Defending Clarence Thomas

Published November 3, 2005

Dear Editor:

To suggest in your editorial of November 1, [Clarence Thomas not a real black?] that Clarence Thomas, a member of the highest court in the nation, the Supreme Court, “doesn’t count as a black” is so disrespectful that it certainly does not belong on the editorial page of a major city newspaper. Moreover, your insistence that “he does not represent the views of mainstream black America.” is insulting in its arrogance. Does your paper speak for “black America”? Which of the other eight Justices represents the mainstream views of all whites in America?

Justice Thomas has been a member of the Court for 14 years and his record as a Justice is there for all to see. Not one law school dean or professor has publicly argued that his writing is poor or his knowledge of the constitution is limited. Whether or not one approves of his decisions, he is one of nine on the highest court in this Nation and he deserves the same respect given the other eight.

A conservative Republican is allowed to be fair game for dismissal and slander because the “mainstream” media feels it has carte blanche to marginalize their views. It is as if ad hominem attacks are reserved solely for conservatives and Republicans while liberals are given the benefit of the doubt, if not deified.

Lee H. Walker, president
Burr Ridge

Lee H. Walker is president of The New Coalition for Economic and Social Change.