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Dissin' 'Uncle' Clarence
By Gregory J. Hand
Poor Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court Justice, he just can't get any respect (Not that he ever has). An alleged comment about a pubic hair on a can of Coke gets him vilified as a sexual predator like the world had theretofore never seen. Less than a decade later Bill Clinton can be accused of rape (Juanita Broaddrick), sexual assault (Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones), and molesting the help (Monica Lewinsky), and Thomas' lynch mob of feminists, NOW's Patricia Ireland or Gloria Steinem, and the collection of Congressional men haters such as Barbara Boxer, Barbara Mikulski, Nita Lowey, Rosa DeLauro, and Nancy Pelosi still have to wipe away their drool as they gaze upon our Teflon ex-president.
As if being in the cross hairs of the feminists is not bad enough, just weeks ago Ebony magazine released their list of the 100 most influential black Americans in 2001. The criteria allegedly used were, "1. Does the individual transcend his or her position and command widespread national influence?" and, "2. Does the individual affect in a decisive and positive way the lives, thinking and actions of large segments of the African-American population, either by his or her position in a key group or by his or her personal reach and influence?"
Funny thing, though. Nowhere on the list was Justice Thomas, nor other black conservatives such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Allan Keyes, or Ward Connerly. This should not be surprising. Ebony is a magazine that recently said of Thomas, "Why does it appear that he consistently votes for issues supported by racists and arch-conservatives, and opposed by . . . almost all blacks?" In other words, Justice Thomas and the other black conservatives fail to support the liberal black majority's positions.
But who really cares about Ebony's most influential list? It is part popularity contest (Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan), part butt kissing to the race hustling set (Kweisi Mfume, Charles B. Rangel), and part tokenism (Colin Powell). It sounds like a who's who of those that support affirmative action and advancement of black Americans through government largesse. That they should be ideological enough to ignore people like Justice Thomas or Ward Connerly isn't surprising. Disappointing, maybe, but naming those two and similar black conservatives goes against the black majority's agenda. If you are black you cannot stray from this agenda, lest you also get the wrath that others who do not tow the majority's line receive.
All of this, of course, brings us to the latest indignity, which is that Justice Thomas has had his invitation to participate in a debate against national ACLU President Nadine Strossen at the Davis-Levin First Amendment conference blocked by a vote of the board of the Hawaii chapter of the ACLU. The three African-Americans on the board led this effort, one of which, attorney Daphne Barbee-Wooten, wrote her fellow directors in early April, "Faye Kennedy, Eric Ferrer and I are the only African-Americans in the Hawaii ACLU chapter." She stated, letting everyone know that she and her cohorts had full racial jurisdiction on the subject before them, "We strongly object to ACLU bringing and sponsoring Clarence Thomas to Hawaii." She added, "Bringing Clarence Thomas sends a message that the Hawaii ACLU promotes and honors black Uncle Toms who turn their back on civil rights."
Where does one begin to comment on such rampant stupidity? Equating support for affirmative action and probably for the up and coming movement for slave reparations with civil rights is nonsensical. If a debate such as the one between Justice Thomas and ACLU President Nadine Strossen were to send a message, it would be that the Hawaii ACLU is serious about the cause of free speech, even that with which they disagree. However, this latest action shows them to be more for restrictive speech when the speech proposed does not further their cause.
Barbee-Wooten and those like her have what is akin to a childlike mind-set, one in which they are always right, no matter their stupidity or knee-jerk hypersensitivity. The situation is reminiscent of the same sort of attitude that got David Howard in trouble in Washington, D.C. over the use of the word 'niggardly' when discussing budgetary matters. (Incidentally, "niggardly" means "grudging and petty in giving or spending.") As Tony Snow correctly put it, "David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who a) didn't know the meaning of 'niggardly,' b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the word's meaning and c) actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance."
But Ms. Barbee-Wooten's mentality is probably that of most blacks in America: That in this country there still exists a good old boy network of white, heterosexual men out to put down people of color when they are not oppressing women and those non-exclusively heterosexual. It is a part of the narcissism and paranoia of the left to think that everyone's out to get them, to keep them 'oppressed.' To Ms. Barbee-Wooten and the others, Justice Thomas, by his refusal to embrace their causes, has sold her and other blacks out in order to help put them down.
At a board meeting in late May to consider the invitation, Eric Ferrer, who was cited in the Barbee-Wooten letter above, called Justice Thomas "an anti-Christ, a Hitler." He also compared having Thomas discuss the merits of affirmative action to "having a serial murderer debate the value of life." This, of course, is the only person on the committee that can make Ms. Barbee-Wooten look moderate and well reasoned.
We now have what could arguably be termed a new high on the left wing hyperbole scale. It used to be that a failure to support affirmative action meant you were a racist. But obviously, people have become somewhat numb to that charge as it is tossed around like confetti on New Years Eve. 'Racism' as a term is synonymous whenever one disagrees philosophically with a member of the black community on any topic. Actually it doesn't even have to be on philosophical grounds. Any disagreement gets one labeled a racist.
No longer! You're against affirmative action? You are Satan. Not your flavor? Try Hitler, a genocidal maniac and killer of millions, and Justice Thomas is apparently the moral equivalent for choosing not to embrace a thinly veiled (if at all) socialist agenda. Absurd? Absolutely. To anyone with a modicum of common sense. However this is not a group that has much in the way of common sense, at least not as much as their desire to advance a certain leftist agenda. Typically liberal, their methodology is to accomplish whatever means necessary to provide the ends where they ultimately want to be, damn the costs.
But even after trying to seriously equate Thomas to Hitler (such a cliché at this point, really), those against Thomas felt they needed additional ammunition, so insecure they must have been that the ACLU board would still consider the invitation. Subsequently they solicited advice from the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, which wrote on their behalf, "We are appalled at the thought that the ACLU of Hawaii may invite Justice Thomas to speak." Given what the U.S. Civil Rights Commission has already shown in their delusional report on the 'disenfranchisement' of a myriad of minorities in the election debacle in Florida, should there be any surprise how a state Civil Rights Commission would act? These aren't legitimate commissions as much as propaganda machines, because most of their mind-numbed constituencies will only hear key words such as 'racist,' '(in) justice,' 'disenfranchisement,' 'racial profiling,' 'Hitler,' and 'anti-Christ' to form their opinions on the subject.
While the overall vote was 12-3 against inviting Justice Thomas, Vanessa Chong, the chapter's executive director, was hoping that the vote wasn't the last word on the matter, "I strongly recommended that we endorse the invitation to Justice Thomas to participate but that was overlooked." She stated, "This was a mistake." She added, according to a Fox News story, "that the board's decision contradicted the group's stated goals, which she said are to protect speech and educate the public on all viewpoints, not just the preferred ones of any given group."
What a racist imbecile she must be to her fellow board members. Doesn't she know that the latest fashion among leftists is to censor 'hate speech,' which is defined as anything contrary to whatever is put out by a 'minority,' i.e. anyone not heterosexual, Christian, white or male? It was not "a mistake." It was, despite the obtuse people involved, a very deliberate plan. To silence opposing viewpoints from a conference on the First Amendment is almost laughable, but like all other leftists, they are so insecure of their position that the only way to succeed is to quash opposing viewpoints.
Fortunately, even the national ACLU was not supportive of this decision. Strossen herself was "disappointed" with the Hawaii board's behavior, and a spokeswoman at the ACLU's New York office referred to the incident as not only "deplorable", but also "unfortunate and embarrassing." In no way did the national ACLU defend such "politically correct posturing." She added, "We're now trying to reacquaint them with what the First Amendment means." Good luck. What she's dealing with are narrow-minded leftists, those too dimwitted to concoct the propaganda for themselves and whose only goal is to further a specific non-inclusive agenda filled with venom. That the Hawaiian board cannot see the irony in the situation involving a First Amendment conference is all the proof one needs as to their lack of intelligence or lack of genuine interest in the topic. These are the activists that cannot argue the position as much as repeat the talking points and shout down their opponents.
The black community, regrettably, is led by leaders more interested in their own personal aggrandizement, seconded by the 'needs' of their community, than with what is in the best interests of the country as a whole. Since inflamed race relations is the vehicle that they use to obtain those goals, then to hell with everything else. Hatred of the 'system,' hatred of 'the man,' hatred of anything and everything that could be construed as acting white or trying to integrate into the mainstream of society is what is taught to all too many black children. While white children are being taught (indoctrinated) that George W. Bush is out to kill them through rampant environmental pollution, black children are taught that Master George and his Republican minions are going to come and put them back into slavery.
To refuse to allow Justice Thomas to speak at a conference on the First Amendment, of all things, just because a handful of extreme leftists (socialists, really) disagree with his positions is moronic at best, sheer stupidity and intellectual laziness at its worst. Sadly, no one really cares. Not the black activists, who are so blindsided by the power of government and the attention that they get by both the politicians and the media that they wholeheartedly embrace the liberal agenda just to keep their positions of prominence. Not the black community overall, who by vast majorities have tied themselves to its 'leadership,' just hoping that the gravy train that has been guaranteed over the last couple of decades will someday actually arrive (after it leaves multimillionaire Jesse Jackson's house).
Prominent black conservatives such as Justice Thomas have already realized that the promises of the government are hollow ones, and have made much of their lives without it, and they are hated and vilified for doing so. The black leadership abhors them because it only goes to show their own impotence when there are those out there succeeding without the benevolent hand of government and the stewardship of their leadership. Those that support such leaders detest people like Justice Thomas because they have been blinded by their own greed, having been promised something for nothing for so long that it has now become a right to which they feel entitled. Justice Thomas and other like-minded black Americans have truly taken the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference. It is unfortunate that there are so many out there too blinded to see that reality, and even fewer to recognize that the Justice Thomases of the world are the real role models for today's black youth. They'll never disappoint the way Jesse Jackson and company can.
Gregory J. Hand is currently a weekly columnist with NewsCorridor.com, and a contributing columnist with OpinioNet.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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