One passage in particular screams I NEED HELP:
As a child in the Deep South, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan; as an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along," he writes. "My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia, but in Washington, D.C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony.When you decide that the ACLU is more dangerous than The KKK and you're black? You have left Planet Reality. You've left it abruptly enough and completely enough that we have to conclude that you're going to be gone for a while... like maybe forever.
Here's what the country's premiere black jurist has to say about the effect affirmative action had on the one credential that gave him entrée to the position he holds:
I'd graduated from one of America's top law schools -- but racial preference had robbed my achievement of its true value.Did they rig his tests? Did they pass him the answers to the DC Bar Exam? Did he get the same dispensation George W. got at Yale? Since Clarence Thomas his own self considers his Yale Law Degree a sham, how does he drag his ass to the bench every day? How does he look in the mirror? Why hasn't he resigned and moved in with Ward Connerly?
Here's a passage about the night he learned of his confirmation:
But by the time he was confirmed, he said, the prize meant little. Instead of watching the Senate roll call, he drew himself a bath. His wife came to tell him he had been confirmed 52 to 48.
"Whoop-dee-damn-doo," Thomas writes.
Where to begin? The effects of realizing that you have to live out your existence as a black person in America can be enormous. You can go with "Oh, well! What The hell!" or you can curse God like Captain Kirk cursed Khan for leaving him so completely in the shit. Thomas has chosen the latter.
I actually feel sorry for Thomas. Someone very close to me has the same attitude toward black people as Thomas does. To this person, black people--his own people--are dangerous and scary and the source of life's deepest and most original pains. I can say from personal experience that the faces of my earliest pains--my deepest, most traumatic, rawest humiliations--those faces were black. Do I avoid black people? No. (The man I admire second-most after my brother had a rough time growing up black and he's a bit difficult to communicate with, but he has a heart of gold and I love him as I love my brother, but don't tell him).
It's still really tough for some black people in this country. The Jena 6 and my previously-noted BillO Bloviations (see archive) are all I need to say on the subject for now.
Racism is what brought us to Iraq. Racism is what has us threatening Iran. As my history teacher at the College of San Mateo, Dr. Charles Haight, taught me, "follow the money!" Who benefits from racism? Who benefits from denying entire populations their dreams simply on the basis of appearance and how do they benefit?
Race is a lie. A vicious lie. Clarence Thomas is Exhibit A. I'm sorry for him.
UPDATE: I saw Clarence Thomas's interview with 60 Minutes last night. It was the portrait of a person being eaten alive from the inside. I hadn't heard the title of his book when I first posted. The title--My Grandfather's Son--obviously is freighted with Freudian implications. We'll let his analysts sort those out. But it sticks out for me because it brings to mind Ron White's Dictum: You Can't Fix Stupid. No matter what Thomas means, the title is about his father--the one that abandoned him. Can't be read any other way. Sorry.