. Wade, he is reviled by the many who, were he ideologically otherwise, would herald him as a triumph of individual will and grace over seemingly insurmountable odds.

This is the takeaway from a new documentary about Thomas, who granted director Michael Pack full access. The two-hour film, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, is a distillation of 30 hours of interviews in which Thomas tells his story, up close and personal, as if sitting across a table.

It is a marvel of filmmaking that two hours pass so quickly. At the end of a screening I recently attended, there weren't many dry eyes in the room. While most Americans know Thomas either from his Supreme Court confirmation hearings in 1991, when Anita Hill accused him of inappropriate comments at work - or as the justice who almost never asks questions during oral arguments - he is certainly much more than what those two dusty narratives portray...

It's much more than abortion. It is the very nature of race as a means to obtain and wield power by the tyrannical Democrat-Left, and what it means when a black person shows the world that he can overcome poverty and adversity all by himself and with the help of G-d Almighty to achieve his full potential. Indeed the very policies and actions of the Left are intended to keep blacks and other minorities down while blaming conservatives and America itself for their plight. For the mortal sin of revealing this titanic lie, Thomas and anyone who took his story to heart had to be destroyed. Mercifully, for him and for all of us, he endured. And with anecdotal stories like Kanye West, Candace Owens, the black Chicago preachers from several years ago who were fed up with Obama, the emerging Blexit movement and others, perhaps it was Clarence Thomas who lit the fuse for real, final black liberation from the Democrat-Left plantation/gulag.

There are two people that I would dearly love to meet and have a long conversation with. One is President Trump, for obvious reasons. But the other is Justice Thomas, and I have had that wish for many, many years. Given all he had to endure, and all we continue to endure even now, I'm not ashamed to say I got a bit emotional just watching the trailer.

Hat tip to a long time lurker Mugged By Reality who worked on the picture for bringing it to our attention. It's on my radar and I hope you have it on yours.


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