Yes, Uncle Ruckus Thomas Still Hates Your Black Ass

“Paula Deen doesn’t like Blacks? Me neither!”

In my previous post I predicted two of the Supreme Court’s most important decisions would result as follows:  “affirmative action is further weakened and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is gutted.”

Turns out I was only half right.   Affirmative action lives, but only for now and the most important provision of the Voting Rights Act, Section Five, was curb-stomped by four White conservative judges and a house slave happier than Stephen in Django Unchained.

The Supreme Court punted the affirmative action case back down to the lower court, but made it clear the policy of considering race in college admissions is hanging by the thinnest of threads.    While Justice Anthony Kennedy is no fan of affirmative action, he’s not ready to provide the scissors that cuts it into shreds.

Clarence The Cruel Thomas has no such reluctance.   He’s ready to hack affirmative action into bloody chunks with a machete.    While the decision to return Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin  to the lower appeals court was 7-1 (with Justice Elena Kagan abstaining and Ruth Bader Ginsburg objecting), Thomas concurred with the majority, but wrote a separate 20 page opinion comparing affirmative action to slavery.

“Slaveholders argued that slavery was a ‘positive good’ that civilized blacks and elevated them in every dimension of life,” Thomas wrote in a separate opinion on Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. “A century later, segregationists similarly asserted that segregation was not only benign, but good for black students.”

“Following in these inauspicious footsteps, the University would have us believe that its discrimination is likewise benign. I think the lesson of history is clear enough: Racial discrimination is never benign.  The University’s professed good intentions cannot excuse its outright racial discrimination any more than such intentions justified the now-denounced arguments of slaveholders and segregationists.”

“Although cloaked in good intentions, the University’s racial tinkering harms the very people it claims to be helping. 

   “The worst forms of racial discrimination in this nation have always been accompanied by straight-faced representations that discrimination helped minorities.”

The ULTIMATE affirmative action hire talks smack about the policy that put his incompetent ass on the Court. Pot calling kettle…

What’s the main argument against affirmative action? That it gives unqualified and unprepared Blacks an unfair advantage into jobs they would never qualify for based upon their individual merits?

Uncle Ruckus Thomas, shuffle on over!

“We wuz both cursed by this damn Black skin!”

With the case of Clarence Thomas being a notable exception. When Bush 41 put his name into nomination he said, “He was the most qualified man I could find” which was a total lie. Thomas wasn’t even the most qualified Black judge Bush could have selected. Thomas had kissed the right rings and they knew he was NEVER going to change or become an independent judge the way David Souter did.

Thomas is an AA baby right down to his toes and he got a lifetime appointment to a job he wasn’t remotely qualified for.  He knows it and bitterly resents it.   But Thomas has spent 22 years making sure  the rest of Black America suffers for his humiliation.

“I was disappointed because what I think what the court did today is stab the Voting Rights Act of 1965 right in its very heart,” Congressman John Lewis explained to MSNBC. “It is a major setback. We may not have people being beaten today, maybe they’re not being denied the right to participate, to register to vote, they’re not being chased by police dogs or trampled by horses. But in the 11 states of the old Confederacy and even in some of the states outside of the South, there has been a systematic, deliberate attempt to take us back to another period.”

“And these men that voted to strip the Voting Rights Act of its power, they never stood in unmovable lines, they never had to pass a so-called literacy test. It took us almost a hundred years to get where we are today. So, will it take another hundred years to fix it, to change it?”

There are only eight years difference in age between Representative Lewis and Judge Thomas.  There is a yawning chasm between how the two men perceive where Black Americans were regarding racism and where they are.

Say bye-bye to early voting, same-day registration, and weekend voting and say hello to more voter I.D. requirements, more polling places closed in Black and Latino neighborhoods, long waits in long lines and every other restriction Republican-run statehouses can dream up.   It will start down South (and already has in Texas, North Carolina, Georgia and other states covered by Section 5), but will it be too long before it winds it way up to Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio as well?

I  hope all my good liberal/progressive friends who have been LOSING THEIR SHIT for the past few weeks over the NSA domestic surveillance and the theoretical threats to liberty and democracy are equally fired up over what a conservative cabal has done to turn not the clock, but the calendar back.  This is 2013, but the Court may just have decided the 2016 presidential election.  Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic contender will rue the day a right-wing majority of the Court decided they were tired of racism and declared it a thing of the past.   At least racism directed toward non-Whites.

My father was what Thomas thinks he is: a strong and proud Black man.   He despised Thomas for his slave mentality.   He wanted to take Thomas, Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak and all those other despicable right-wingers and beat all their asses with a baseball bat.

The house slave who Bush 41 selected to occupy the seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall, the iconic champion of Black progress and civil rights,  continued to mock his predecessor’s legacy in joining his conservative brethren on the Court to gut Section Five and throw his own people to the tender mercies of racist Southern politicians.

I knew this ruling by the Supreme Court was coming.   I fully expected how the vote would go.   But I still want to beat Clarence Thomas’ punk ass with a baseball bat.

Black robes, white hoods.

Black robes, white hoods.

Expect A Week of Joy and Pain from the Supremes.

We rule!

We rule!

We tend to forget how much the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court have on the lives of millions of Americans until they remind us all and this is going to be one such time.

This week the Court will hand down decisions on several cases of vital importance to the Black and gay community and depending on how they come down the rulings are likely to cause celebration in one community, consternation in the other and further resentment between the two groups.

Within days, the Supreme Court is expected to issue a series of decisions that could transform three fundamental social institutions: marriage, education and voting.

 The extraordinary run of blockbuster rulings due in the space of a single week will also reshape the meaning of legal equality and help define for decades to come one of the Constitution’s grandest commands: “the equal protection of the laws.”

If those words require only equal treatment from the government, the rulings are likely to be a mixed bag that will delight and disappoint liberals and conservatives in equal measure. Under that approach, same-sex couples who want to marry would be better off at the end of the term, while blacks and Hispanics could find it harder to get into college and to vote.

But a tension runs through the cases, one based on different conceptions of equality. Some justices are committed to formal equality. Others say the Constitution requires a more dynamic kind of equality, one that takes account of the weight of history and of modern disparities.

The four major cases yet to be decided concern same-sex marriage, affirmative action in higher education and the fate of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which places special burdens on states with a history of racial discrimination.

Aw man, voting rights is SO 1965….

However the majority of the Court rules will delight conservatives and infuriate liberals or delight liberals and infuriate conservatives.   There may be  a little something for everyone this week.

You should definitely expect if the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8 are kicked to the curb (yay) but affirmative action is further weakened and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is gutted, in the aftermath there will be a furious firestorm of stories and commentaries playing up the “gays vs. Blacks” schism and how one group’s interests are being advanced while the other is being rolled back.

That is simplistic as well as flat-out wrong.  Marriage is not civil rights is not education.  Yet while the parts do not equal a whole, the perception that the Court favors one side’s interests over another will inevitably come up no matter how they rules.  Between the antipathy of the conservative wing of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Anthony Scalia and Clarence Thomas and swing vote Anthony Kennedy‘s indifference to civil rights it is almost a foregone conclusion the Court is going to serve up a big ol’ crap sandwich for the supporters of affirmative action and voting rights.

It isn’t that there will be any connection between the separate issues of marriage equality and protecting voting rights.   There isn’t and the Supremes don’t do “one for  you and one for me. ”   The Blame Game  will fall on the collective heads of the gay community because invariably some commentators will  designate them as  “winners” in DOMA and Prop. 8 are overturned  and  Blacks will be deemed “losers” if the issues of greatest concern to them are severely curtailed.   There  already exists resentment from some Blacks  over how the gay rights movement has appropriated the tactics and rhetoric of the civil rights movement for their own (and why not? It’s been proven effective and Gandhi never patented it to stop Martin Luther King for giving them an Americanized makeover).

Trust me when I say there will always be those who desire to keep tensions high between the Black and gay communities for their own reasons.  Reasons that include homophobia or racism.

I expect this week is going to be like the old R’n’B song: “Joy and Pain.”

The news channels will serve up team of their legal “experts” to identify the various winners and losers.   That’s fine if you want that sort of snap ESPN style analysis, but I don’t get much from watching Jeffery Toobin or Alan Dershowitz blathering about what the Justices really meant.   You don’t have to be an attorney or a pompous talking head to understand what is going on with the Supremes.  The SCOTUS Blog not only provides  live reporting of the Court’s rulings, it does so in (mostly) plain English

For a layman who has always been fascinated by the workings of the Supreme Court,  I appreciate that.   The expected screams of joy from one side and groans of anguish from the other will need no such translation.

The money isn’t as big as the Super Bowl but the stakes inside this building are a lot higher.

Roberts and Obama: The Best of Frenemies

The future Chief Justice meets the future Commander-in-Chief in 2005.

When The Most Powerful Man in the World woke up the morning of June 28, he knew one thing for certain: the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder would be cited for contempt of Congress by a partisan, Tea Party controlled House of Representatives.

He also knew his most important accomplishment of his political career was on the verge of being undone and possibly signal the end of it.

What President Obama didn’t know is how the Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of his signature domestic policy accomplishment, healthcare reform, or “Obamacare.”

When the Court is about to hand down a critical decision, the president does not get any advance notification on which way the Supremes are going. He learns the same time the rest of us do. Obama knew the vote would probably go 5-4, but which way? Would the Court strike down the entire law or the individual mandate, the thread which once pulled would cause the entire plan to unravel.

Or would they throw out other provisions and let the rest stay intact. There were also better than even odds the justices would uphold the law. The question was who had the fifth vote? Otherwise know as TIME magazine’s “The Decider,” Anthony Kennedy who was on the majority side over 90 percent. Would he side with the four hardcore conservatives, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito or had Kennedy joined the Court’s moderates (there are no liberals on this Supreme Court) , Ginsberg, Kagan, Breyer and Sotomayor?

The Court would announce its decision at 10:00 a.m. as the press and their legion of experts stood ready to offer instant analysis. The Republicans had dispatched several members to pronounce the eulogy for Obamacare despite House Speaker John Boehner declaring there would be no “spiking of the football” if the Court slapped down the president. Democrats had begun to send out fundraising appeals the day before fully expecting the Roberts Court would hand them a devastating defeat.

The future looks a bit brighter for Obamacare.

After all, it was a forgone conclusion that Scalia, Thomas and Alito wouldn’t give the president the sweat off their balls if he were in the desert dying of thirst. As for Chief John Roberts, why should he feel inclined to do Obama any favors? Hadn’t Senator Obama been one of the 22 who voted against his confirmation in 2005? Three years later, Roberts embarrassed himself (and noticeably irked Obama) by botching the oath of office while swearing-in the new president thus forcing a “do over” ceremony the next day.

Relations between the Supreme Court and President Obama got even worse when after the Citizens United ruling that opened the door for corporations and wealthy individuals to spend however much they like on political campaigns, the president broke Washington protocol by directly chiding the decision while members of the Court were in attendance at the State of the Union address.

When Obama writes his autobiography of his presidential years, he may reveal what was going through his mind while he stood in the White House watching four televisions announcing the ruling. Initially, CNN and Fox News reported the individual mandate had been struck down. but a White House attorney cleared up the confusion with a thumbs-up to the president that the mandate had survived and the Affordable Care Act was still the law of the land.

The surprise came when it was learned the fifth vote to uphold had come not from Kennedy as expected, but Roberts. As it turns out Kennedy made it clear in the dissenting opinion he authored for Scalia, Thomas and Alito, he was firmly opposed to Obamacare writing, “in our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”

So much for the media myth of Tony Kennedy the closet moderate.  This might be the moment to recall it was TIME that also called Jon Huntsman the Republican candidate Obama most feared.

“So you’re ‘The Decider’, huh? That’s pretty funny.”

Supreme Court watchers who were speculating how the justices would rule and which one would save Obamacare or sink it, have now turned to wondering aloud, why Roberts saved the president from a humiliating defeat in June that could have been the catalyst for a total meltdown in November.   Some theorize Roberts did not want a repeat of the scorn and contempt heaped on the Court as it was in 2000 when they stopped the recount in Florida and appointed George W. Bush as the president.   Others believe the Chief was looking down the road to the fall when Obama faces the voters for a second term.   If the Republicans are triumphant they may get the chance to gut healthcare reform themselves and spare the court from criticism of being right-wing  judicial activists (which by the way, they are).

It’s too soon to tell when Inauguration Day comes in January 2013 if it will be Barack Obama raising his right arm to take the oath of office for a second time or Willard Romney for the first, but regardless of which of the two it is, John Roberts will be there to administer it and that insincere smile he wears will be in part because how he ruled on Obamacare weighed heavily in reelecting the incumbent or electing his challenger.