Clarence Thomas: Bending the Arc of History

Besides President Trump, arguably one of the most transformative figures to emerge onto the American political landscape in half a century is Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas. Yet, it’s not his stellar legal mind, reflected in scores of brilliant opinions he has penned over the course of his nearly 29-year career at the highest court in the land that earns for him that status. Sadly, it is merely for the fact the he is a black man who, after coming of age in the repressive Democrat Deep South and even embracing the black radicalism of the late 60s ultimately had the scales fall from his eyes and dared reject the political Democrat-Left plantation. But when he was nominated to take the seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court that he became not only their worst nightmare, but an existential threat.

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, a new documentary slated for release at the end of the month, is a powerful journey back in time, told mostly by Thomas in his own words, and in some segments by his remarkable wife Ginny and mentor and champion, former Senator John Danforth. Justice Thomas takes us from his childhood in the sleepy Gullah hamlet of Pin Point, Georgia, to life with his mentally unstable mother in the slums of segregated Savannah, and then ultimately to be rescued by his grandparents, where his no nonsense, hardworking grandfather, Myers Anderson, became that crucial guiding force that nurtured both his intellect and his character, and in Thomas’ estimation “the greatest man I have ever known.”

From childhood in the 50s through the 60s all the way to adulthood in the 70s and early 80s, a common theme that Thomas weaves throughout is disillusionment. First, with the Catholic Church then the black radicals he gravitated towards, with “the soft bigotry of low expectations” that characterized the disastrous Democrat-Leftist social and racial policy he felt after graduating from Yale Law, and later, as chairman of the EEOC under Ronald Reagan, where he saw firsthand the hypocrisy of black leaders blaming the President and Republicans for problems destroying their constituencies that they themselves were doing nothing to fight.

Along with the writings of Ayn Rand and Thomas Sowell, all of these experiences molded Justice Thomas’ conservative worldview. In 1990, he was nominated and confirmed to the DC Circuit, but a little over a year later when President George H.W. Bush tapped him for a seat on SCOTUS, all hell broke loose. The way in which the Democrats, the supposed party of racial equality, civil rights, justice and all the rest went after Thomas was just breathtakingly vicious. For me, and many others, it was a seminal moment in my becoming politically aware, at least of recognizing the hypocrisy, viciousness and lust for power that we are now seeing raging out in the open with the Democrat-Media Complex. The situation was very much in doubt until Thomas himself took the stand and defended himself by excoriating those who would destroy him for having the gall to exist and thrive as a black, as an American without the need of Leftists and Democrats for his survival. 

He weathered the storm, but the attacks on his integrity, intellect and humanity have not ceased (along with the recent attempts to beatify Anita Hill in the wake of #MeToo). In fact, the only lesson the Democrats took away as they licked their wounds was to make sure not to rely on only one liar to throw up on the witness stand but multiple liars (see: Kavanaugh, Brett, Trump, Donald J.). 

I came away from watching this excellent documentary deeply moved, almost to tears at points, but nevertheless inspired and hopeful for the future. Despite all he has had to endure, Justice Thomas still has a wonderful sense of humor and humanity seen in his interaction with young law school students as well as when he is on the road in his Winnebago, touring America with his wife during his time off from the Court.

As Dr. King once said, “the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice.” By his incredibly brave act of self-preservation and defiance in the face of what was being done to him – and continues to be done to him – Clarence Thomas may very well have fired the shot heard round the world in opening a lot of eyes as to who and what the Left really are. That’s what I mean when I say “transformative.”