Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Clarence Thomas's 15 cent price tag" by Andy K.

I have not read Clarence Thomas' new book, but in the
Times' review and in the New Yorker's review, there is
a consensus that he is a very, very angry man. First
his father abandoned him. Then his mother abandoned
him. And he was forced to live with his grandfather
who beat him repeatedly, whipped him regularly, never
hugged him, and disowned him when Clarence dropped out
of Catholic seminary. (He dropped out when one of the
priests at the seminary cheered the assasination of
Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Mostly, though, he's angry at northern white liberals
who gave him the affirmative action quotas that made
it possible for him to attend Yale Law School.

His argument is that once he got to Yale, no one
respected him because the white students assumed he
was there only because of Yale's affirmative action
quotas. When he graduated, he affixed a price sticker
to his actual law degree (the sticker says "15 cents")
as a symbolic fuck-you to the white liberals who
insulted him with this worthless degree from Yale Law

In Thomas' eyes, the only thing worse than a blatant
Southern white racist is a closeted Northern white
racist. Fair enough.

Yet, Ronald Reagan hired him to be the chief of the
Equal Employment Opportunity Commision... because
Thomas was black. And George H. W. Bush appointed
Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court... because Thomas was

Needless to say, Thomas adores Reagan and Bush. To
quote from the New Yorker: "Thomas's rhetoric against
traditional civil-rights dogma became more strident,
even as he became an ever more prominent beneficiary
of it. In other words, Yale and Reagan treated him
the same way, but he hates one and reveres the other."

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