U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the high court’s second black justice, suggested Feb. 15 that he’s dissatisfied with race relations in the U.S. and what he sees as victim mentality.
"I was with a young woman who happened to be black in Kansas recently” and “she said, ‘I’m really tired of having to play the role of being black. I just want to go to school,’” Thomas said at an event at the Library of Congress.
"At some point we are going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim,” he said.
Thomas didn’t elaborate on any specific problem, saying only that increased race consciousness has some good effects, and some bad ones, too.
World of Illiteracy
Thomas did reflect on his difficult childhood circumstances and how his family learned to deal with them.
His grandfather, who raised both Thomas and his brother, “would not let us wallow in” those difficult times, Thomas said.
You have to play the hand you are dealt with, even if it’s a bad one, his grandfather used to say.
“I grew up around a world total of illiteracy,” Thomas said. But now, “I’m in the Library of Congress.”
The wide-ranging discussion with newly confirmed U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces Judge Gregory E. Maggs also touched on some of the best—and worst—parts of being a Supreme Court justice.
The best part is watching all of his “kids” grow up, Thomas said, referring to his Supreme Court clerks, including Maggs himself.
The worst: dealing with the “myth making” surrounding the court.
There’s a real difference about what is reported about what goes on at the court, and what actually happens.
People talk as if the justices like to execute people, Thomas said. But he said he hasn’t met a single judge who likes that part of the job.
I mean, “look what it does to your hair,” Thomas said. “Your hair is black and then all of a sudden you are hair impaired” and the hair that remains is all gray.
People who suggest that judges callously vote to execute criminals are those “who never stayed up in the middle of the night and voted for these things,” Thomas said.
Every judge “says, ‘Did I get it right? Did I make a mistake?’” he said.
Thomas, along with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. and more recently Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, frequently rebuffs death row inmates’ requests to halt their executions.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)