Democratic Underground  

Clarence Thomas and the Republican Right
April 15, 2002
By Christian Dewar

According to a recent report by the Citizens' Commission on Civil Rights, the Bush administration is pursuing policies that serve to resegregate America. The report claims that there is now a "judicial assault on civil rights" and that "We may awaken from our current preoccupation with national security to find ourselves a nation more divided, less equal, and therefor less secure, than before". The report claims that "These decisions have reversed the progress of earlier years and lead to a trend towards resegregating America." One commission member said that Bush's 'compassionate conservatism' "amounts to a sham".

The last Republican convention that chose George W. Bush as their candidate for the presidency looked like a gathering of the Rainbow Coalition. Blacks on the podium discussed racism as Native Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the national anthem. Yet, on the floor of the convention there were only around 100 blacks out of 2000 delegates on the floor, around five per cent of the total.

Jesse Jackson Jr., in discussing the Starr persecution of Bill Clinton, was quoted as saying, "Let us not be confused. The Republicans are impeaching Social Security, they are impeaching affirmitive action, they are impeaching women's right to choose, they are impeaching Medicare, Medicaid, Supreme Court justices who believe in equal protection under the law for all Americans. Something deeper in history is happening than sex, lying about sex and perjury." (In light of allegations that Thomas may have perjured himself at his confirmation as to whether he had ever previously discussed 'Roe v. Wade' before, and David Brock's revelation about Thomas's real behavior in the Anita Hill controversy in his new book, 'Blinded by the Right', Jackson's references to perjury and lying about sex may seem especially relevant.)

Republicans have not exactly been the champions of blacks in recent years when it comes to equal rights and desegregation. What, for instance, can Thomas be thinking about the close association of Attorney General John Ashcroft and the head of the DEA, Asa Hutchinson, with Bob Jones University? This school fought desegregation tooth and nail. When blacks were finally admitted, interracial dating was forbidden. Clarence could not have even courted his white wife if he had attended school there! This institution has a policy of non-discrimination when it comes to discrimination. They hate almost everybody! They also try to bar gay alumni from the school, label Catholicism as 'satanism' and call the poor, infirm pope the Anti-Christ. (For that matter, what does the devoutly Catholic, Anton Scalia think of Bob Jones University?) Did Thomas ever pause to think when George W. Bush visited the school as he was seeking the nomination? Did it make him wonder when allies of Bush slandered McCain and his adopted daughter from Bangaladesh with racist innuendo?

As governor of Missouri, Ashcroft resisted segregation and affirmative action programs. He lobbied to defeat the appointment of Ronnie White to a judgeship, slandering the man by calling him pro-criminal. White would have been the first black federal judge from Missouri. If you are a black woman in Ashcroft's America, it would seem that you are doomed. According to an ACLU report on the attorney general entitled, "Not Moderate, Not Compassionate, Not Conservative", Ashcroft "sponsored legislation that would prohibit the use of affirmative action in federal employment, contracting, and other federal programs and activities" and that as a U.S. Senator, he "voted to eliminate help businesses owned by women and minorities." The report states that "the Justice Department defends the very programs that Ashcroft sought to eliminate-including the federal contractor nondiscrimination requirements and program-specific minority and women-owned business provisions."

Ashcroft too, is non-discriminatory when it comes to discriminating. He doesn't seem particularly predisposed towards gays, either, trying to thwart their appointment to political office. He believes that they choose their sexual orientation. Ashcroft has asked potential male employees if they had the same preferences as most men. He has been quoted as saying, "Well, you know, I believe that the Bible calls [homosexuality] a sin and that defines sin for me." (Do you suppose Ashcroft hates Dick Cheney's gay daughter, Mary?)

What can Thomas possibly think about the links of several prominent Republicans to the Southern Partisan? This magazine has called South African blacks "blood thirsty savages". The Partisan has claimed that David Duke represented the "American Ideal". They praised Duke as "a candidate concerned with 'affirmative' discrimination, welfare profligacy, the taxation holocaust...a Populist for recapturing the American idea."

One author claimed that slave owners were concerned about the "peace and happiness" of their slaves. Another article says that "Neither Jesus or the Apostles nor the early church condemned slavery...there is no indication that slavery is contrary to Christian ethics". They consider Abraham Lincoln a "consumate conniver, manipulator and a liar." An edition published in the Spring of 1984 discusses "the sinister Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln - an invitation to the slaves to rise against their masters." (Colin?)

If you are not a straight male of specific Northern European ancestry, you are in real trouble with these people. One article said that "Negros, Asians and Orientals have no temperament for democracy". One article states that "Italians, Jews and Puerto Ricans" live in New York, not "Americans". (Anton? Ari?) Another article claims that, "The tides of immigration turned negative: were characterized by the losers of political history...the Italians and the Irish...the dull-spirited and pagan, such as the Scandinavians...and by peoples to whom the tenets of our republic were altogether aliens, such as the heiratic Jews...". As for the role of women, the Partisan has stated that, Feminism is a "revolt against God" and that "Feminists, ethnic minorities, sodomites and other 'victims' of the majority culture are demanding special recognition and priviledged status." (Condi?) Ashcroft has been quoted praising the work of the Southern Partisan. He stated that the southern revisionist must stand up for these beliefs "or else we'll be taught that these people [confederate soldiers] were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda." Here is a question for Supreme Court Justice Thomas: If Ashcroft were to sue someone for calling him a homophobe, a racist and a mysogynist, do you think that a jury would find that the statements were libel or would the defendant be judgement proof? No wonder the attorney general is endorsed by the John Birch Society.

What do you suppose is going through Thomas' brain when he hears about Bush's links to the southern apologists such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Council of Conservative Citizens which has been referred to as the 'Uptown Klu Klux Klan'? The CCC claimed that Dr. Martin Luther King was a communist. (This, of course didn't keep Bush from appearing with Corretta Scott King on the day commemorating her husband to declare the great civil rights leader 'an American hero'. Blacks constitute a valuable voting block and must be assidiously courted or disenfranchised, depending on how they are expected to vote at the polls.) Writers for the CCC have also stated that whites are superior to blacks in "intelligence, law abidingness (sic), sexual restraint [and] academic performance". What of Bush's refusal to take a stand on the flying of the 'Stars and Bars' over government buildings, a flag which has extreme racial connotations for our nation's blacks?

What does Thomas think of Rep. Bob Barr and Trent Lott's close association with the CCC? As Fairness and Accuracy in Media has pointed out, Barr was the key note speaker at the Council's national conference and was pictured in the group's newsletter, Citizens Informer, addressing the Council's board and posing with several CCC leaders. FAIR also points out that the Washington Times and the Village Voice have both reported that Sen. Lott is a longtime member and supporter of the organization. Jesse Helms has been a featured speaker.

FAIR also points out that the CCC website featured an essay titled "A Call to White Americans" which urges "fellow white Americans to look at the faces around you: Find the faces like yours and see them as your brothers and sisters. Find the fair-skinned babies and see them as your children." Another section of their web site featured a screed called "Our War" with one section entitled "The Values of the Traditional White South That Have Been Targeted for Destruction". It doesn't sound like they would want to have much to do with Thomas.

And what does Thomas make of the Neo-Nazi, former Klan leader David Duke running as a Republican? The CCC supported his political campaigns. The CCC has featured white separtists as guests to discuss topics like "black intellectual inferiority". They named Lester Maddox as their "Patriot of the Century" and as FAIR points out, the CCC is critical of the Promise Keepers "because PK kisses up to Catholics and grovels to blacks."

Some people must have wondered whether Clarence Thomas agreed with Bush when he refused to sign hate crimes legislation after the dragging death of James Bradey by Neo-Nazis? Was he appalled at the indifference of Bush towards Bradey's relatives when they beseeched him to support the bill that would have given special protection to those attacked because of race, gender or sexual orientation? As a justice, was he bothered when Bush refused to grant a pardon to a black inmate, Kevin Boyd, who had spent 12 years in prison and then was exonerated when DNA proved conclusively that he could not have been the rapist?

What about the complaints by the NAACP when Bush was governor of Texas that his organization provided hardly any jobs for blacks on the construction and operation of the Texas Ranger stadium which was paid for by the taxpayers of Texas?

Does Thomas rally behind Bush's efforts to appoint anti-civil rights judges? What of the Pickering nomination? As a law student, he had written articles in support of segregation. He intervened to try and reduce the sentence of a man who burned a cross on the lawn of a mix-marriage couple and then fired shots into their house. (nevermind Pickering's lackluster, mediocre career in jurisprudence with an impressive number of reversals to his credit). vWhat does Thomas think of allegations that Chief Justice Reinquist as a Republican operative in Arizona challenged and harrassed minorities at polling stations in an effort to intimidate them from voting?

What does Thomas think of Dick Cheney? This is a man who opposed sanctions for South Africa because of their apartheid policies. He was against requesting the release of Nelson Mandella from prison.

What does he think of Pat Buchannan's racist screeds, which as Molly Ivins points out, sound better in the original German? In the 1996 primary, his campaign chairman had to resign when his ties to white supremacist became known. What about reports of Ann Coulter's anti-Semitism, her slurring of Mineta with overtones of perjudice against Asians and her opinion that there should be racial profiling of 'swarthy males'? (Are blacks considered swarthy?)

Surely, Thomas must be aware that the Republican party is the home of the former secretary of the interior, James Watt, an anti-enviromentalist and mentor to Gale Norton. He once commented, with a certain subtle lack of consideration for political correctness, that "We have every kind of mix you can have. I have a black. I have a woman, two Jews and a cripple." The Republican party was also the home of the racially sensitive Earl Butz who once commented, "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit." Now, there is a 'compassionate conservative'!

Could Thomas possibly have reservations about Jeb Bush? Does it bother him that when asked by a black women when he was running for office, what he would do for Afro-Americans if elected, that his response was, "Probably nothing." What about his efforts to dismantle affirmative action programs? By now, even the main stream press is being forced to acknowledge that Jeb and Katherine Harris deliberately planned to disenfranchise black voters. According to books such as 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy' by Greg Palast, Moore's 'Stupid White Men' and 'Jews for Buchanan', black votes were surpressed by the use of faulty voting machines in predominantly black neighborhoods, the purging of innocent people wrongly accused of being felons, faulty ballots, the relocation of voting centers days before the election without announcement, police roadblocks near minority polls to intimidate and harrass blacks and the lack of computers for voter verification at the polls.

Jeb's father, G.H.W. Bush doesn't seem to have a great deal of sensitivity either when it comes race relations. He was an enthusiastic fan of eugenics, birth countrol for the citizen's of third world countries. Jeb's wife is from Mexico. The former president once referred to Jeb's children as 'the little brown ones'.

What can Clarence Thomas think about the rampant racism that exists to this day in the Republican party? What about Condi Rice? Powell? Or Colin's son, Michael, the head of the FCC? There is no rule that one owes an allegiance or loyalty to others of their race except perhaps in someones's version of heaven, but it is ironic that as a Supreme Court Justice, Thomas's political stance serves to deny that justice to other blacks. Having benefitted from policies designed to ensure that, as a black, he would have certain advantages in gaining an education and a career to compensate for years of discrimination against his race, he would now end that benefit for other Afro-Americans. Now, being firmly in place at the Supreme Court, it seems that Thomas and other blacks in this administration are pulling up the rope before other minorities can climb aboard.

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary defines the slang term 'shill' as a "person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house or confidence game...a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reason of self-interest" or personal profit. Blacks in the administration of George W. Bush serve to give the cosmetic appearance of racial equality to the Republican party and may sucker some minorities into voting for them, but to anyone who has paid attention to the policies of Dubya and his supporters, they know that they plan to turn back the quest for equality several decades.

Printer-friendly version
Tell a friend about this article Tell a friend about this article
Discuss this article
Democratic Underground Homepage