Clarence Thomas is a Black Nationalist Whose Hero is Malcolm X

Clarence Thomas is a Black Nationalist Whose Hero is Malcolm X
June 24 13:54 2016 Print This Article

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion for the recent 5-3 decision which found that evidence obtained from an unlawful police stop would not be excluded from court even though it was obtained from a police search which was not based on reasonable suspicion of crime. Given the number of unlawful stop-and-frisks used to harass black people, especially black men, this latest ruling is sure to escalate the war against blacks in this country.

Following all rulings where Justice Thomas sides with the conservative majority, tweets usually fly about his self-hatred, but Black Agenda Report‘s Pascal Robert disagrees. In an interview with BreakingBrown Founder Yvette Carnell, Robert argues that Thomas is a quintessential black nationalist who, like many black nationalists, argues on behalf of a “do for self” approach to empowerment.

In a piece published at Jacobin, Corey Robin revealed the enormous respect Thomas has for Malcolm X:

When Clarence Thomas was in college he memorized the speeches of Malcolm X; two decades later, he could still recite them by heart. “I’ve been very partial to Malcolm X,” he told a libertarian magazine in 1987. “There is a lot of good in what he says.”

And:

There’s a law review article about Clarence Thomas that’s called “Clarence X?: The Black Nationalist Behind Justice Thomas’s Constitutionalism.”

Robert believes that Thomas is not a self-hater, but an Afro-pessimist, which is substantiated by Thomas’ own words.

 

“I grew up in Savannah, Ga., under segregation. It wasn’t color-blind and America is not color-blind today . . . Code words like ‘color-blind'”, said Thomas.

Watch the interview:

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7 comments
ziheyavebo
ziheyavebo

Following all rulings where Justice Thomas sides with the conservative majority, tweets usually fly about his self-hatred, but Black Agenda Report‘s Pascal Robert disagrees. In an interview with BreakingBrown Founder Yvette Carnell, Robert argues that Thomas is a quintessential black nationalist who, like many black nationalists, argues on behalf of a “do for self” approach to empowerment.--===>>>>http://bit.ly/2gqhvu0

GoldRules
GoldRules

Black self hate! I can't take it anymore...All aboard the train.

turkey1
turkey1

Probable cause have been the rule to stop and search and to investigate. Justice. Thomas have allow  police officers to stop you for anything and its okay to arrest you on computer files that maybe old or not removed from computer criminal files. which could hold you in a out of state jail, while you on vacation in another state, although the charges have been cleared up in your state. Clarence is detrimental to black Americans, remember Justice Thurgood Marshall, stating that snakes comes in all colors. When President. Bush selected him for the post.. 

AtonBridges
AtonBridges

So glad I wrote this blog off years ago.

Johnw11
Johnw11

I respect the sincerity Pascal Robert brings to his analysis . However, I'm having trouble following his analysis to a logical conclusion.

First, I've never read, or heard anywhere, anything about Malcolm X  suggesting that he would support a blatant violation of Black people's constitutional rights.

Since Justice Thomas has behaved to deny Blacks these rights --  Blacks, especially poor Blacks, will be disproportionally affected -- how can he be considered a believer in Malcolm X?

Moreover, if his social shunning by elitist Blacks (given his non-elitist psychosocial history, as described in Robert's narrative) caused him to hate "elitist" Blacks and not himself; then how come the SCOTUS rulings he supported historically hurt poor Blacks more than anyone else? Clearly this ruling, as brilliantly described by Roberts, will hurt poor Blacks far more than it will hurt the elitist Blacks Thomas reportedly abhors.

The fact is, Justice Thomas belongs to a cadre of Blacks called "Black Conservatives. Some historians have traced their origin back to Booker T. Washington: others to slave plantation snitching.  At any rate, they have no honorable iconic tradition in African American history; certainly not Malcolm X.  While Washington did facilitate the founding of important institutions, their claim that Washington's statement about "cast down your bucket where you are" was grounded in "self-help" is absolutely false. It was not. It was an appeal on behalf of white southern plantation owners to stop the Great Black Migrations of the early 20th Century. The plantation owners needed Blacks to continue working for virtually slave wages as substitute machines until automation was achieved. And to live under apartheid (Jim Crow) social conditions.

Some Black conservatives have even tried to claim Frederick Douglass, without having any notion of Douglass.

We know that most of the older ones got their start as a part of Nixon's "Black Capitalism" ruse of the late 1960s -- early 1970s. As electoral  strategies, Nixon pursued both southern whites "Southern Strategy,"  and also vigorously pursued Blacks "Negro Strategy." Whatever the Black conservatives believed, probably confusingly so, before joining Nixon and the anti-civil rights white southerners, they have become more in line with Bill O'Reilly than Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, et. al.

In fact, Thomas' is motivated more by "rewards" than hate. The GOP employment line was simply not as long as the Dem one. So, he (like his ilk) went where the opportunity was.

In conclusion, while Robert's overall point is otherwise well taken; especially the nonsensical willingness of some Blacks to surrender their economic rights -- while delusively believing Blacks already have all the wealth they need, in stark denial of the data -- I don't see enough evidence to suggest Thomas is a follower of, or believer in, Malcolm X (whatever may come from his mouth notwithstanding). This is especially true if we focus on his behavior itself. 

Also, there is no evidence that Malcolm X ever surrendered African Americans' right to socio-economic justice, just as there is no evidence he ever surrendered African Americans' right to socio-legal justice.