I was overjoyed and proud of my peeps for the building of the African American History and Culture Museum in Washington. It’s long overdue if you ask me. But better late than never I guess.
Anyway, silly me, I told myself that I was going to take a trip down to Washington with the Mrs, spend the night, hit up a nice restaurant, and spend a day visiting the shiny new museum. Not!
What was I thinking? Tickets are sold out until at least March of 2017. Apparently the place is a hit, and getting a ticket is almost as tough as scoring a ticket to see Hamilton in New York.
So I was thinking about the museum and all of its early success, when I read the following article about one of my least favorite people on this earth.
“The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. only has one reference to Clarence Thomas: that of Anita Hill testifying against him in his confirmation hearings. But a petition launched from the StandUnited website is looking to change that, calling for Thomas’ inclusion in the museum as part of African-American history. The petition is called “Director for Smithsonian Museum of African-American Culture and History, Lonnie Bunch III : Don’t Overlook African American Leaders like Justice Clarence Thomas” and was launched on October 6. Already, it has garnered hundreds of signatures.
“Justice Thomas is the longest-serving African American Supreme Court Justice in our nation’s history,” Angela Morabito, who is the senior campaign manager of the website, told CNSNews.com. “StandUnited users are commenting on the petition about how they want to see Smithsonian embrace history, instead of selectively editing it.”
“Justice Thomas has a uniquely American story, in all its complexity – he grew up in the segregated South, and is now the second most powerful African American man in government,” Morabito continued. “Petition signers think he deserves credit for his extraordinary contributions to American government and constitutional scholarship.”[Source]
You have got to be kidding me!
As Whitney used to say to Bobby: “Hell.To.The.No.!”
First of all, this Negro was traded from the Negro race years ago. We disowned this Negro, and everything that his cooning behind stands for.
White folks can embrace him if they want to, and that’s fine, but put him in your own museum. I suspect that he would prefer to be there with you in the first place.
And yet he has his supporters. This is what his fellow traveler, Armstrong Williams, wrote.
“No matter your view of Thomas’s conservative politics, it is simply undeniable that his record of jurisprudence on the Supreme Court over the past 25 years makes him one of the most important Black figures of the post-civil rights era. While Thomas has not presented himself as a “race” leader per se — he’s much like Obama in that regard — the very fact that he wields the quiet power of the court and helps to settle so many of the nation’s most contentious and complex legal controversies cements his place in African American history.
Thomas must be given his due. Like him or not — and personally I admire him very much — he has been a groundbreaking advocate of the textualist approach to constitutional interpretation, perhaps even exceeding the record of the late justice Antonin Scalia. He has meticulously sought to remove what he regards as barnacles that have attached themselves to American law over the years. One of the most notable examples was his 2005 dissent in Kelo v. City of New London, a case in which the majority stretched to extremes the plain meaning of the Constitution to affirm the power of a local government, in cahoots with private developers, to seize and demolish the homes of citizens — indeed an entire thriving neighborhood — to make way for a corporate office complex..
It is something of an irony, then, that Thomas was left out of the African American Museum because of what can only be his principled dissent from the political orthodoxy of today’s African American leadership. By erasing Thomas in this way, however, the curators of the museum have done a grave disservice to the legacy of the African American experience in this country. And by denying Thomas a rightful place among the pantheon of African American achievers and strivers, they also deny themselves the very legitimacy they are seeking by erecting a monument in the heart of the nation’s capital.”[Source]
No we are not. Clarence Thomas stopped viewing himself as an African American as soon as it stopped being convenient for him to play the race card. ( Remember his “High tech lynching” comment?) So why should he be honored in a museum next to real heroes who paved the way for us to be where we are today as a people?
I say leave him out.
I just hope that I get to make my visit before the folks at the museum change their minds.