Racism through the eyes of our Supreme Court Justice — Clarence Thomas
The following article is available at the New Yorker in its entirety. I took some excerpts from the story to offer my opinion(s) for why I disagree with Clarence Thomas’ views.
First, let me open with Corey Robin’s words, based upon his interpretation of Mr. Thomas’ analogy:
The idea that black people can advance only with the help of whites is anathema to Clarence Thomas, who has identified with (author) Wright’s protagonist throughout his life. For him, white benevolence denies black people the pride of achievement.
It’s Pride vs. Self-effacement
It’s Poverty vs. Privilege
It’s Dependence vs. Self-sufficiency
It’s Control vs. Freedom
It’s a manipulation of public opinion, that, Black skin is somehow “less than,” which Clarence Thomas admits to. Now, comparing our viability for self-sufficiency to attain success with White folks “Help” slaps away the very hand that also helped him become successful.
This is why I disagree with Clarence Thomas’ comments. I believe, “integration” was designed to make White folks comfortable being around Black folks; to include and accept Blacks in a White-dominated society. So when we show up for a job, we will actually be hired without prejudice.
Instead, we are still viewed as second-class citizens, looked down upon as “dumb,” suspect, even if we attend and graduate from an ivy-league school…
Maybe if this inclusion existed from school-age and throughout our adulthood, the stigma of Racism and Black skin would be somewhat diminished. Instead, it has proliferated, with color forever reminding us that we are, and will forever be, the “inferior race.”
It is true that we had to ‘work twice-as-hard to get half as far,’ and our parents and their parents-parents reminded us of that fact. We work so hard, but there are no accolades or rewards.
We already know that really don’t need validation from Whites that we are “Good” people, but, we do need the Education/Job/Loan/Mortgage/Promotion/Money and Business Investment(s) to succeed. Despite what we believe, THEY still hold all the cards.
We deal with the cards we are dealt, yet none of them hold the keys that will open many of the doors that will lead to our self-sufficiency and success. There’s an old saying, ‘nothing from nothing, leaves nothing.’ We are born with nothing, and very rarely get to leave something; a legacy for our children to carry on.
So, yes, we still need White folks to open the door of opportunity; to tell us “Yes” when we knock on that door.
It is this continued separation that denies us, and the concocted belief that if we are given the job opportunity, loan, investment, that we are somehow “taking” something away from White folks, is also a farce. Besides, they already own all the BANKS and companies that do the hiring!
Diversity, as a value, is how White élites signal to other élites their sophistication, fashion, and taste. It marks Black people as victims and whites as saviors. — Clarence Thomas
If so, why do White folks often try to emulate our fashion sense and our music genre?
Conversely, we were always “victimized” because of our skin, but White folks will never be our saviors, as our economic equality would defeat the purpose of their “elitism.”
It is our job to save ourselves, but it becomes increasingly difficult when our resources are severely limited to make such investment to begin with.
I’m sorry Clarence Thomas’s “Blackness” was under constant attack during a time of revelation for our country. But the fact remains, we would not have won our Equal Rights if it weren’t for White folks support, marching side-by-side, arm-in-arm to make our dreams a reality.
It is also that “Right” that opened the door for Thomas to attend Yale, despite the inequality he experienced while there. Knowing that he was one of the (first) African Americans to attend an all-white law school, should have been something to champion. Instead, the story clearly asserts his disdain for the experience.
“I marched. I protested. I asked the government to help black people,” Thomas told the Washington Post, in 1980.
“I did all those things. But it hasn’t worked.” The whole repertoire of black politics — from mainstream activism to Black Power radicalism and beyond — now seemed pointless.
Today, this is also true. The new White sediment is, “You’ve got your Equal Opportunity, now use it,” but here are the rules…
It is these “New Rules” that make it virtually impossible for us to conform with the limited tools needed to reach “The Promised Land” of true equality!
Cachae A. Thomas
Author of Red-White-Poor, How Outsourcing Racially and Economically Divided America, is available via, paperback at Amazon or Digital Download on Sellfy. Coming soon to Audible.