On Clarence Thomas

I always enjoy reading Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post, and he has rarely been more incisive than in this op-ed about Clarence Thomas. Here’s how it opens:

I believe in affirmative action, but I have to acknowledge there are arguments against it. One of the more cogent is the presence of Justice Clarence Thomas on the U.S. Supreme Court.

If you caught Thomas on ” 60 Minutes” on Sunday night, you know that he will probably consider me one of the many people who want to see him “destroyed” because he doesn’t “follow in this cult-like way something that blacks are supposed to believe.” That’s what he told CBS correspondent Steve Kroft — that he’d been persecuted for “veering away from the black gospel that we’re supposed to adhere to.”

The up-close-and-personal “60 Minutes” piece, timed to coincide with publication of Thomas’s autobiography, was compelling television. It was also a useful reminder that whenever my Bush Derangement Syndrome flares up to the point where I’m actually feeling nostalgic for the days when George Bush the Elder was in the White House, I need only recall that it was Poppy who put Thomas on the court. That snaps me back to my senses. Thomas is only 59; we’ll be saddled with him, and that gigantic chip on his shoulder, for decades to come.

And the rest of the piece is equally quotable. Check it out.


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