The left slanders Clarence Thomas | WORLD
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The left slanders Clarence Thomas

Racial attacks on the justice send a damaging message to black people

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas prepares to administer the Constitutional Oath to Amy Coney Barrett at the White House on Oct. 26, 2020. Associated Press/Photo by Patrick Semansky

The left slanders Clarence Thomas
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Progressives are calling Justice Clarence Thomas a traitor (again) because of his vote last week on the Supreme Court case, Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard.

The case was about Harvard’s race-based affirmative action program in admissions that discriminated against white and especially Asian students in favor of Latino and black students. Justice Thomas and five other justices concluded that Harvard’s affirmative action program violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, resulting in a 6-3 vote that ends race-based affirmative action in college admissions.

Justices Roberts, Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett have been called ignorant and racist (and worse) for their votes. But predictably, progressives reserved their most vile attacks for Justice Thomas, a brilliant intellectual who dares to think independently and not on the basis of his skin pigmentation or groupthink.

It isn’t surprising that the people who are angry that the Supreme Court has rejected a race-based policy have now resorted to race-based attacks against Clarence Thomas. What’s shocking is how inane thoughts now come from purported “public intellectuals.”

According to noted progressive intellectuals like Vanderbilt professor Michael Eric Dyson, Justice Thomas is “a man who climbed the ladder of affirmative action to his present perch of power only to help destroy the very ladder on which he ascended. This is not only the mark of deep ingratitude & disavowal of history, but a withering betrayal of justice & democracy.”

He is saying Justice Thomas is a beneficiary of Affirmative Action and a traitor to his “race.”

Apparently, Thomas’ inspiring story as a fatherless boy raised in segregated Georgia by his sharecropper grandfather before he became a Supreme Court Justice is an example of the benefits of a handout from white people—not an example of a black man persevering against all odds.

In other words, the ideological left argues that affirmative action is the reason for Justice Thomas’ success, not his work ethic. Meaning, we should note, that the white architects of Affirmative Action are the heroes of the story—not Clarence Thomas or his grandfather.

In that way, progressives like Michael Eric Dyson have a lot in common with white supremacists. They believe black people cannot succeed on our own without help from white people. They believe white people have all the power.

By rejecting race-based affirmative action, Justice Thomas is heroically maintaining his opposition to racism.

This is why Dyson’s words about Justice Thomas are drastically different from his words about woke white people like Robin DiAngelo. In his foreword to her bestselling book, White Fragility, he said: “Robin DiAngelo is the new racial sheriff in town. … [She] demands that white folk finally mature and face the world they’ve made while seeking to help remake it for those who have neither their privilege nor their protection.”

The message to black people is damaging: We are not responsible for our successes and we’re therefore not responsible for our failures. This is one of the concerns Clarence Thomas highlights in his brilliant concurring opinion:

“Race is not to blame for everything—good or bad—that happens in their lives. A contrary, myopic world view based on individuals’ skin color to the total exclusion of their personal choices is nothing short of racial determinism. … In fact, meritocratic systems have long refuted bigoted misperceptions of what black students can accomplish. … I continue to strongly believe (and have never doubted) that ‘blacks can achieve in every avenue of American life without the meddling of university administrators.’”

It’s ridiculous that this needs to be said, and that our postmodern culture does not know the difference between heroes and villains. By rejecting race-based affirmative action, Justice Thomas is heroically maintaining his opposition to racism.

That’s what race-based affirmative action is—institutionalized racism.

As Justice Thomas says, “Two discriminatory wrongs cannot make a right. … The solution to our Nation’s racial problems thus cannot come from policies grounded in affirmative action or some other conception of equity. Racialism simply cannot be undone by different or more racialism.”

Affirmative action is unethical and unhelpful. For example, as Justice Thomas illustrates in his concurring opinion, black recipients of affirmative action are significantly more likely to drop out of college.

So unlike progressives like Michael Eric Dyson, Justice Thomas rejects policies that harm black people. He’s actually continuing the legacy of black American leaders like Fredrick Douglass, who in his “What The Black Man Wants” speech in 1865 said:

“The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us. … I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! … And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don’t disturb him! … Let him fall if he cannot stand alone! … If you will only untie his hands, and give him a chance, I think he will live.”

Samuel Sey

Samuel Sey is the founder of and a contributor at True North Centre. He’s a former community liaison at the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and the former spokesman on critical race theory for Parents as First Educators. Samuel is a Ghanaian Canadian and currently resides in Ohio with his wife.

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