Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Anita and Clarence Show...(Updated)

...is back for an early autumn re-run. Most people won't notice, and, of the ones who notice, very few will care. Some tales just don't justify a re-telling; "Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill?" Yawn.

For the record, though, it might be interesting to carve into digital electronic stone two comments available to us today, October 2, 2007, for an example of the divergence of opinion which existed then and has some carry-over for us.

Here's a paragraph available on Townhall.com, 10/2/07, written by Rebecca Hagelin of The Heritage Foundation: Written for the common man, My Grandfather's Son is anything but common. It should be required reading for every law student, every historian, every single person that truly seeks to be color blind, impart justice, or explore solutions to the inane policies and problems that threaten to strangle equal opportunity. Justice Thomas reveals how the ugliness of bigotry and racism still rob men and women of their dignity and the opportunity to thrive by the virtue of merit. Justice Clarence Thomas' "rags to riches" story is unique in that it can enrich the soul and heart of anyone willing to take the journey with him.

Here's a quote from a column written by Anita Hill, available from The New York Times, 10/2/07: "...I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me.
In the portion of his book that addresses my role in the Senate hearings into his nomination, Justice Thomas offers a litany of unsubstantiated representations and outright smears that Republican senators made about me when I testified before the Judiciary Committee — that I was a “combative left-winger” who was “touchy” and prone to overreacting to “slights.” A number of independent authors have shown those attacks to be baseless. What’s more, their reports draw on the experiences of others who were familiar with Mr. Thomas’s behavior, and who came forward after the hearings. It’s no longer my word against his.

Hagelin has an effusive praise for Mr. Thomas: The book is filled with magnificent prose in which one of the most powerful men in America repeatedly dares to bare his soul - dares to make himself vulnerable to the cold, hard world of cynics in which we live.

Hill sees danger for personal rights in Thomas' activity on the Court: Our legal system will suffer if a sitting justice’s vitriolic pursuit of personal vindication discourages others from standing up for their rights.

And there, Dear Gentle Reader(s), you have it. Some 16 years after the contentious hearings which mesmerized a handful of American citizens, the contention re-awakens.

Since Justice Thomas is firmly ensconced in the right-wing of this Supreme Court, and, without some dire happening, likely to stay on this Court for several more years, it seems hardly worth any bother. Except that the Court has recently sided against individuals more often than not since Chief Justice Roberts ascended to his seat.

So, here it is.


Trust, but verify.

Update: For another view, this time from a man whose mother also studied at Yale, go to Trey Ellis' piece here.

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