Justice Thomas is right! Many Americans are FED UP with people playing the role of a ‘victim’. Thomas spoke out against the culture of victimhood during his remarks Thursday, telling an audience at the Library of Congress that constant aggrievement would exhaust the country. Justice Thomas is absolutely correct!
“At some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim” – Justice Thomas
Justice Thomas has struck similar cords throughout his public life.
He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program in November 2017, and suggested contemporary activists could learn would benefit from the example of his grandparents, who exhibited quiet fortitude during the heady days of white supremacy.
Hower Justice Thomas made his Thursday remark in the context of a broader discussion about his childhood.
JUSTICE THOMAS – THEY HAD NO CHOICE, BUT DO THEY BEST THEY COULD
Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah-speakers and spent his childhood working his grandfather’s farm.
Justice Thomas likened his upbringing to Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” as most of the women in his life, including his mother, were domestics in white households.
Given the few options open to blacks in the Jim Crow south, Thomas’ family felt they had no choice but to do the best with what they had.
Justice Thomas detects the hand of providence in those select opportunities open to him, like parochial education and Savannah’s Carnegie library, which served the black population.
“You always have to play the hand you’re dealt. If you’re dealt a bad hand, you still have to play it.” – Justice Thomas
As detailed in his 2008 memoir, he inherited these sensibilities from his grandfather.
Thomas was sent to live with his grandparents after a fire ravaged his mother’s home during his childhood.
By Justice Thomas’ telling, his grandfather was the defining figure of his life. When he joined the Supreme Court in 1991, his wife commissioned a bust featuring his grandfather’s favorite quote.
“His favorite quote was ‘Old Man Can’t is dead. I helped bury him,’” Thomas said.
Justice Thomas, a conservative appointed to the bench in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, recalled recently being with a young black woman in Kansas who told him, “I’m really tired of having to play the role of being black. I just want to go to school.”
“I just get worn down,” Justice Thomas said.
Justice Thomas said his grandfather had a tough life but never considered himself a victim.
“When I was a kid, there were tons of people who were in really bad circumstances,” Thomas said. “My grandfather would not let us wallow in that.”
Justice Thomas added: “He’s my hero. He’s the single greatest human being I’ve ever met. With nine months of education. But he never saw himself as a victim.”
During his remarks, Justice Thomas – who faced a bruising confirmation battle when appointed to the high court – lamented the confirmation process for judges, saying it may cause good people to forgo serving. Thomas’s nomination was nearly derailed after facing accusations from a former assistant, Anita Hill, that he sexually harassed her. Thomas denied the allegations.
THE PROCESS IS NOT WHAT IT OUGHT TO BE…
“I don’t think the process is what it ought to be,” Justice Thomas said. “I think that these are serious jobs, and they should be serious. I don’t think they should become spectacles.”
He was ultimately confirmed 52-48 in what was then one of the slimmest margins in a century.
Justice Thomas said he was confirmed five times in ten years for judicial roles and “it got increasingly worse.”
“This is not the Roman Colosseum,” he said. “We’re not gladiators. And I think we’re going to lose some of our best people who choose not to go through the ordeal. They don’t want to have to fight the lion in order to be a judge or to be in government. And I think it’s our own fault for allowing this to happen.”
Justice Thomas likened the confirmation process to undergoing surgery, where the “only minor surgery is on the other guy,” and said the country is “going to at some point have the leadership we deserve” because “we allow the selection process to get out of our control.”
The justice also took a subtle dig at the senators who question prospective judges.
“Think about it: How many people, for example, who have done the job of judging who actually talk about judges. Usually the people who are doing the most talking have never judged a single case,” Thomas said. “I just find it fascinating that a lot of the commentary has nothing to do with the job itself.”
Justice Thomas has served on the Supreme Court for more than 25 years and said he has “no complaints” about his tenure.
Justice Thomas and the Supreme Court justices will be gathering Friday for a private conference. They will be discussing several cases, among them the Trump administration’s end to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Should make for some interesting discussion.
Resources: Western Journalism, Fox News