Sunday, May 24, 2009
sympathy for... Clarence Thomas
I have thinking a lot about Clarence Thomas, one of the Associate Justices on the US Supreme Court recently and I must admit I viewed him with a great deal of skepticism and scorn for many years because of his conservative views and the revulsion that my fellow African-Americans had for him and his positions of concern to us, but I have come to see him differently. I read an old article about Thomas when his book was published almost two years ago and I was moved by his autobiography and his feelings. particularly during his confirmation hearings in1991 that he was being singled out because he was black and had the temerity to hold views that were not always liberal. He is right about that - people really do clock you good, particularly around here in the Northeast if you don't share the liberal orthodoxy on all issues. It is a pity but a definite reality. Years ago, I interviewed George Curry, who was at that time the editor of Emerge Magazine, a black public affairs magazine. Mr. Curry and his magazine were staunchly opposed to Mr. Thomas, causticly so; indeed, they had a caricature of Mr. Thomas on the cover of the magazine with a hankerchief on his head. It was funny at the time, but upon later reflection years later, I thought it a bit mean if not cruel. Then I heard the thoughts of Julienne Malveavx, a political commentator and educator who openly wished for the man to drop dead of a heart attack. Whoa! Some of this anger is totally misplaced and misguided and some of the arguments Thomas makes are not totally off-based. It is long past time to give Thomas his due and a little bit of respect instead of the manure that is thrown at him of a regular basis.