Clarence Thomas hates Black people, by Julianne Malveaux

7/13/2023, 6 p.m.
As a child in Pinpoint, Ga., Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was hazed by his classmates with the moniker “America’s ...

As a child in Pinpoint, Ga., Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was hazed by his classmates with the moniker “America’s Blackest Child.”

Such hazing may have had long-term effects, rendering Justice Thomas incapable of transcending his background. It may have given him an inferiority complex that expresses itself in his self-hatred, hatred of other Black people and self-absorption.

While I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist, watching someone who used affirmative action to get into Yale Law School so vociferously attack the policy is fascinating. But, as Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson noted in her dissent in Students for Fair Admissions (a misnomer if I ever saw one) v. Harvard case, Justice Thomas has carried out a “prolonged attack” against affirmative action. His June opinion in Students for Fair Admissions was just one of his many attacks on affirmative action.

His distaste for affirmative action seems to stem from his own experiences at Yale, an experience that none of his classmates have verified. Justice Thomas seemed to feel that white students assumed he was an affirmative action admitted student (he was) and thus not as capable as they were (there is no evidence of that).

Thus he thinks affirmative action stigmatizes Black students, so the Supreme Court should eliminate it. Many of us who were affirmative action admits (I was) don’t much chafe about any stigma. Instead, we celebrate the opportunities affirmative action offered, realizing that while affirmative action opened the door, it did not pass our comprehensive exams, our bar exams, or any other qualifiers. Affirmative action opened the door to some elite institutions, but it did not do the work to get us out. Justice Thomas has a way of making public policy personal. People look down on him, he thinks, and he is hurt and angry, just as he was when people called him America’s Blackest Child.

To make himself feel better, Justice Thomas has surrounded himself with the wealthy elites of the Horatio Alger Society, who believe that hard work is all you need to get ahead in this country. Some of the hardest-working people I know are moms who receive public assistance, but Justice Thomas and his ilk would look down on these folks and describe them as lazy (just as he did his own sister during his confirmation hearings). In his narrow mind, he was looked down on. Thus, he must prove that he is “fair,” “colorblind,” and a proponent of “equal protection.”

If there were fairness and equal protection under the law, Justice Thomas wouldn’t be sitting on the bench at all. Not only did he use affirmative action to get into Yale Law School, but he also used old-fashioned political patronage to get himself on the bench. His patron, Sen. John Danforth (R-Mo.), aggressively championed his career, making sure he got plum assignments, including the chairmanship of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (where he once said that affirmative action made a difference in his life) and a judicial appointment that primed him up for the Supreme Court nomination. Black America was ambivalent, but Justice Thomas effectively used his “up from poverty” back story to convince folks like Dr. Maya Angelou that he would represent Black interests on the court. Instead, the New York Times described him, in 1992, as “the youngest and the cruelest” justice.

All Americans must deal with this self-hating justice, whose outdated opinions threaten civility, inclusion, and decency in our nation. Black America is significantly affected by his anti-blackness. Hopefully, the Department of Justice will investigate Justice Thomas’ financial shenanigans and remove this depraved man from the Supreme Court.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author, and Dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at Cal State LA. juliannemalveaux.com