How the Clarence Thomas Scandals Explain His Right-Wing Rulings

Mother Jones; Alex Wong/Getty

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That’s how MoJo’s Garrison Hayes archly summarizes the hypocrisies of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in light of recent blockbuster revelations that he accepted elite private school tuition money from the real estate mogul for his grandnephew, alongside other lavish, all-expense-paid holidays and gifts from the Texas billionaire.
“If these things are true,” Garrison observes, ironically, in his new video about the many contradictions of Thomas, “your favorite Black conservative appears to be the most exaggerated version of a welfare queen, feeding off the generosity of a wealthy white benefactor who showers him and his family with unlimited trips.”
Since discovering that Thomas once identified as a Black nationalist, Garrison has been fascinated with better understanding the events that led him to become one of the most prominent figures in right-wing politics. Garrison has spent the last few weeks diving deeply into Thomas’ on-the-record speeches, biographies, interviews, and judicial opinions. In this video, he highlights instances where Thomas has opposed programs designed to help Black communities, despite personally benefiting from similar programs. Thomas attended Yale’s law school in 1971 through an affirmative action program but later opposed a similar program in a judicial opinion. When he couldn’t find a legal job after graduation, he saw affirmative action as the reason for his difficulties, writing in his 2007 memoir, “Now I knew what a law degree from Yale was worth when it bore the taint of racial preference. I was humiliated—and desperate.”
Despite receiving extraordinary opportunities and assistance throughout his life, Justice Thomas, Garrison concludes, seems committed to subjecting other groups—particularly Black people—to a rigid “bootstrap” individualism. In other words: opportunity for me, but not for thee.
Watch Garrison’s latest video below:

NEW: @garrison_hayes unearthed a 1998 speech that explains Clarence Thomas’ many contradictions, and how the recent blockbuster scandals inform his right-wing rulings.
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) May 12, 2023