Clarence Thomas does not respond to criticism that he fails to hew the liberal line because he is black, according to a friend. The Supreme Court justice instead prefers to ignore it.
There’s a lot to ignore in the aftermath of the ruling Friday by Thomas and others on the court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Actor Samuel Jackson called the justice “Uncle Clarence” on Twitter, an apparent play on the “Uncle Tom” insult. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shouted “F*** Clarence Thomas!” on stage at an LGBT “pride” event. Many on social media called him the N-word and other racial slurs.
Mark Paoletta, a former White House lawyer and “close friend” of Thomas, according to Fox News, said the conservative justice is not affected by racist attacks.
“The left is racist, Tucker,” Paoletta said Monday in an interview on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“They expect Clarence Thomas to think the way a black man should, based on the color of his skin,” he said. “And Clarence Thomas for 30 years, 40 years has refused to do that, and they want to destroy him. And that’s what they’ve been doing in coming after him.
“The bottom line is, Clarence Thomas doesn’t care at all what they think.”
Paoletta added, “They will go after him, but it is a great day for the Constitution, you know, with Roe being overturned, with the Second Amendment being strengthened consistent with the Constitution, with religious liberties coming down consistent with the Constitution, and it is all aligning with where Clarence Thomas has been for the past 30 years.”
During a speech in Utah this spring, Thomas mocked those who criticize his views, according to the Deseret News.
The justice noted that his law clerks complained to him recently that he espoused “conservative white ideas.”
“That’s really interesting,” the 74-year-old Thomas said. “I didn’t know that there were these particular ideas that were off-limits — you get like white-only water fountains, now you get white-only ideas.
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Thomas noted in a May speech that his difficulties are not with fellow black people, according to The Washington Post.
“People assume that I’ve had difficulties when I’ve been around members of my race,” he said.
“It’s just the opposite. The only people with whom I’ve had difficulties are white, liberal elites who consider themselves the anointed and us the benighted. … I have never had issues with members of my race.”
— Mark Paoletta (@MarkPaoletta) June 27, 2022
That may be changing.
Incoming Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is black, has criticized Thomas for his views, according to ABC News.
According to a 2007 biography titled “Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas,” Jackson said she thought, “I don’t understand you,” after having lunch with Thomas.
“‘You sound like my parents. You sound like the people I grew up with.’ But the lessons he tended to draw from the experiences of the segregated South seemed to be different than those of everybody I know,” she said, according to the book.
In his Utah address, Thomas lamented the loss of civil debate and disagreement needed for a thriving democracy.
“Where do you learn to disagree without being disagreeable?” he said. “I’m afraid that we have, particularly in this world of cancel culture and attack, I don’t know where you’re going to learn to engage as we did when I grew up.
“If you don’t learn at that level in high school, in grammar school, in your neighborhood, or in civic organizations, then how do you have it when you’re making decisions in government, in the legislature or in the courts?”
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