Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is it time for Clarence Thomas to go home?

Can a brother get a redo?  I mean, can we find another black man to replace Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court?
Don’t take that the wrong way.  I’m way past believing all black people should act and think the same.  I’m all for a person standing autonomous from others.  I can’t throw those stones at Thomas without jeopardizing my on desire to say what I want, when I want and how I want – so help me God. 
We all have the right to speak our mind, fight for our passion and challenge anyone willing to block our independence.  I get that.  Do you brother Thomas.  He has a right to remain stubborn and detached from all things black.  I have no issue with his wife waving the Tea bag flag.  She has a right to fight against big government, and he has a right to believe the man he’s looking at in the mirror isn’t black.
Someone tell him it isn’t so.
His record is clear.  If it looks black, smells black or sounds black – vote no.  That’s his business. 
My problem with Thomas is what he represents.  He’s the only black man on the Supreme Court.  Excuse me for saying it, but that comes with a high level of accountability.  It’s a position that was paid for with blood, jail time, fire hoses and vicious dogs biting kids in the behind.   There’s a history connected to his position, and, sorry to say it, Uncle Thomas needs to honor the legacy of those who came before him.
I know, I know.  I hear the pounding hearts of the critics of that statement. Thomas and his cohorts squabble that the law is color blind.  The responsibility of the high court, they say, is to uphold the law of the land.  I embrace that notion, but wasn’t Thomas placed on the court to continue the legacy of Thurgood Marshall?  Wasn’t it his background in Civil Rights that landed him the gig?
Given why he’s there, you would think that Thomas would evaluate the law from the lens of his cultural identity.  Isn’t that what all of the justices do?  His placement on the court, along with everyone else, is to maintain a balance in the way the law is interpreted.  The law is a fluid business.  Views change in time.  It shifts and turns based on adjustments of public perception.  The law has to be monitored from the context of real lives.  The interpretation of law can’t be limited to the privileged class.
America belongs to all of us.
So, what happens when the black man on the high court doesn’t care about black people?  What are the deeper implications related to not having that voice on the court? Does it matter? Does anyone care? Isn’t the management of the law reliant on those with a deep sensitivity to the voice of those living with the outcomes of those rulings?
Black America needs a redo.  Thomas doesn’t speak for the underprivileged.  He is the most conservative on the high court.  He never speaks.  We always know how he will vote.  He’s an embarrassment to those who know the struggle.  How did it come to this?  We want to be proud of Thomas.  We can’t.  We can’t be proud of one who hates his own people. 
How can I say that?  Look at the way he votes.
He has every right to be a conservative.  I support that coming from anyone standing on American soil.  It’s why I love being an American. We have that as a right, but this is not about individual rights.  This is about his responsibility as a member of the Supreme Court.
If he refuses to be considerate of how the law impacts the people he has been placed on the court to represent, go home.  Go home and live your life of privilege.  Go home and fight for a more conservative government.  Run for office.  Become more vocal.  Do that. Have fun with believing America will be better due to those views.
But, don’t use that coal black hue to step into that privilege while claiming you climbed the mountain on your own.  You got there after Martin’s dream.  A. Philip Randolph organized to help get you there.  Don’t forget sister Sojourner and Mary McCloud Bethune.  They paved those streets you now walk on every day.  They paved them with tears and suffering.  They marked the territory that you assume belongs only to you.
Yes, I want a redo.  This dude refuses to get it, and it’s time to stop pretending.  You don’t belong to us, so stop acting like you’re part of the family.
We kicked to you out when Anita Hill spoke truth.
Go home.


  1. Just what is it that you want Clarence Thomas to do? He's there to evaluate the law, not make new law (although John Roberts recent decision on Obamacare did just that).

    In your piece, you keep emphasizing that not all blacks think alike (duh!) and Thomas has a right to be very conservative in his personal views. Then you pillory him for somehow not being pro-black, whatever that means, on the Supreme Court. You argue against yourself. Perhaps because your intellect says one thing, while your heart says another.

    My concern about Thomas is that he seems the least intellectual of the Supremes because he rarely talks, rarely asks questions of the lawyers before the court, and never writes the majority or minority opinions.

    Your lament that he's not a black community organizer on the Supreme Court merely means you misunderstand what the Court is supposed to do.

  2. I want Thomas to end his cycle of refusing to engage in the task he has been assigned. My point is a simple one. He was placed on the court to continue the legacy of examining the law from the lens of one with a background in Civil Rights. If you go back to the hearings prior to his appointment, that was the pitch. We were told he was the perfect person to replace Thurgood Marshall. He hasn't done that. In fact he has done the opposite. Given his inability to offer suitable discussion regarding the law from the perspective he was to represent, get rid of him. As I stated in the blog, Thomas has a right to think as he wishes, as all of us do, but he isn't offered the right to do that when he is the one person on the high court there to represent a unique perspective. He's obligated to do that rather than to hide behind his race, which got him the job, while refusing to consider important theories of law. He fails to get it. He's a waste on the court. There are better minds who deserve to be there. I can support a person if they think and talk. He doesn't. He simply votes the party line. Oh, I failed to mention the $1.5 million his wife received to lobby against the Obama Health care reform act. His agenda is deposited in his family bank account.

    In summary, there is no conflict. He can think as he wishes, but not on the court. I made that point clear.