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Clarence Thomas Cooning Affirmative Action

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 in Coon Hall Of Fame, Uncle Toms and Sellouts |

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Clarence Thomas Cooning Affirmative Action

In June 2013, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Cooning has helped dismantle a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, one of the pillars of the civil rights movement. He has also made it clear that if he had his way, he would bury another bastion: affirmative action.

I have never thought of Thomas as a good man and never cared if he was misunderstood. I could give a shit if he is a good husband and father. What I knew is for 18 years he’s been the Black man on the Supreme Court that’s most hostile to Black people. I understood him perfectly.

Thomas was Uncle Clarence Thomas, the anti-Thurgood Marshall, the most anti-Black judge on the Supreme Court and George H.W. Bush’s worst joke on the nation and jurisprudence. Whenever opponents of affirmative action claimed unqualified Blacks were being given opportunities based on their color and not their qualifications, I gleefully pointed to Thomas as all the proof they would ever need.

There are few Black Americans who have benefited more and advanced further by way of affirmative action than Clarence Thomas. His entire career is a testament to a man of mediocre credentials and limited vision rising to a position of power based on his ability to ingratiate, flatter and insinuate himself into the patronage of affluent and well-connected White patrons.

Clarence Thomas Cooning Lawn Jockey

Clarence Thomas Cooning Lawn Jockey

His brief and undistinguished tenure as a judge, his tepid “qualified” to “not qualified” ranking by the American Bar Association and his 52-48 confirmation by the Senate is a testimony to the monument to mediocrity that is Clarence Thomas. The day that George H.W. Bush stood with Thomas and announced he had selected “the most qualified man I could find” was a bald-faced lie when the words passed from Bush’s lips and nothing has happened since then to validate his absurd claim.

Thomas is a affirmative action baby. Nowhere else would he have been elevated so far and so fast based on his minimal talents, skills and abilities. He is a product of political patronage and far from the best or the brightest to ascend to the nation’s highest court.

Thomas may be right that affirmative action sends people into places they cannot excel. He is the living proof of that assertion and every day he stays on the Supreme Court makes it only more obvious.

Affirmative action is a success and the emergence of a educated, employed and upwardly mobile Black middle class is evidence of it. There is no reason to junk the program because a few Clarence Thomases slip through the cracks and arise to positions of prominence they are not qualified for. Thomas is the exception, not exceptional.

When a career bureaucrat gets appointed to the federal judiciary in 1990 and then in 1991 gets promoted to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court. If that’s not a affirmative action hire, nothing is.

Thomas benefited from affirmative action and rose to his position through White patronage and being the appropriate Black face in the right place. That’s not a knock on him for taking advantage of his opportunities. That’s just honestly evaluating how Clarence got over.

What I dislike most about Thomas though is his judicial temperament which is out of the mainstream and far further to the extreme right than any other member of the court. Witness his two rulings during the last term where he cast the lone dissenting vote against upholding a key portion of the Voting Rights Act (Thomas would like to get rid of it entirely) and once again stood alone in a 8-1 ruling by the Court that proclaimed a strip search of a 14-year-girl was an illegal search. Thomas was unmoved by her plight.

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