Fat Tony Would Prefer You Lesser Blacks Go Back to Your Lesser Schools.

Scalia knows how many intelligent Blacks he’s met.

I’m a bit behind the news so I missed on commenting on Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s outrageous remarks during oral arguments on an affirmative action case, but it doesn’t mean I’m cool how boldly Scalia showed his contempt for Black college students.

You know the conventional wisdom is  Scalia is the possessor of a brilliant legal mind and is easily one of the most intelligent jurists ever to sit on the Supreme Court? The conventional wisdom is wrong and so is Fat Tony.

“One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.  They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

What exactly is a “lesser school?” A HBCU or another college not as big as the University of Texas? What classes are “too fast” for Black students?

Fat Tony is saying Black scientists/students come from “lesser” (re: inferior) schools where the pace has been slowed to a point where they can keep up (re: since Blacks are slower in processing complex and difficult material, it must be kept as simple, basic and rudimentary as possible for them to grasp it).

“I’m just not impressed by the fact that the University of Texas may have fewer” minority students. Maybe it ought to have fewer.”

Well, golly gee Tony. I wish you had told me this before I had my daughter waste three years at predominantly White institution before she transferred to a HBCU. We could have sent her to a Black school from the get-go and not wasted the time exposing her to all those White kids she’s not smart enough or fast enough to keep up with.

You don’t have to parse Scalia’s words to find his contempt for the intellectual capacity of “minority” students. You only have to read.

The strongest argument possible against affirmative action is making Clarence Thomas a lifetime member of the United States Supreme Court. He was unqualified when he was selected and time has not made him any less so.

Thomas’ hypocrisy and intellectual inconsistency reeks like an infant’s diaper after too many jars of cream corn. I’m attacking this unqualified, groveling, sniveling dullard because he is the WORST sort of hypocrite because Thomas benefited from the very same affirmative action he now lusts to destroy.

The man is a joke and not a particularly funny one at that. I am repulsed by Clarence Thomas. Not because he’s a conservative. Because he’s selfish, cold, hateful, vengeful and malicious. Thomas is fueled by spite and has turned that spitefulness into a long and sustained attack on African Americans from his seat on the Supreme Court. Where his predecessor Thurgood Marshall fought for and articulated for the Constitutional rights of 35 million Blacks, Thomas wages war against them

If Scalia thinks Blacks can’t hack it, he should start with the moron who sits next to him, but he won’t because Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s idea of a Good Negro. Never speaks out of turn, defers to his betters, and knows his place. Yep, Uncle Thomas is Scalia’s boy, all right.

A boy and his dog.

My opinion on affirmative action is this: it was a necessary remedy due to the sickness of institutional racism that stigmatized and excluded people of color. And it’s still necessary.

Fat Tony’s insulting, belittling, and despicable remarks have the stench of industrial strength racism wafting from them and I have no reason to be respectful of an unrepentant bigot. Calling Scalia “fat” is a mild insult compared to his massive insult Blacks are too stupid to compete on the collegiate level.

Scalia is a fossil and when he finally dries up and blows away it will be a net plus for the highest court he drags into a sewer of ignorance.

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Rachel Dolezal: Double Agent or Race Traitor?

(photo by Thomas Robinson)

If The Racial Draft really were a thing I’d want Rachel Dolezal on my team before Clarence Thomas.

I read this story elsewhere and when I finished I had one question and one question only.

Is  Dolezal doing a good job? If she is, then what’s the rumpus?

Oh sure, I can imagine there are many reasons why the head of a NAACP chapter should be Black instead of passing for Black, but the only question worth asking and answering is “Is she doing her job?” Not whether she’s really Black or should the NAACP have Whites in prominent leadership positions.   The organization has always been racially diverse and inclusive.  Dolezal took it to an extreme.

When Walter White became the organization’s first Executive Secretary in 1916, some wondered why a dude with blonde hair and blue eyes was running a civil rights organization for colored people. Turns out White wasn’t White, but Black. The NAACP has never been exclusively for Blacks only. The national office may have to address this matter to quell the controversy.

She wouldn’t be the first White person to long for an identity other than the one she was born with to get lost in a romance with Black culture.    Deceitful? Probably.  Deceptive?  Certainly.  Harmful?  Illegal?  If so, no one has made the case.

Is my hair Black enough for you?

The most troubling thing about Dolezal are the misrepresentations and lies she came up with to mask her passing for Black. This seems to me to be more of an ugly family matter than a willful attempt to deceive, but unless she has broken the law, I fail to see why Dolezal should be faulted for being a White woman concerned about fighting discrimination against People of Color.

The takeaway is I’m getting is transgender is okay for White men but transethnic is not okay for White women. Race is an “artificial concept” that doesn’t matter is what the Right wingers love to say.   Or at least it is right up until the time you try to transcend it. Assimilate! That is what Blacks are told they need to do. Assimilate into a White culture that doesn’t want you, resent you, and says you only got there through an affirmative action program. Woe betide anyone who forgets assimilation is strictly an “on” ramp into the White world and never an “off” ramp.

Where was all this offense and indignity about cultural appropriation when Iggy Azalea got off the boat became the latest non-Black star to get rich and die tryin’ by Outblacking the Black Folk (hello, Nikki Minaj. Little Richard would like to talk to you about Pat Boone). It wasn’t too long everyone seemed to think Miley Cyrus invented a new dance move in twerking? Is it okay if White people bite from Black culture and cash in on it as long as they don’t go too far and start thinking they ARE Black?

No. You can’t.

It may be delusional when a White woman working for the NAACP begins to identifies with Blacks so much she starts passing herself off as Black, but since she seems to be helping and not hurting I say “thanks” for the help. That’s the part that seems hardest for some both White and Black to wrap their heads around. Why would anyone go to such lengths to “be” Black? Of course Dolezal built a house of cards on sand in the middle of a hurricane and now that it’s coming down around her ears (in no small part due to the malicious actions of her family), there’s a lot of pleasure being taken by outsiders as her lies and fabrications are exposed.

It there is no evidence Dolezal broke any laws, what’s the controversy. Perhaps when she speaks publicly on Tuesday an admission may be forthcoming, but if fudging an employment application is a crime, there’s gonna be a lot of liars doing time in the slammer.

Something Dr. King said about the content of our character mattering more than the color of our skin seems relevant right about now.

If it worked for Caitlyn it can work for Rachel.

Shufflin’ Along With Shelby Steele

not shelby steele

Shelby chills on his day off.

Shelby Steele believes today’s Black leadership treads in victimhood, ducking responsibility and playing an old, played-out “Blame Whitey” game.

The verdict that declared George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin was a traumatic event for America’s civil-rights establishment, and for many black elites across the media, government and academia. When you have grown used to American institutions being so intimidated by the prospect of black wrath that they invent mushy ideas like “diversity” and “inclusiveness” simply to escape that wrath, then the crisp reading of the law that the Zimmerman jury displayed comes as a shock.

On television in recent weeks you could see black leaders from every background congealing into a chorus of umbrage and complaint. But they weren’t so much outraged at a horrible injustice as they were affronted by the disregard of their own authority. The jury effectively said to them, “You won’t call the tune here. We will work within the law.”

There’s another sort of establishment and that’s the one where Black conservatives talk about the Black experience, but not to other Black people who know it already.

That is why Steele’s sphere of influence is primarily limited to (gasp!) White male conservatives who say they are the true victims of racism, avoid any acknowledgement of the considerable advantages White Privilege affords them and are play an even older, but just as played-out game calleed “Why Can’t You Lazy Blacks Stop Complaining and Blaming Us Because You Aren’t White Like Me?”

“Can I be your Black Friend Forever, George?”

If Black liberals get paid to soothe White Guilt,  Black conservatives work their own hustle by appealing to White Denial.   Steele is fluent in the familiar language of the apologist and appeaser as he scorns the attention the “civil rights establishment” has paid to the unworthy Trayvon.

Why did the civil-rights leadership use its greatly depleted moral authority to support Trayvon Martin? This young man was, after all, no Rosa Parks—a figure of indisputable human dignity set upon by the rank evil of white supremacy. Trayvon threw the first punch and then continued pummeling the much smaller Zimmerman. Yes, Trayvon was a kid, but he was also something of a menace. The larger tragedy is that his death will come to very little. There was no important principle or coherent protest implied in that first nose-breaking punch. It was just dumb bravado, a tough-guy punch.

There was nothing in the Zimmerman trial that established Martin “threw the first punch.”   Nor is any truth to Steele’s slander that Martin was “something of a menace.”   After all, it is  the “cherubic” Zimmerman (as Steele lovingly describes him) who has the criminal record.

There is no need for similar acts of character assassination about Zimmerman’s character. The menace posed by his history is a matter of legal record.

The neighborhood watch volunteer who wanted to be a cop was arrested in July 2005 for “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” Zimmerman got into a scuffle with cops questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking. Upon entering an alcohol education program, the charges were reportedly reduced and then waived. The next month in 2005, Zimmerman’s former fiance sought a restraining order against him because of domestic violence. Zimmerman sought a restraining order against her in return. Both were granted.

Despite Steele’s scurrilous slurs against a murdered and unarmed teenager,  it is  Zimmerman’s brushes with the law  establish he was the real “fucking punk.”   The White conservatives who make up Steele’s readership are not concerned with Zimmerman’s established record of criminality as much as they are the threat a unleashed Trayvon Martin might have.     It isn’t truth Rupert Murdoch is paying Steele to provide.   It is relief for poor, put-upon White conservatives who have nothing but fear and loathing in their hearts for every other Trayvon that hasn’t been murdered yet.

Steele is in the same class of race hustlers like Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Allan West, Mira Love, Niger Innis, Star Parker, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, Jesse Lee “thank God for slavery” Peterson, Uncle Tom Sowell, and of course Gentle Ben Carson.  With the exception of Carson, not one of them has any clout or following within the Black community.

“Sure. Just put on a hoodie and start running.”

Why would they? Their job is to represent themselves, not the interests of Black people as they show up at right-wing conferences, Tea Party rallies and Republican conventions telling the attendees what the are paid to say and smile pretty when the camera pans the audience so conservatives can point to those one or two grains of black pepper among all that white salt and flaunt their commitment to “diversity.”

Which is about an inch deep as it is wide, but somebody’s got to play The Spook That Sat By the Door., so why not Shelby Steele? He’s uniquely qualified to suck up to the White conservatives that keep him gainfully employed and will remain useful so long as he keeps making them feel good and exhibits he’s sufficiently grateful. When they’re done with him they’ll just throw him out and get another off the shelf just like him.

The next Shelby Steele will also specialize in dispensing useless advice to his core audience.  But that core audience does not include anyone who looks like Shelby Steele.

“Yes, I’m an ass-kisser, but I’m an EXCELLENT ass kisser.”

A Reminder: Rachel Jeantel Is Not the One On Trial

America got to see an Angry Black Lady (and didn’t much like it)

We’re only a few weeks into the George Zimmerman trial and already there is moaning and groaning that he’s going to walk.   A friend told me today, “That girl totally blew it for the prosecution.   She was so poorly prepared and didn’t seem even to be mad about Trayvon being dead.  Why didn’t she act like she cared?”

I understand why my friend was turned off by Rachel Jeantel.  She was rough around the edges and   Even some Black folks found her tough to take.   She was sullen, uncooperative, sarcastic and disinterested.   She looked like she rather be anywhere else on earth than in that courtroom answering question after question for two days straight.

Jeantel has a reason for the bad attitude. The 19-year-old was on the phone with Martin before Zimmerman killed him.   Now she has to come to court and play along with this game of dress-up and legal mumbo-jumbo while the man who murdered her friend is sitting right across from her.   It is unlikely Jeantel spent her life learning courtroom decorum from Law and Order reruns.   It’s understandable if Jeantel’s huffy demeanor doesn’t play well with those scoring the trial at home, but she is not an actress and this is not a television with a tidy ending in the last 15 minutes.    This is real and Jeantel deserves to be cut a little slack.   It was her friend that was gunned down and if that’s not a reason to feel frosty about testifying what is?

This exchange between Jeantel and defense attorney Don West makes obvious she doesn’t suffer fools gladly.  Or a foolish questions either.

West: “Of course, you don’t know if he was telling the truth or not.”

Jeantel: “Why would he need to lie about that, sir?”

West: “Maybe he decided to assault George Zimmerman and he didn’t want you to know about it,”

Jeantel: “That’s real retarded, sir. Trayvon did not know him.”

This is the guy on trial. Remember?

Blunt?  Yes.  Politically incorrect?  Certainly.   Logical?  Definitely.

You can feel Jeantel contempt for the proceedings coming off in her in waves.  She exhibits utter disdain for the niceties of the law and total disinterest in being deferential to the attorneys.

I loved every minute of The Rachel Jeantel Show.   Even the moments where I winced and cringed.    This was not a young woman  about to play nice with the guy trying to get off the killer of her friend and she wasn’t interested if Middle America liked her.   I rather think she would care as much if they didn’t.

Rachel Jeantel is not interested in smiling when she does not want to smile or playing to the cameras.   She is not concerned who considers her insolent, rude, or ignorant.   She is not an entertainer.   She does not care if she infuriates White people who do not understand her or irritates Black people whom are embarrassed  by her surly attitude.

America prefers to Blacks sing, dance, play sports and show their teeth to the camera.   Angry Black people bothers America and Rachel Jeantel is very angry.

There are more Rachels and Trayvons out there than we are comfortable with.  Angry, surly, and easily annoyed Black teenagers whom aren’t impressed by courtrooms, judges, attorneys and television cameras have a remarkable power to intimidate those among us who regard them as bizarre as an alien life form.

George Zimmerman killed Trayvon not because he had done anything wrong, but because he was the wrong color in the wrong neighborhood.   The one thing Martin could not change was all Zimmerman saw.   That’s what racial profiling is.   Why are so many so eager to now racial profile Jeantel?

Jeantel and West do not speak the same language.   He wants to keep his client out of prison.  She wants justice for her dead friend.  Is it surprising she’s so hostile and contemptuous of him?

The prosecution could have prepared Jeantel better, but you can’t program people like computers. If you’re Black and embarrassed by Jeantel you were probably embarrassed by Charles Ramsey a few weeks ago and you need to ask yourself why?

Clarence Thomas and his four White friends on the Supreme Court pose a far greater threat to Black folks than Paula Deen‘s N-bombs.  Who hurt Black folks more this week?  Jeantel’s lack of articulation or Thomas’ deliberate calculation to give racist politicians a green light to reintroduce Jim Crow style voting laws?

Let’s get our priorities straight.   On Rachel’s worst day she does less harm to the race than Clarence on his best.   Let’s call the shabby treatment of Jeantel for what it is: Reverse Racial Profiling.  Respectable Negroes were embarrassed by Charles Ramsey a few weeks ago and now they’re back bellyaching over Rachel Jeantel.

Why don’t we focus on the substance of Ramsey and Jeantel and less about their style or lack of?   Not every Black person on television is going to be Cliff and Claire Huxtable.

James Baldwin said, “The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.” Black people need to stop defining themselves by the White world’s definition of what is proper, smart and articulate.   We must stop defining ourselves by standards that we had no part in creating and do not accurately depict us.  Rachel Jeantel is not Antoine Dodson playing the fool for the camera.   This is not World Star Hip Hop.  This is real.

West tried to do to Jeantel what the judge would not let be done to Trayvon: niggerize him as a threat and the type of Black teen Whites should be afraid of.

Maybe they should be if there’s no justice for Trayvon.

The murdered and the murdered.

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.

Should She Stay or Should She Go?

Liberals welcomed Ginsburg’s arrival on the Court but some worry she’s stayed too long.

The legal legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg may hinge on two  “20/20” questions only she knows the answer to.   Should she step down from the Supreme Court seat she’s held for 20 years while there’s a Democrat in the White House until 2016 and a Democratically controlled Senate for at least another 20 months?

If Ginsburg cares at all about her legacy, she should step down while there’s still an opportunity to be replaced by a like-minded justice. If she hangs on beyond 2013 the odds keep going up a Republican controlled Senate will turn back any successor they consider too far to the Left.

I’m not the only progressive checking out the calendar and worrying Ginsburg may hang around past President Obama’s term.  In an essay for Salon Jonathan Bernstein laid out the looming dilemma.

Retiring and giving up her final years on the nation’s high court is a lot to ask from Ginsburg, who has been a liberal hero for many years. But just as she was a liberal hero before serving on the Supreme Court, she can be a liberal hero again by leaving it.

This is all pretty straightforward. Ginsburg is 80. Her health is apparently fine now, although she’s a two-time cancer survivor. There’s every possibility she could not only continue in office beyond the Barack Obama presidency but that she could survive even eight years of a Republican in office after that, if that’s what’s in the cards.

And yet: “Every possibility” isn’t good enough. Ginsburg will turn 84 soon after Obama’s successor will be sworn in. Realistically, anyone planning for the future has to assume there’s a 50 percent chance of that successor being a Republican.

Moreover, the simple fact is that most Republicans will support a filibuster against any Supreme Court nominee. Right now, the 55 Democrats (including two independents who caucus with the Democrats) may be enough, combined with a handful of Republicans who are moderate enough or simply oppose knee-jerk filibusters, to get a nominee confirmed.

It’s only going to get harder, however. Next year is an election year, and Republicans fearing a Tea Party challenge will be even more reluctant to let the Kenyan socialist in the White House have a third Supreme Court nominee confirmed. And after that, the odds are pretty good that Democrats will lose ground in the 2014 elections and that they could even lose their majority in the Senate altogether.

And then every month that goes by brings us that much closer to January 2017 and makes it that much easier for Republicans to just implement a confirm-nobody strategy to run out the clock.

Polski: Thurgood Marshall

Marshall was replaced by Clarence Thomas, his polar opposite.

Why should she stay? She’s been there 20 years already. Or do you want her to repeat Thurgood Marshall‘s mistake by hanging on too long and letting a Republican president appoint her replacement?

I’ve never understood why these Justices hang on to the bitter end. They live in Washington and they’re political animals: Ginsburg knows she’s more likely to be replaced by someone closer to her ideologically if Obama has Patrick Leahy running the Judiciary Committee instead of Charles Grassley.

An appointment to the Supreme Court is a lifetime gig, but why wait until you’re almost dead to step aside gracefully.   It’s not as if Ginsburg will out-wait Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas to see who steps down first.  Those two bastards would sooner eat their feet than allow Obama to pick their replacements.  Unless they drop dead during oral arguments (and as Thomas rarely speaks or asks any questions, who’s gonna notice if he does?), it’s Ginsburg at the top of the chart of associate justices most likely to call it quits.

It sounds cold to suggest Ginsburg exchange her robes for  slippers and morning television, but if she’s replaced by another Thomas as Marshall was she might have wished she retired a year earlier than later.

I’m a political animal too. Holding on to the bitter end is not a good way for a Supreme Court Justice to go out.   Ginsburg is serving a lifetime appointment and as long as her health holds up and her mental facilities are sharp (as lawyers who  are subject to her questioning during oral argument before the Court can attest to) she shouldn’t be badgered into leaving before she’s ready to go.   The way most of the Justices ignore the media and decline to do interviews it is unlikely Ginsburg pays much attention to the angst of progressives.

Ginsburg and her colleagues on the Court serve lifetime appointments to insulate them from political pressure.  That doesn’t mean when they choose or don’t choose to step aside doesn’t have major political impact.

Whether Ginsburg decides to stay or go, this woman who is small in stature will have a huge impact on the future direction of justice in America.

Ginsburg is a little lady who has a big impact.

Clarence the Cruel’s Reign of Error

Thomas mopes thinking about the prisoners that got away from him.

“I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist and legal thinker at the time to be elevated to that position.’  ~ Barack Obama on Clarence Thomas

Long before he bumped Uncle Thomas from his perch as the Most Powerful Black Man in America, Barack Obama taught Constitutional law at Harvard.   This put him in a position where he could make an informed judgment as to what makes someone “the right stuff” to sit on the Supreme Court.

The skimpy qualifications, the shaky jurisprudence, and the dubious legal philosophy of Uncle Thomas are bad enough, but add his predisposition to actively stake out the most intemperate, extreme and even deliberately sadistic positions, particularly when minority prisoners are involved and Thomas earns the title of “Clarence the Cruel” as columnist Derrick Z. Jackson dubbed him in 2003.

In an 8-1 ruling, the court found that state and federal courts ignored evidence that prosecutors used peremptory strikes to eliminate 10 of 11 potential black jurors in a death penalty case involving a black defendant. Their finding will allow Thomas Miller-El, convicted in 1986 of killing a hotel clerk in a robbery, another chance to challenge his sentence in federal appeals court.

In writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited the fact that prosecutors used their peremptory strikes so sweepingly for black jurors while using them for only four of 31 nonblack jurors. Kennedy noted the fact that black jurors were grilled in much more graphic ways than nonblack jurors about the proposed execution of Miller-El. Prosecutors also suspiciously used a ”jury shuffle” to remove potential black jurors from the front seats of the pool.

”Happenstance is unlikely to produce this disparity,” Kennedy wrote.

Kennedy found relevant the sordid history of Dallas County, which had a reputation for excluding African-Americans from juries. The reputation is encapsulated in a 1963 circular from the district attorney’s office that told prosecutors, ”Do not take Jews, Negroes, Dagos, Mexicans, or a member of any minority race on a jury, no matter how rich or how educated.”

Kennedy said there was evidence that such practices lingered into the 1980s, at the time of Miller-El’s trial. ”The culture of the district attorney’s office in the past was suffused with bias against African-Americans in jury selection,” Kennedy wrote. He added, ”Even if we presume at this stage that the prosecutors in Miller-El’s case were not part of this culture of discrimination, the evidence suggests they were likely not ignorant of it. Both prosecutors joined the district attorney’s office when assistant district attorneys received formal training in excluding minorities from juries.”

The evidence was enough for even the highly conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Antonin Scalia to go along with the majority. But Thomas dissented. Despite all of Kennedy’s citations, Thomas said Miller-El’s case rested only on ”circumstantial evidence and speculation.” Thomas wrote that Miller-El ”has not shown by clear and convincing evidence that any peremptory strikes of black veniremen were exercised because of race.”

Back in 1992, just after joining the court, Thomas dissented in the 7-2 decision that upheld a $800 award for damages for a Louisiana inmate who, from behind his locked cell, argued with a prison guard. Three guards took the inmate out of his cell, put him in handcuffs and shackles, and dragged him to a hallway where they beat him so badly that he suffered a cracked dental plate.

The lower court ruled that the beating had nothing to do with acceptable prison discipline. But Thomas all but laughed off the beating, saying the injuries were ”minor.” Thomas said the ”use of force that causes only insignificant harm to a prisoner may be immoral, it may be tortious, it may be criminal, and it may even be remediable under other provisions of the Federal Constitution, but it is not `cruel and unusual punishment.”’

Last year Thomas was one of three dissenters, with Rehnquist and Scalia, in the 6-3 decision that found that executing the mentally retarded was ”cruel and unusual punishment.” Also last year, Thomas dissented from a 6-3 decision to ban the practice in Alabama of chaining prisoners to outdoor ”hitching posts” and abandoning them for hours without food, water, or a chance to use the bathroom. While the majority also called that ”cruel and unusual,” Thomas said the hitching post served ”a legitimate penological purpose,” encouraging a prisoner’s ”compliance with prison rules while out on work duty.”

No justice for Black inmates from the Court’s only Black justice.

Thomas dismisses any suggestion of bias playing a part in excluding Blacks from a jury pool even when Antonin Scalia agrees it is present as he did in a separate 2005 case.

The question in Johnson v. California, No. 04-6964, was how much evidence of possible discrimination must be presented to invoke the Batson decision’s requirement of a race-neutral explanation.

The California Supreme Court had required evidence that discrimination was “more likely than not” the reason for the peremptory strike. But Justice Stevens, writing for the 8-to-1 majority on Monday, said that this standard was too onerous. It was sufficient to have “an inference” of discrimination at this initial stage, he said.

Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter.

Thomas had been on the Court for a matter of months when he joined with Scalia in dissent on the founding fathers “simply did not conceive of the Eighth Amendment as protecting inmates from harsh treatment” and “The Eighth Amendment is not, and should not be turned into, a National Code of Prison Regulation.”

Let’s review: Uncle Thomas is fine when district attorneys use their power to strike all Blacks from a jury pool.  Uncle  Thomas is fine with guards beating a prisoner so severely it leaves him with a cracked dental place and blows off the injury as “minor.”

Uncle Thomas is fine with executing the mentally retarded.  Uncle Thomas is cool with chaining prisoners to “hitching posts” without food, water or even if they soil themselves.

Uncle Thomas has an expansive view of prisoners rights.  He doesn’t believe they have any.   His hostility towards the incarcerated continues to this day.   In January, the Court ruled 8-1 to overturn the murder conviction of Juan Smith because prosecutors had failed to disclose that Larry Boatner, the only eyewitness had informed authorities he could not identify the killer.

Need I say the name of the “justice” who was the Lone Ranger with no problem that the prosecutor had withheld evidence?

In 1995, intruders attacked a home in New Orleans in search of money and drugs.  They shot and killed five people in the home invasion.  Boatner said the assailants were Black, but never saw their faces.

“We have observed that evidence impeaching an eyewitness may not be material if the state’s other evidence is strong enough to sustain confidence in the verdict,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. “That is not the case here.”

Roberts wrote a four-page opinion, but Thomas furiously retaliated with a 19-page dissent,  “Much of the record evidence confirms that, from the night of the murders through trial, Boatner consistently described — with one understandable exception — the first perpetrator through the door, that Boatner’s description matched Smith,” Thomas wrote.

“The question presented here is not whether a prudent prosecutor should have disclosed the information that Smith identifies.”

Thomas was unsuccessful in swaying a majority of his Court colleagues of Smith’s guilt, but in 2011, he persuaded them to join him in denying financial restitution to a prisoner who had been wrongly convicted and incarcerated on Death Row for 14 years.

Thompson was weeks away from his scheduled execution when a private investigator discovered a blood test that prosecutors knew of, but hid from Thompson’s attorneys.   They also learned of eyewitness reports that didn’t match Thompson’s description.    In 1999, Thompson was acquitted and the jury awarded him $14 million in damages–a million for each year he spent in prison.

Thompson’s attorneys found out the evidence that could have set him free was known by at least four prosecutors, but Thomas, writing for the 5-4 majority said Thompson’s case was a “single incident” and there was no misconduct.

Wrongly convicted, condemned to die, and the Court’s conservatives say, “tough.”

The prosecutor in Thompson’s case was Harry Connick Sr. (father of the famous singer) and the Court’s conservatives bent over backwards to shield his decision to withhold evidence that would have set a wrongly incarcerated man free.  Thomas wrote:    The role of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done. “It is as much [a prosecutor’s] duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.” By their own admission, the prosecutors who tried Thompson’s armed robbery case failed to carry out that responsibility. But the only issue before us is whether Connick, as the policymaker for the district attorney’s office, was deliberately indifferent to the need to train the attorneys under his authority.

Uncle Thomas has slammed shut the doors of the Supreme Court in the faces of every falsely convicted inmate and given the green light to unscrupulous prosecutors to subvert the law in order to obtain a conviction.

Black America Web columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee could only shake her head at the casual cruelty of Uncle Thomas.

Maybe John Thompson reminded Clarence Thomas of a childhood nemesis.

Maybe Thompson, who spent 14 years on Louisiana’s Death Row when prosecutors deliberately withheld evidence that would have proved his innocence, reminded the Supreme Court justice of one of the bullies who taunted him about his coal-black skin.

Or maybe, at least in Thomas’ eyes, Thompson quickly morphed into a black man who was looking for a handout instead of justice.

Thomas resents the way he was treated by what he considers “liberal Black elites.” He doesn’t like it that people believed Anita Hill and not him. He feels he was treated poorly by other Blacks for being “too dark” and “ethnic” in his appearance. He really resents the expectation that because he replaced a legendary figure in Marshall, he has to follow in his footsteps.

All that anger, all that bitterness and all that scorn Thomas believed he had to take, he’s giving back in spades.

Uncle Thomas is full of resentment and he’s not leaving the Court until he’s settled all scores and grudges, real or imagined.

The Biggest Bigot Ever to Sit on The Supreme Court

“Can I drive you home, Miss Daisy?”

The United States Supreme Court is the third branch of the federal government and historically the most mysterious to the typical citizen. Most can’t name more than a few of the nine justices and fewer truly understand how important they are to their lives. Every so often a decision is handed down that is so momentous only someone stuck in a cave can go unaware of its significance.

The Court attracts the best and the brightest of legal minds like a Oliver Wendell Holmes, William O. Douglas and Felix Frankfurther. There have been 112 men and women appointed to the highest court in the land, and once you get past the best and brightest you have the pretty good, just okay, and the staggeringly mediocre.

Then there are the special cases. The justices that are downright terrible and grossly incompetent.

Cue up Uncle Clarence Thomas. But before we got to #106, we had a real winner in Number 66, James Clark McReynolds.

Even Thomas might be floored by how foul a piece of crap McReynolds was. He authored no major decisions and is best known for being such an unlikeable bastard when he died not one of his colleagues on the Court bothered attending his funeral.

Appointed by President Woodrow Wilson McReynolds served on the Court for 26 years and while he worked with three other conservative justices to foil and block many of Roosevelt’s New Deal, he was a raging douche who went out of his way to be nasty, rude and bigoted even to his colleagues on the bench.   He pointedly refused to speak to Justice John Clarke because he was “too liberal” or Louis Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo because they were Jewish.   He refused to pose for the annual Court picture with Brandeis posed next to him in seniority and would not sign opinions authored by Brandeis and would leave the justices conferences when he would speak.

One miserable, rotten human being right down to his socks.

When President Herbert Hoover was considering Cardozo, McReynolds and two other justices asked Hoover not “to afflict the Court with another Jew.”  When Cardozo was nominated the rabid anti-Semite from Kentucky reportedly said, “Huh, it seems that the only way you can get on the Supreme Court these days is to be either the son of a criminal or a Jew, or both.”

McReynolds had plenty of contempt left over from hating Jews to letting Blacks know exactly what he thought of them.  He hated having to serve with Jews on the Supreme Court, but he didn’t even try to mask his contempt for Blacks.  The American Spectator revealed how intemperate the judicial temperament of McReynolds was provided an opportunity to express it.

Arrayed behind the raised bench, the nine Justices peer down from their lofty, high-backed leather chairs, their black robes distinct against crimson drapes trimmed with gold.

Rising to his feet to begin his presentation is attorney Charles Hamilton Houston. Houston is one of America’s more brilliant members of the bar. Educated at Amherst College, where he was the class valedictorian, he had gone on to graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served on the law review. Today, the historic courtroom is hushed, with all eyes on Houston as he begins to speak.

Suddenly, silently, without a word, there is movement from the bench.

Justice James Clark McReynolds swivels his chair, turning it around 180 degrees. And keeps it that way. There is a moment of stunned silence as the recognition dawns on McReynolds’s fellow Justices, headed by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes. So too is there a jaw-dropping understanding in the rest of the ornate, historic chambers as everyone else realizes the import of what has just occurred. The Justice is now staring steadily at the curtains, the back of his tall chair quite deliberately, ostentatiously, and literally turned to Houston.

There was a reason.

Charles Hamilton Houston was not just one of America’s leading attorneys this November day in 1938. He was also a black man. And Mr. Justice McReynolds, a Tennessean, graduate of Vanderbilt and the University of Virginia Law School, a onetime law professor, a political progressive appointed in 1914 by the progressive hero Woodrow Wilson, is both a racist and a vehement anti-Semite.

McReynolds has no intention whatsoever of giving the black lawyer addressing the Court this day the slightest recognition. Why? Because James McReynolds — like the President who appointed him — judges people by race. He is, as is Wilson, a rabid white supremacist and a segregationist.

Houston, Justice McReynolds has a problem with you.

Indeed, when Chief Justice Hughes, a Republican appointed by President Herbert Hoover, later hands down the decision validating Houston’s argument and putting the first crack in Plessy by insisting on Gaines’s right to attend the school (which Gaines never did) McReynolds will write the dissent. True to the racial beliefs he shared with the President who appointed him, McReynolds insists that the “best interests” of Missourians are served by “separation of whites and Negroes in schools,” his racist values deciding his vote in one of the most important legal cases of the decade.

So too was McReynolds’s racism in play in Powell v. Alabama. This case involved nine young black men known to history as the “Scottsboro Boys.” Charged with the rape of two white women in 1931 Alabama, the defendants were provided with a lawyer only as the trial was literally about to begin. The trial lasted barely one day, at the end of which all but one of the young men were sentenced to death. The conviction was upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court. Now a civil rights cause receiving massive publicity across the nation, the case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Hughes (Wilson’s opponent in the 1916 presidential election who campaigned on a platform pledging “the protection of every American citizen in all the rights secured to him by the Constitution”), ordered a new trial, siding with the black teenage defendant, “Ozie” Powell, and the Scottsboro Boys. The Court noted the “hostile” atmosphere that had prevailed in denying the defendants appropriate counsel, that blacks had been kept from the jury, and that the trial itself was neither fair nor impartial for racial reasons. In short, the Scottsboro Boys had been denied due process under the 14th Amendment. McReynolds dissented of course, tartly saying he did not see that a new trial was necessary.

Settling into the Supreme Court’s barber shop for a hair cut from the longtime black barber, a man named Gates, McReynolds decided to talk of Howard University, the famous black university in the District of Columbia. Said Justice McReynolds: “Gates, tell me, where is this nigger university in Washington, D.C.?” According to an account later provided by another Justice: “Gates removed the white cloth from McReynolds, walked around and faced him, and said in a very calm and dignified manner, ‘Mr. Justice, I am shocked that any Justice would call a Negro a nigger. There is a Negro college in Washington, D.C. Its name is Howard University and we are very proud of it.'”

James McReynolds would have despised serving on the Court with the likes of Clarence Thomas, but even a dead old segregationist would approve of how relentlessly Thomas has worked to be as unjust as possible to Blacks.

As hostile as McReynolds was to the Scottsboro Boys, Thomas has been similarly hostile to Black prisoners whose cases reach the Supreme Court as the cases of Juan Smith and John Thompson will demonstrate in the last installment.