Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Free Michael Pack gomovies Michael Pack
- A controversial figure, loved by some, reviled by others, few know much more than a few headlines and the recollections of his contentious confirmation battle with Anita Hill. A story truly and fully, without cover-ups or distortions
- Creator=Michael Pack
- release Date=2020
- Ratings=8,4 of 10 Star
- runtime=116 minutes
- 39 Vote
Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free online. Workers Vanguard No. 854 16 September 2005 The Evolution Wars: Religious Reaction and Racist Oppression Hail Charles Darwin! Correction Appended If ever there were an argument against “intelligent design, ” it is George Bush, an ignorant and dimwitted reactionary with state power. Almost 150 years since the publication of Darwins Origin of Species, this born-again Christian president has thrown the power of his office behind Christian fundamentalism by arguing that religious fables be given equal time with evolution in science classes in America. But the irrational obscurantism of leading circles of the American ruling class should not be mistaken for an absence of purpose. Now, as at other key moments in the history of this nation founded on black chattel slavery, religion is being promoted to inculcate acquiescence to injustice. The brilliant, self-educated former slave Frederick Douglass nailed the intrinsic relationship between the pious religiosity of Southern slaveowners and the hellish reality of those they lorded over: “I assert most unhesitatingly, that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes, —a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, —a sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, —and a dark shelter under which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection. Were I to be again reduced to the chains of slavery, next to that enslavement, I should regard being the slave of a religious master the greatest calamity that could befall me…. I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. ” —Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845) For years, the fundamentalist Christian right has been politically pursuing its reactionary religious agenda. But since the second coming of George W. Bush to the White House, theyre stalking the country. Since 2001 there have been challenges to the teaching of evolution in 43 states! Even more widespread but harder to measure is the informal coercion of science teachers to suppress the “E” word. In March, the National Science Teachers Association reported that 31 percent of teachers surveyed responded that they felt “pressured to include creationism, intelligent design, or other nonscientific alternatives to evolution in their science classroom. ” Some Imax theaters in science museums are refusing to show movies that mention evolution, the Big Bang or the geology of the earth! A tangled web of billionaire Christian ultrarightists, their foundations and misnamed “think tanks” (like the Seattle-based Discovery Institute) provides the money behind this concerted drive to plunge the country deeper into ignorance and backwardness. The “Wedge Document, ” an unusually blunt 1999 Discovery Institute manifesto, proclaimed its goal as “nothing less than the overthrow of materialism and its cultural legacies” (New York Times, 21 August. For all the conservative cant coming out of the Supreme Court about the “original intent” of the slaveowning framers of the Constitution, extreme right-wing religious elements seek to shred provisions of that Enlightenment-influenced document, and particularly the Bill of Rights, in favor of an America ruled as a theocracy under Biblical law. The particular version of Christian fundamentalism now associated with the Bush White House developed over the past four decades as an ideological umbrella enabling white racist bigots to link together their hostility to affirmative action and welfare, “womens lib” and legalized abortion, and any tolerance of gay rights. They want a society without public schools, without unions, without separation of church and state, with the death penalty for abortionists and many others, with legal repression and extralegal terror for gays, and with black people and immigrants yoked as subhuman objects of exploitation in a nativist white Christian America. Bourgeois liberals push reliance on the Supreme Court as the guarantor of the basic democratic rights that the government has in its cross hairs. That strategy offers no more protection than an umbrella with holes in it. The truth is that every gain and every protection that working people and minorities have won in this country have been wrested through class struggle and political battles and outright civil war. Holding on to past gains and gaining a position from which to fight for new conquests require a crystal-clear understanding that the government rules on behalf of the capitalist exploiters, under both Democratic and Republican administrations. Political independence from the Democrats and a class-struggle perspective are key to any successful fight against the current onslaught. A ruling class that sends more black youth to prison than to college in a society that purports to have equal opportunity bolsters its policies by blaming its victims and finding “scientific” justification for segregation and subordination. Thus the ideological servants of American capitalism revive scientifically discredited myths of biological determinism and genetic inferiority of racial and ethnic minorities. In defense of an economic system and social order based on black chattel slavery, Supreme Court Chief Justice Taney deemed black people “far below” whites “in the scale of created beings” and so ruled in his infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision that a black man had no rights that a white man was bound to respect. Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection continues to be explosive in America today because it indicates that all modern humans came from a common African ancestor, and hence there is no scientific basis for separate “races. ” The truth—that race is not a biological category, but a social and political construct—has profound political implications in the United States. As stated in the amici curiae brief filed by the Spartacist League and Partisan Defense Committee in the Supreme Court in 1985 against the teaching of Biblical creationism in Louisiana schools: “Evolution, the science of mans ‘descent with modification is the particular object of the fundamentalist religious attack. The reasons for this lie in the fact that evolutionary theory deprives man of a mythical ‘special status in nature, and exposes the lack of scientific basis for the various religious and other justifications for belief in racial inferiority. The not so hidden agenda of the proponents of teaching creationism in the schools is to enforce the destructive and dangerous dogma of racial inferiority. “To the organizations here filing as amici curiae, the study of scientific evolution is fundamental to mans quest for a materialist understanding of our world and human society, not the least because it provides material evidence that we are all part of the same human race, definitively destroying the myths of racial superiority. ” The Materialist View of History Regarding the warfare between science and religion over Darwinian evolution, the eminent British scientist and Marxist J. D. Bernal wrote: “The very persistence of the struggle, despite the successive victories won by materialist science, shows that it is not essentially a philosophic or a scientific one, but a reflection of political struggles in scientific terms. At every stage idealist philosophy has been invoked to pretend that present discontents are illusory and to justify an existing state of affairs. At every stage materialist philosophy has relied on the practical test of reality and on the necessity of change. ” —Science and History (1954) Charles Darwin unshackled biological science from the chains of religion by providing a materialist explanation for the evolution of life on this planet through his careful, meticulously recorded studies of variation of species. As we wrote in our tribute to the late Stephen Jay Gould, who, despite having pathetically conciliated religion toward the end of his life, was a great Darwinian educator and propagandist: “The revolutionary aspect of Darwins idea was that the whole evolution of the natural world could be explained on a purely materialist basis—natural selection—rather than through any supernatural intervention. The motor force was survival of the fittest: all organisms produce more progeny than can possibly survive within their ecological niche—the most intense competition is within a species, whose members all compete for the same lifestyle and food sources. The competition between species is important, but on a slightly lower level. ” —“Science and the Battle Against Racism and Obscurantism, ” WV No. 797, 14 February 2003 Darwin argued that natural selection, along with other more random processes, drove the evolution of new varieties of life. Darwinian theory is entirely free of moral pronouncements on organisms, whether they diversify and thrive or go extinct. This is contrary to the “social Darwinists” who, unsupported by Darwin himself, exploited the term “survival of the fittest” as “scientific” evidence that the rulers were a higher order of being, in order to justify the status quo of the cruelest exploitation of man by man. Indeed, Darwin was an ardent opponent of slavery, writing in a 5 June 1861 letter to Asa Gray in the very early days of the American Civil War, “Some few, and I am one of them, even wish to God, though at the loss of millions of lives, that the North would proclaim a crusade against slavery. In the long-run, a million horrid deaths would be amply repaid in the cause of humanity…. Great God! How I should like to see the greatest curse on earth—slavery—abolished! ” Evolution is not “progressive, ” nor does it necessarily lead to superior or more intelligent beings, and it is certainly not predetermined. The mechanics of evolution are a matter of continuing inquiry and argument among scientists. Darwin did not even like the word “evolution” because it implied a climb up a ladder from lower organisms to higher beings (grotesquely depicted in racist “scientific” illustrations of human evolution as a transition from stooped hairy apes to black people to Caucasians. Darwin preferred the term “descent with modification” and was a rigorous and consistent materialist in his interpretation of nature, not viewing a slug as lesser or more imperfect in its function or adaptation to its environment than an ermine-cloaked member of the royal family. As Gould wrote in Ever Since Darwin (1977) “Darwin was not a moral dolt; he just didnt care to fob off upon nature all the deep prejudices of Western thought. ” Those deep prejudices were unleashed against Darwin upon the 1859 publication of his Origin of Species (which may in part explain why Darwin waited more than 20 years to go into print. A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom by Andrew Dickson White, a co-founder of Cornell University who fought in the anti-slavery movement, documents the assault. In Britain, the Vatican founded the “Academia” to combat Darwinian science, while Protestants founded the Victoria Institute for the same purpose. In France, Monseigneur Ségur went into hysterics against Darwin, shrieking, “These infamous doctrines have for their only support the most abject passions. Their father is pride, their mother impurity, their offspring revolutions. ” Thomas Carlyle, a former Chartist (revolutionary democrat) turned reactionary defender of slavery, was eviscerated by White for his attack on Darwin: “Soured and embittered, in the same spirit which led him to find more heroism in a marauding Viking or in one of Frederick the Greats generals than in Washington, or Lincoln, or Grant, and which caused him to see in the American civil war only the burning out of a foul chimney, he, with the petulance natural to a dyspeptic eunuch, railed at Darwin as an ‘apostle of dirt worship. ” Behind the wrath of the rulers, their high priests and apologists, was worry. Geological evidence of the actual immense antiquity of the planet and fossil evidence of an evolving parade of life forms going back millions of years exposed the Biblical Book of Genesis as a fairy tale. Desperate explanations that God hid fossils within rocks to lure geologists into temptation were a bit far-fetched even for the most blindly faithful. When the geologist and Christian Sir Charles Lyell came over to Darwinism, the church feared that the Darwinian theory, like the findings of Copernicus and Galileo, might prove to be true. Suggestions of a divine design guiding evolution were advanced to shore up the crumbling foundation of Biblical literalism. Darwin himself took on this forerunner to the “intelligent design” argument in correspondence with the Harvard botanist Asa Gray, a devout Protestant. Although Gray arranged for the Origin of Species to be published in America, he was troubled about the books theological implications and maintained the Christian belief that each living thing reflected intelligent design by a creator and constituted evidence of the loving character of God. In a typically mild but stunning reply, Darwin wrote back: “I had no intention to write atheistically, but I own that I cannot see as plainly as others do, and as I should wish to do, evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae [parasitic wasps] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice. ” Even conservative columnist George Will wrote, regarding the film March of the Penguins, “If an Intelligent Designer designed nature, why did it decide to make breeding so tedious for those penguins? ” (Pocono Record, 28 August. Darwins discovery of the continual motion and interaction between organisms and their environment was embraced enthusiastically by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. According to Gould, Marx offered to dedicate the second volume of Capital to Darwin (who declined as he had not read it. In Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880) Engels wrote: “Nature works dialectically and not metaphysically…. In this connection Darwin must be named before all others. He dealt the metaphysical conception of Nature the heaviest blow by his proof that all organic beings, plants, animals, and man himself, are the products of a process of evolution going on through millions of years. ” Darwin put history into science. Karl Marx put science into history. Marx showed the mechanism by which labor collectively creates wealth that is privately appropriated by the capitalists, out of which they extract profit. Marx unearthed what had been “concealed by an overgrowth of ideology. ” As Engels remarked in his 1883 “Speech at the Graveside of Karl Marx”: “The production of the immediate material means of subsistence and consequently the degree of economic development attained by a given people or during a given epoch form the foundation upon which the state institutions, the legal conceptions, art, and even the ideas on religion, of the people concerned have been evolved, and in the light of which they must, therefore, be explained, instead of vice versa, as had hitherto been the case. ” Engels drew directly on Darwins work in his 1876 essay “The Part Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man. ” Engels observed that with the development of erect posture and bipedal motion, “the hand had become free, ” allowing man to fashion tools. In turn, the use of tools, speech and social organization enabled man to begin to transform and master his environment. Engels wrote: “Agriculture was added to hunting and cattle raising; then came spinning, weaving, metalworking, pottery and navigation. Along with trade and industry, art and science finally appeared. Tribes developed into nations and states. Law and politics arose, and with them that fantastic reflection of human things in the human mind—religion. ” The division between mental and manual labor became key to a class-stratified society, and “all merit for the swift advance of civilisation was ascribed to the mind. ” So too, the idea of god became independent of the mind that invented it. Man created god yet became his subject. Marx also recognized the duality of religion; it is both an instrument of oppression and a balm for the oppressed. Historically, the religiosity of black people in America has been a solace from unmitigated racist oppression and a promise of deliverance. As Marx said, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. ” You Cant Fight Republicans with Democrats While it is a hoot to ridicule the demented rightists who think SpongeBob, a cartoon character, is gay (he holds hands with a starfish) or the Washington State Republican Party which outlawed yoga classes (did you know the word “om” is hidden in the word “communism”. their agenda is serious and sinister. Readers are referred to the Web site run out of Cornell University for informative and regularly updated exposés of this crowd. Although the information provided there is valuable, the Web sites banal, liberal political conclusion—that people should campaign and vote for Democrats in the midterm elections to reclaim the flag—is a false perspective that will only help keep things in this country running rapidly downhill. Its not just the Republicans! An infuriating series in the New York Times, “A Debate Over Darwin, ” makes this clear. This august spokesman of liberal Democratic Party opinion splashed hogwash across its front page day after day (see) and legitimized the neo-creo kooky proponents of religious reaction by oh-so-judiciously presenting their views—as if one could debate human origins and evolution with creationists. Thus the Times abets the Discovery Institutes purpose by accepting the logic of Bushs demand to give equal status to science and religious superstition. Science and religion cannot be reconciled. We salute the eminent British scientist Richard Dawkins (dubbed “Darwins Rottweiler”) whose forthright defense of science against the encroachments of religion have roiled the purveyors of superstition. Dawkins concluded in The Blind Watchmaker—Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design (1996) “Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants. All these myths have in common that they depend upon the deliberate intentions of some kind of supernatural being. ” Every leftist who has ever tried to get so much as a letter printed in the New York Times learns the race and class bias of “all the news thats fit to print” in that paper. Turning over page after page of their paper to proponents of “intelligent design” was a political decision in keeping with a decades-long Democratic Party strategy: to conciliate religious reaction in order to present themselves as credible rulers for God, country, family, and the “little guy. ” The “culture wars” in America—and evolution is a big one—do indeed reveal differences between the two capitalist parties. After Clintons 1992 election, a Democratic-controlled Congress passed the “Goals 2000: Educate America Act, ” which would have required states to adopt federally approved standards for teaching science and history as a prerequisite for receipt of federal funds. Right-wing Republicans, led by neocon Lynne Cheney, went nuts over requirements to teach a little truth about the Ku Klux Klan and McCarthyism. When the Republicans recaptured a Congressional majority in the 1994 midterm elections, they quickly acted to allow states to adopt standards without federal oversight. These are examples of the not unimportant distinctions between the oddly demented Bush gang and the more liberal Democrats. In the absence of a class alternative, it is precisely such distinctions that explain the, in many cases halfhearted, support for Democrats among labor and the oppressed. But the “lesser evil” is still the class enemy of the working people. Democratic president Clinton outflanked the Republicans by signing legislation to “end welfare as we know it, ” by invoking the union-busting Railway Labor Act 14 times against potential rail and airline strikes, and by vastly augmenting the arsenal of state repression directed mainly against black people through the passage of his 1996 “Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. ” Hillary Clintons recent pandering to the anti-abortion bigots to secure her own electoral fortunes lies on the same continuum. Jimmy Carter, Democratic president in the late 1970s, epitomizes the contradiction of the religious element in the ruling class. Underneath that humble Southern Christian peanut farmer shtick is a man who was trained as a nuclear engineer and helped design nuclear submarines for the U. S. Navy. Carter brought being “born again” from its public perception as a backwoods affliction to the apex of political power in the White House. This served to morally rearm post-Vietnam U. imperialism for launching Cold War II against “godless Communism. ” Religion: Social Glue for a Society Riddled with Contradictions America is a deeply unstable, stable bourgeois democracy. Stripped of its democratic mask, the state is a dictatorship of the bourgeoisie, a class that accumulates vast wealth through the raw exploitation of labor. The working class is divided and prevented from uniting in its own interest mainly through the special oppression of black people as a segregated race-color caste—the last-hired, first-fired bottom rung in a society buttressed by the myth of social mobility for all. Yet black workers still have tremendous potential social power as a leading part of the working class. The material reality of racial oppression itself perpetuates fear of and prejudice against people forced by capitalism to live in filthy, violent ghettos with few social services. The color line is the visible birthmark left by slavery and so fundamental to modern American society that it cuts straight across the multiple fissures of successive waves of immigration. As the census forms say, “Hispanics may be of any race. ” Sure, and where one lands on the wheel of fortune is heavily influenced by whether one appears to be black or white. Americas other peculiarity among advanced capitalist countries is its deeply religious character. Nowhere else—not even in Italy where the Vatican still heavily influences civil society—is there such refractory religiosity and visceral hostility to the long-established facts of Darwinian natural selection as the motor force of evolution. Why? The absence of even a mass reformist workers party that expresses in even a blurry way that working people have needs and interests counterposed to those of their exploiters is a large part of the explanation for political backwardness in the U. But like everything else in this country, it also boils down to the central intersection of race and class. Religion in the U. supplies an ideology that can seemingly harmonize conflicting class interests while keeping this society with two races firmly ordered: capital above labor and white above black. Although fundamentalist preachers and churches had been around for a while, it was the impact of World War I, the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and massive labor strikes that drew them together as a political movement to fight “godless Communism, ” immigration, booze and the teaching of evolution. In the summer of 1919 the “Worlds Christian Fundamentals Association” was founded. The country was gripped by fear, cynically manipulated by the government through legal and extralegal terror. Civil liberties were nullified as people were jailed for expressing antiwar views. Murderous racist pogroms raged, with 26 anti-black rampages across the country between April and October 1919. Immigrants (who were often anarchists and communists) were rounded up and deported. Labor strikes, such as the Seattle general strike of 1919, were denounced as unpatriotic “crimes against society” and “conspiracies against the government, ” and broken by deployment of federal troops. In 1921, the trial of the Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti began, and they were executed in 1927. The ways in which the fundamentalist movement served to bind a reactionary yet deeply contradicted society together were played out in Tennessee when a former Chicago Cubs outfielder turned evangelical preacher, Billy Sunday, arrived for an 18-day crusade in 1925 against the teaching of evolution. Leaping across the stage and screeching that “education today is chained to the devils throne, ” Sunday whipped up more than 200, 000 people in multiply segregated rallies against “the old bastard theory of evolution. ” Summer for the Gods (1997) Edward J. Larsons Pulitzer Prize-winning book on the Scopes trial, recounts: “Thousands attended Mens Night, where males could freely show their emotion out of the sight of women. Even more turned out for Ladies Night. The newspaper reported that ‘15, 000 black and tan and brown and radiant faces glowed with Gods glory on Negro Night. An equal number of ‘Kluxers—some wearing their robes and masks—turned out for the unofficial Klan Night. ” That was the immediate backdrop to the most famous battle between evolution and creationism in U. history. In 1925, the Scopes “monkey trial” took place in Dayton, Tennessee. That same year, some 40, 000 Klansmen in full regalia marched through the nations capital. It was a period when anyone who wasnt as conformist and as patriotic as possible was suspect. Substitute “terrorist” for “communist” and it sounds eerily like the social climate today, and once again religious fundamentalism is advancing in lockstep with social reaction. John Scopes was indicted for violating Tennessees statute that banned teaching evolution. The high school biology textbook he taught from reeked of the racist Social Darwinist views of the times. Man was presented as the highest life form of evolution, with the Caucasian race being “finally, the highest type of all. ” A large political contradiction of the times was that many of the promoters of evolution were Social Darwinists who crusaded for bettering the human race by eliminating the “feebleminded” through eugenics. By 1936, 35 states had laws compelling sexual segregation and sterilization of those deemed “eugenically unfit. ” In America, that was a loosely applied euphemism for “poor white trash, ” black people and immigrants. Southern slaveowners often denounced the cruelty of Northern capitalism while falsely portraying themselves as loving Christian protectors of their Negro property. So, too, the eugenics movement enabled William Jennings Bryan, the blowhard orator, 1896 Democratic Party presidential candidate and prosecutor of John Scopes, to posture as a humanitarian! Bryan said, “The Darwinian theory represents man as reaching his present perfection by the operation of the law of hate—the merciless law by which the strong crowd out and kill off the weak. ” Dismissing geological evidence that the age of the earth was much older than the Bible said, Bryan blustered, “Men who would not cross the street to save a soul have traveled across the world in search of skeletons. ” John Scopes was defended by Clarence Darrow, who used the trial as a platform to defend science and defeat Bryans religious foolishness and phony goodness. As Darrow once said in a speech to a group of prisoners on the false definition of crime in an unjust society, “It is not the bad people I fear so much as good people. When a person is sure that he is good, he is nearly hopeless; he gets cruel—he believes in punishment. ” Fundamentalism became notorious and identified with rural backwardness as a result of the Scopes trial. In response, fundamentalists constructed their own world with their own religious schools, universities and social institutions, beginning in the 1930s. But at every peak of fevered anti-communist and racist reaction, they were brought out of their subculture to center stage. Fundamentalists played a large role in the McCarthyite witchhunt of the 1950s, identifying the United States, Jesus and the Bible as Gods gifts to humanity and the Soviet Union as the Antichrist and Devil. What used to be the kooky fringe of John Birch ilk is now frighteningly mainstream and mobilized. No longer content with ruling their own schools, they want to destroy the public schools, and indeed the entire world. Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and bigwigs who overlap heavily with the Texas Republican Party and the Bush White House are “Dominionists” or “Christian Reconstructionists. ” They believe that fundamentalist Christians are mandated by God to occupy all secular institutions in order to destroy society as we know it and usher in “the thousand-year reign of Christ. ” Then, as Bill Moyers wrote in “Welcome to Doomsday” (New York Review of Books, 24 March) “Once Israel has occupied the rest of its ‘biblical lands, legions of the Antichrist will attack it, triggering a final showdown in the valley of Armageddon. As the Jews who have not been converted are burned the Messiah will return for the Rapture. True believers will be transported to heaven where, seated at the right hand of God, they will watch their political and religious opponents writhe in the misery of plagues—boils, sores, locusts, and frogs—during the several years of tribulation that follow. “Im not making this up. ” Communism = Americas Last Best Hope Civilization does not continually advance. Throughout history, human society has also paused, decayed or moved backward. This motion, its tempo and direction are intrinsically linked to the economy and class struggle. Science is not independent of these processes. At the time of the industrial revolution, when the ascendant bourgeoisie challenged and replaced the feudal order, there was not only tremendous progress in the material results of knowledge (e. g., the steam engine) but also leaps in ideas of human freedom (the Enlightenment. But the French Revolutions philosophy of “liberty, equality, fraternity” was limited in application to the new ruling bourgeoisie once it had achieved its own fundamental class interest: the abolition of feudal restrictions on private moneymaking through exploitation of the working people. Marx surpassed the radical idealism of the French Revolution, understanding from his analysis that the dominant ideas of every historical period are those of the ruling class. Enlightenment philosophy could find universal material expression only through the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the establishment of workers rule—the dictatorship of the proletariat as a bridge to communism. The working-class seizure of power in the 1917 Russian Revolution took Marxism out of the realm of ideas and gave it flesh and blood. Despite the relative backwardness of Russia, hostile imperialist encirclement, civil war and invasion by more than a dozen capitalist armies, the establishment of collectivized property and a planned economy spurred huge advances in science, technology, art and ideas. Despite the degeneration of the revolution in its national isolation and its grotesque deformation by the Stalinist bureaucracy, the standard of living as measured by key indexes of modern civilization (literacy, life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. was testimony to the superiority and tremendous potential of working-class rule. The last time the U. ruling class undertook a sustained effort to promote science education was after the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik I satellite in 1957. Fear of a Soviet lead in military technology led President Eisenhower to demand a billion-dollar program to improve science education in American schools and to the enactment of the National Defense Education Act in 1958. Creationism was elbowed aside as the newly formed Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) wrote evolution into new high school textbooks. Once again, the centrality of the struggle for black freedom to all progressive social change in America was revealed. The new textbooks reached Little Rock Central High in 1965 after almost a decade of pitched battles against court-ordered desegregation of Arkansas Jim Crow schools. The civil rights and Vietnam antiwar movements were ripping apart the conservative fabric of post-World War II America. In Epperson v. Arkansas, the trial judge made no secret of his contempt for the states anti-evolution statute, scheduling the trial for April Fools Day and ruling in favor of Susan Eppersons constitutional right to teach modern biology, namely Darwins theory of evolution. This and similar cases went up to the U. Supreme Court. For about 30 years, the creationists mainly lost and were decried even in Supreme Court decisions as “anachronistic. ” So, what changed? Capitalist counterrevolution across East Europe and in the USSR, where the final undoing of the Russian Revolution took place in 1991-92, defines todays deeply reactionary period. Those wrenching events have been catastrophic for the people of the former Soviet Union and East Europe, especially women, whose rights and lives have been shattered by religious reaction and destitution. Leningrads Kazan Cathedral provides a vivid illustration of whats changed. In the Soviet Union, this former center of the deeply reactionary Russian Orthodox Church was turned into a grand Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism. The central apse showcased an exhibit on Darwins theory of evolution, with life-size portraits of the transition from ape to man. Today the icon of the Madonna is back and the cathedral is again a nexus of reaction, bolstering an unjust social order with appeals to piety and mystical promises of reward after life on this earth ends. Drunk with success in its crusade against the Soviet Union, the American ruling class falsely boasts that “communism is dead. ” With a military budget almost as large as the rest of the worlds, according to the 2005 report by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, U. imperialism is plundering the world without fear of reprisal. The same unfettered imperialist monster that is laying waste to Iraq targets labor, black people, immigrants and all the oppressed at home. When the Soviet Union existed, in order to sport credentials especially in the Third World as top cop for “democracy, ” the U. was forced to concede some basic civil rights to black people at home. Now, with affirmative action gutted, many black voters disenfranchised, jobs destroyed and jails filled, the Democratic and Republican rulers cynically pretend that racism is a bygone thing, that there is no need to talk about racial equality anymore—at least until the murderous abandonment of the black population in the flooding of New Orleans threw a worldwide spotlight on racial inequality in the U. Science is subordinated to the capitalist state and its purse strings. Science is primarily funded for techniques of war, mass destruction and misery. From the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the napalming of Vietnam, to the bunker-busting destruction of Baghdad—in the cradle of civilization—the legacy of science in the service of imperialism is measured in mass graves worldwide. Even advances in biological science that could better the human condition, stamp out disease or eradicate hunger are deformed by the profit system. That developing countries must vow to respect drug company patents as a condition of membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) illustrates the point. AIDS ravages Africa, but anti-retroviral drugs that give people the possibility to live with this disease are priced beyond reach. U. imperialism and the WTO have made India knuckle under and pledge to cease producing patent-busting, low-cost generic versions of the same drugs, thereby condemning millions around the world to death. The war against teaching evolution in the schools is irrational even from the bourgeoisies own class standpoint. To take the above example, pharmaceuticals cant be developed without an understanding of modern biology, which is incompatible with and counterposed to Biblical literalism. New bacterial strains emerge every day, exchanging whole DNA sequences and becoming drug-resistant; viruses mutate. Replace modern biology with Genesis and a new threat like the species-jumping avian-borne flu virus has a better shot at killing millions worldwide. The Bush administration has outlawed government funding for extraction of stem cells from new human embryos, thereby blocking therapeutic cloning and growth of tissue transplants for research to help treat diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons and diabetes. To be sure, an elite will continue to be trained at private universities that are beyond the reach of the working class. But the anti-scientific religious dogma pushed by elements of the ruling class retards science even in those bastions of class privilege. Ultimately, it isnt possible to remain a world power and destroy science education and industry, the way the U. rulers largely have. In the short term, they can certainly stay on top of the world as Western ayatollahs with nukes. Thus, even a very basic issue like the right to learn Darwins theory of evolution in public school requires that a multiracial revolutionary workers party be built in this country to rip power out of the hands of the bourgeoisie. Communism is the last best hope for America and the world. Correction In our articles “Hail Charles Darwin! ” (WV No. 854, 16 September 2005) and “A Marxist Critique of the ‘New Atheists” Part One (WV No. 1007, 31 August) we incorrectly cited J. Bernals 1954 four-volume work as Science and History. The correct title is Science in History. (From No. 1009, 28 September 2012...
The famously reticent Supreme Court justice opens up about his life and career in Michael Pack's documentary. It turns out that Clarence Thomas can speak after all. The famously reticent Supreme Court justice opens up big time in the new documentary by Michael Pack, which will receive a theatrical release before airing on PBS this spring. The result of some 30 hours of interviews conducted by the filmmaker with Thomas and his wife, Ginny, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words lives up to its title. Composed nearly entirely of its principal subject recounting his life story directly to the camera, the film will inevitably thrill conservatives while driving liberals up the wall. If it were paired on a double bill with RBG, you could imagine loud arguments breaking out at the theater. If you're wondering why Thomas is finally breaking his vow of silence, it may be due to the fact that he felt comfortable cooperating with Pack, a conservative filmmaker who's collaborated with Steve Bannon and was nominated by President Trump for the position of chief executive officer of the U. S. Agency for Global Media. So it's not like he was walking into the lion's den. Covering much of the biographical material contained in his 2007 memoir My Grandfather's Son, Thomas describes his impoverished upbringing in rural Georgia (cue Louis Armstrong singing "Moon River. composed by Savannah's own Johnny Mercer. Raised largely by his grandparents, Thomas entered a seminary and considered becoming a priest, only to abandon the idea when a white fellow student made an offensive remark expressing happiness at Martin Luther King Jr. 's assassination. That ultra-sensitivity and tendency toward whiplash ideological changes becomes highly apparent through the course of the film. Thomas became radicalized for a while, participating in anti-Vietnam War rallies and chanting about freeing Angela Davis. Then, after attending Holy Cross College and Yale Law School, he became, as he describes himself, a "lazy libertarian. Cue the inevitable clip from the film version of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. The only job offer he received after graduating came from Jack Danforth, then Missouri's Attorney General, but Thomas says he hated the idea of working for a Republican. Nonetheless, he became the state's Assistant Attorney General, only to leave the position shortly afterward and work as a corporate lawyer for Monsanto. He later moved to Washington and became a legislative aide for Danforth, who had been elected senator. By then, Thomas had fully embraced the Republican agenda, voting for Reagan in 1980 because of his desire to see an end to the "social engineering of the '60s and '70s. " His rise after that was swift. When Justice Thurgood Marshall retired, George Bush nominated him to fill the seat and, well, you know the rest. What comes through loud and clear during the documentary is that Thomas has lost none of the anger and bitterness he displayed during that time. "This is about the wrong kind of black guy, he has to be destroyed. he says about those who opposed his nomination, playing the same card as when he famously testified that his hearing represented a "high-tech lynching for uppity blacks. He bitterly compares himself to the character of Joseph K in Franz Kafka's The Trial, as the film dutifully provides a clip of Anthony Perkins emoting in the film version. When asked if he watched Anita Hill's testimony, he makes a disgusted face and says, Oh, God, no. By the time he likens himself to Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird (you guessed it, another clip) you start to wonder if there isn't any martyr he doesn't identify with. At least he eventually made peace with his travails. When asked how he felt when he was finally confirmed, Thomas sarcastically replies, Whoop-de-damn-do. " Responding to a question about his famous unwillingness to engage with lawyers making arguments before the Supreme Court, Thomas explains, The referee in the game should not be a participant in the game. Sounds reasonable enough, except it flies in the face of centuries of tradition at the highest court in the land. Periodically throughout the film, his spouse, whom he lovingly describes as "a gift from God. weighs in on various topics. Her personal observations add little of substance to the proceedings, but her unwavering support for her husband comes through loud and clear. A revealing moment comes when Thomas waxes poetic about driving his motor home through Middle America — or "real America. as he calls it — and hanging out with "regular people" in Walmart parking lots. There's no danger of running into liberal elites there. A scene late in the film, showing him chatting and laughing with his personally selected law clerks, illustrates that he certainly lives up to his long-expressed position against affirmative action. The group doesn't include a single person of color. Despite its obvious lack of objectivity, Clarence Thomas: In His Own Words proves an undeniably important historical document, if only for the rare opportunity it provides to hear from its subject directly. Unfortunately, the unintentional portrait it paints is hardly a flattering one, although obviously many will disagree. Production: Manifold Productions Distributor: Blue Fox Entertainment Director/screenwriter/producer: Michael Pack Executive producer: Gina Cappo Pack Director of photography: James Callanan Editor: Faith Jones Composer: Charlie Barnett 116 min.
Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free game
Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free play. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free book. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free images. Edit Storyline Although Clarence Thomas remains a controversial figure, loved by some, reviled by others, few know much more than a few headlines and the recollections of his contentious confirmation battle with Anita Hill. Yet, the personal odyssey of Clarence Thomas is a classic American story and should be better known and understood. His life began in extreme poverty in the segregated South, and moved to the height of the legal profession, as one of the most influential justices on the Supreme Court. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words tells the Clarence Thomas story truly and fully, without cover-ups or distortions. The documentary will open in movie theaters nationally on January 31, 2020, followed by a national broadcast on PBS in May 2020. Educational use is forthcoming. Plot Summary, Add Synopsis Taglines: Unprecedented access. The story you didn't know. Motion Picture Rating ( MPAA) Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some sexual references Details Release Date: 31 January 2020 (USA) See more » Also Known As: Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Box Office Opening Weekend USA: 74, 577, 2 February 2020 Cumulative Worldwide Gross: 104, 781 See more on IMDbPro » Company Credits Technical Specs See full technical specs ».
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Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free download. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free trial. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free web. Critics Consensus No consensus yet. 29% TOMATOMETER Total Count: 14 98% Audience Score Verified Ratings: 55 Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Ratings & Reviews Explanation Tickets & Showtimes The movie doesn't seem to be playing near you. Go back Enter your location to see showtimes near you. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Videos Movie Info Although Clarence Thomas remains a controversial figure, loved by some, reviled by others, few know much more than a few headlines and the recollections of his contentious confirmation battle with Anita Hill. With unprecedented access, the producers interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia, for over 30 hours of interview time, over many months. Justice Thomas tells his entire life's story, looking directly at the camera, speaking frankly to the audience. After a brief introduction, the documentary proceeds chronologically, combining Justice Thomas' first person account with a rich array of historical archive material, period and original music, personal photos, and evocative recreations. Unscripted and without narration, the documentary takes the viewer through this complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience. Rating: NR Genre: Directed By: Written By: In Theaters: Jan 31, 2020 limited Runtime: 116 minutes Studio: Manifold Productions Cast Critic Reviews for Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Audience Reviews for Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words There are no featured audience reviews for Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words at this time. See All Audience Reviews Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words Quotes Movie & TV guides.
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Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free full. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free printable. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free movie. View photos Click here to read the full article. If you watch “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” looking for a clue as to Thomas inner workings, a key to who Clarence Thomas really is, then youll have to wait a while before it arrives. But it does. The reason it takes so long is that Thomas, dressed in a red tie, light shirt, and blue jacket (yes, his entire outfit is color-coordinated to the American flag) his graying head looking impressive and nearly statue-ready as he gazes into the camera, presents himself as a regular guy, affably growly and folksy in a casual straight-shooter way. And while I have no doubt thats an honest aspect of who he is, its also a shrewdly orchestrated tactic, a way of saying: Dont try to look for my demons — you wont find them. The revealing moment comes when Thomas recalls the 1991 Senate hearings in which he was grilled on national television as part of the Supreme Court confirmation process. Does he go back and talk about Anita Hill? Yes, he does (Ill get to that shortly) but that isnt the revealing part. Discussing Anita Hill, Thomas reveals next to nothing. His métier now is exactly what it was then: Deny, deny, deny. More from Variety Film News Roundup: Clarence Thomas Documentary to Get Theatrical Release Anita Hill's Commission Launches Entertainment Industry Survey on Sexual Harassment Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards Thomas tips his hand, though, when he recalls the moment that a senator asked if hed ever had a private conversation about Roe v. Wade. At the time, he said no — and now, 30 years later, that “no” has just gotten louder. In hindsight, hes incredulous that anyone would simply presume that hed ever had a private discussion about Roe v. Hes almost proud of how wrong they were to think so. In a Senate hearing, when you say that youve never had that kind of conversation, its in all likelihood political — a way, in this case, of keeping your beliefs about abortion ambiguous and close to the vest. A way of keeping them officially off the table. In “Created Equal, ” however, Thomas is being sincere. He has always maintained that he finds it insulting — and racist — that people would expect an African-American citizen like himself to conform to a prescribed liberal ideology. And in the same vein, he thinks its ridiculous that a Senate questioner expected him to say that hed ever spent two minutes sitting around talking about Roe v. But talk about an argument that backfires! Im not a federal judge (and the last time I checked, Ive never tried to become a Supreme Court justice) but Ive had many conversations in my life about Roe v. Why wouldnt I? Im an ordinary politically inclined American. I mean, how could you not talk about it — ever? Abortion rights, no matter where you happen to stand on them, are a defining issue of our world. And the fact that Clarence Thomas was up for the role of Supreme Court justice, and that he still views it as A-okay to say that hed never had a single discussion about Roe v. Wade, shows you where hes coming from. He has opinions and convictions. But he is, in a word, incurious. Hes a go-along-to-get-along kind of guy, a man who worked hard and achieved something and enjoyed a steady rise without ever being driven to explore things. He was a bureaucrat. Which is fine; plenty of people are. But not the people we expect to be on the Supreme Court. “Created Equal” is structured as a monologue of self-justification, a two-hour infomercial for the decency, the competence, and the conservative role-model aspirationalism of Clarence Thomas. Since he followed the 1991 Senate hearings, even in victory, by going off and licking his wounds, maintaining a public persona that was studiously recessive, theres a certain interest in “hanging out” with Thomas and taking in his cultivated self-presentation. The movie, in its public-relations heart, is right-wing boilerplate (though its mild next to the all-in-for-Trump documentary screeds of Dinesh DSouza) and there are worse ways to get to know someone like Thomas than to watch him deliver what is basically the visual version of an I-did-it-my-way audiobook memoir, with lots of news clips and photographs to illustrate his words. The first half of the movie draws you in, because its basically the story of how Thomas, born in 1948 in the rural community of Pin Point, Georgia, was raised in a penniless family who spoke the creole language of Gullah, and of how he pulled himself up by his bootstraps. After a fire left the family homeless, he and his brother went off to Savannah to live with their grandfather, an illiterate but sternly disciplined taskmaster who gave Thomas his backbone of self-reliance. He entered Conception Seminary College when he was 16, and he loved it — but in a story Thomas has often told, he left the seminary after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. when he overheard a fellow student make an ugly remark about King. Thats a telling anecdote, but theres a reason Thomas showcases it the way he does. Its his one official grand statement of racial outrage. In “Created Equal, ” he talks for two hours but says next to nothing about his feelings on the Civil Rights movement, or on what it was like to be raised in the Jim Crow South. As a student at Holy Cross, the Jesuit liberal arts college near Boston, he joined a crew of black “revolutionaries” and dressed the part in Army fatigues, but he now mocks that stage of his development, cutting right to his conservative awakening, which coalesced around the issue of busing. Thomas thought it was nuts to bus black kids from Roxbury to schools in South Boston that were every bit as bad as the ones they were already attending. And maybe he was right. Thomas, using busing and welfare as his example, decries the liberal dream as a series of idealistic engineering projects that human beings were then wedged into. There may be aspects of truth to that critique, but liberalism was also rolling up its sleeves to grapple with the agony of injustice. The philosophy that Thomas evolved had a connect-the-dots perfection to it: Treat everyone equal! Period! How easy! It certainly sounds good on paper, yet you want to ask: Couldnt one use the same logic that rejects affirmative action programs to reject anti-discrimination law? Thomas projects out from his own example: He came from nothing and made something of himself, so why cant everyone else? But he never stops to consider that he was, in fact, an unusually gifted man. His aw-shucks manner makes him likably unpretentious, but wheres his empathy for all the people who werent as talented or lucky? In “Created Equal, ” Thomas continues to treat Anita Hills testimony against him as part of a liberal smear campaign — and, therefore, as a lie. He compares himself to Tom Robinson, the railroaded black man in “To Kill a Mockingbird, ” viewing himself as a pure victim. Thomas wife, Virginia Lamp, who sat by his side at the hearings (and is interviewed in the film) stands by him today. But more than two years into the #MeToo revolution, the meaning of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill Senate testimony stands clearer than ever. It was the first time in America that a public accusation of sexual harassment shook the earth. The meaning of those hearings transcends the fight over whether one more conservative justice got to be added to the Supreme Court. Thomas now admits that he refused to withdraw his nomination less out of a desire to serve on the Supreme Court than because caving in would have been death to him. “Ive never cried uncle, ” he says, “whether I wanted to be on the Supreme Court or not. ” Its an honest confession, but a little like the Roe v. Wade thing: Where was his intellectual and moral desire to serve on the court? By then, hed been a federal judge for just 16 months, and he admits that he wasnt drawn to that job either; but he found that he liked the work. Thomas also explains why, once he had ascended to the high court, he went through a period where, famously, he didnt ask a single question at a public hearing for more than 10 years. His rationalization (“The referee in the game should not be a participant in the game”) is, more or less, nonsense. But his silence spoke volumes. It was his passive-aggressive way of turning inward, of treating an appointment he didnt truly want with anger — of coasting as a form of rebellion. It was his way of pretending to be his own man, even as he continued to play the hallowed conservative role of good soldier. Best of Variety The Best Albums of the Decade Sign up for Varietys Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. View photos.
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Story highlights High court's lone African-American justice ruled against civil rights pillar Conservative majority's decision strikes at heart of 1965 Voting Rights Act Questions about Clarence Thomas persist even after two decades on the Supreme Court Among them: Why does he condemn affirmative action if he benefited from it? He wore a black beret and Army fatigues, warned people that a revolution was coming and memorized the speeches of Malcolm X. "I now believed that the whole of American culture was irretrievably tainted by racism. he once said, describing his reaction to the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. On Tuesday, that same man helped dismantle a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, one of the pillars of the civil rights movement. If he had his way, he would bury another pillar: affirmative action. There may seem to be a contradiction between the Clarence Thomas who was the angry campus radical in the 1960s and the conservative hero who sits on the U. S. Supreme Court today. But some legal observers say Thomas sees himself as a "prophetic civil rights leader" who is still fighting for the same cause. a colorblind America. "A lot of people who are what I call professional Negros have ridden white guilt and socialism to very lucrative lives. says Holzer, who uses the term "Negro" because he says he doesn't classify people by skin color. "Thomas didn't. Holzer says. "He made a very deliberate and gutsy decision to go where his intellect and his study took him, and that's heroic. One man's hero, though, is another man's sellout. During his nearly 22 years on the nation's highest court, Thomas has been called a self-loathing "Uncle Thomas. His impact, though, cannot be ignored. His judicial opinions have transformed America. And no other contemporary Supreme Court justice has spoken with such raw emotion about race or has embodied the subject's complexities. Yet he is still a mystery to many. There are questions about Thomas that have persisted even after two decades on the Supreme Court as its lone African-American justice. Here are three of them: Question 1: Why does Thomas condemn affirmative action if he benefited from it? On Monday, the Supreme Court sidestepped a sweeping decisio n on the use of race in college admissions, throwing a Texas case back to the lower courts for further review. The high court had been asked to decide if the University of Texas violated the constitutional rights of some white applicants by considering race in the admissions process. Thomas, in issuing a concurring opinion with the 7-1 majority, left no doubt as to how he would have ruled had the court not found that lower federal courts failed to apply the appropriate standards in the Texas case. "Just as the alleged educational benefits of segregation were insufficient to justify racial discrimination then. Thomas wrote, the alleged educational benefits of diversity cannot justify racial discrimination today. 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. Thomas has consistently voted against affirmative action policies because he says they're divisive, unconstitutional and harmful to their recipients. He cites his own experience as an example. Thomas was born in poverty in rural Georgia but managed to gain admittance to Yale Law School. He acknowledges that he made it to Yale because of affirmative action but says the stigma of preferential treatment made it difficult for him to find a job after college. In his memoir, My Grandfather's Son. Thomas says he felt "tricked" by paternalistic whites at Yale who recruited black students. "I was bitter toward the white bigots whom I held responsible for the unjust treatment of blacks. he wrote, but even more bitter toward those ostensibly unprejudiced whites who pretended to side with black people while using them to further their own political and social ends. Some observers, though, counter with one question: If affirmative action is so bad for its recipients, how come you've done so well? His entire judicial philosophy is at war with his own biography. said Michael Fletcher, co-author of "Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas. He's arguably benefited from affirmative action every step of the way. For many blacks, affirmative action is "the contemporary equivalent of the Emancipation Proclamation. Fletcher explains in his book. It's one of the most important legacies of the civil rights movement. The expansion of the black middle class was driven by affirmative action policies, he says. Some blacks detest Thomas not because he's conservative, Fletcher says, but because he rules against affirmative action policies, closing the door that was opened for him. The black community has accepted conservatives as varied as Booker T. Washington, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. Many members of the community dislike Thomas for another reason. "Some say he's a traitor and hypocritical. says Fletcher, an economics correspondent with The Washington Post. Thomas first attracted public attention in the early 1980s when President Ronald Reagan asked him to lead the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which enforces federal discrimination laws. Thomas' opposition to affirmative action and criticisms of civil rights leaders during his tenure made headlines. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Thomas to the powerful U. Court of Appeals for the D. C. Circuit, a traditional steppingstone to the Supreme Court. Would Thomas have risen so far so quickly had he not been black? CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin doesn't think so. In a biting 2007 New Yorker magazine review of Thomas' memoir, Toobin wrote that Thomas had never tried a case or argued an appeal in any federal court and had never produced any scholarly work when he made the D. appeals court. "Yale and Reagan treated him the same way, but he hates one and reveres the other. Toobin wrote. "Thomas never acknowledges, much less explains, the contradiction. When Bush selected Thomas in 1991 to replace Thurgood Marshall, the court's first black justice, the questions about Thomas' qualifications intensified. Bush said he picked "the best qualified" nominee, but Thomas questioned that in his memoir, saying even he had doubts about Bush's "extravagant" claim. "There was no way I could really know what the president and his aides had been thinking when they picked me. he wrote. Thomas' defenders say his performance on the high court has removed any doubts about his qualifications. They call him the most consistent conservative on the court, a man who won't sacrifice his principles to eke out a short-term judicial victory. Holzer, author of "The Supreme Court Opinions of Clarence Thomas. says he doesn't think Thomas "benefited from affirmative action at all. Thomas' legal acumen is well-known, says Holzer, a retired law professor from Brooklyn Law School. Thomas is the court's leading "originalist. he says he interprets the Constitution based on what the framers meant, not on any partisan policy preferences. "This may be hard for Toobin to swallow. Clarence Thomas would have been appointed were he white, yellow, brown, beige, even blue or green. Scott Douglas Gerber, an Ohio Northern University law professor and author of "First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas. says Thomas is on the verge of cementing his judicial legacy with the civil rights cases before the court. Thomas' constitutional philosophy is simple, Gerber says: All Americans should be treated as individuals and not as members of a racial or ethnic group. Gerber says Thomas has ruled against the Voting Rights Act in the past because he believes that laws based on the "proportional allocation of political powers according to race" should be overturned. The Voting Rights Act is considered one of the crown jewels of the civil rights movement. Its passage, which came about after King led a dramatic campaign in Selma, Alabama, is responsible for the expansion of black political power in the last 30 years. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court's conservative majority issued a ruling that essentially strikes at the heart of the Voting Rights Act. The court voted 5-4 to limit the use of a key provision in the landmark law, in effect invalidating federal enforcement over all or parts of 15 states with a past history of voter discrimination. Thomas isn't the only Supreme Court justice whose life has been shaped by affirmative action. One of his colleagues is grateful for the role it played in her life. Sonia Sotomayor told "60 Minutes" that affirmative action helped her gain admittance to Princeton University. (She also graduated from Yale Law School. She is the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. "It was a door-opener that changed the course of my life. Sotomayor said in the January interview. Question 2: How does Thomas embrace an "originalist" view of the Constitution when the framers would have considered him a slave? A lot of originalist judges rhapsodize about the wisdom of the Constitution's framers, but Thomas approaches the Constitution with a different racial history. Blacks were enslaved by many of the founding fathers who talked about liberty and freedom. How does a black judge become an originalist when the "original intent" of the Constitution was to preserve slavery and classify slaves as three-fifths of a human being? Thomas addressed that question in part in one of his most cited opinions, a 2007 school integration case, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1. Thomas joined a conservative majority that ruled 5-4 that race cannot be a factor in assigning children to public schools. In a concurring opinion, Thomas cited one of the Supreme Court's greatest judges, John Marshall Harlan, known as the "great dissenter. Harlan issued a thunderous dissent in the notorious 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which sanctioned the separate but equal doctrine that provided the legal foundation for the brutal Jim Crow era. Plessy is considered one of the high court's lowest moments. Thomas invoked another landmark Supreme Court decision, the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared segregated schools and the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy unconstitutional. Thomas wrote in the Seattle decision: My view of the Constitution is Justice Harlan's view in Plessy: Our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. And my view was the rallying cry for the lawyers who litigated Brown. Thomas embraces an originalism that is rooted in the principles of the founders rather than their practices, wrote Hannah L. Weiner, author of an article in the Duke Law Journal on Thomas titled "The Next Great Dissenter. Weiner said Thomas believes that history will hail him as a "prophetic leader of civil rights" who honored the civil rights movement by fighting for its ultimate goal: a colorblind America. "He says the same framers who saw him as three-fifths of a man wrote the Declaration of Independence that allowed us to dream of having a President Obama in the White House. says the Post's Fletcher. Marcia Coyle, author of the "The Roberts Court. a look at the contemporary court's battle over the Constitution, says Thomas believes that Reconstruction. a brief period after the Civil War when the federal government strove to make full citizens of freed slaves. purified the Constitution. "He believes the Reconstruction amendments purged the Constitution of the taint of slavery and rendered the Constitution colorblind. says Coyle, who provides Supreme Court analysis for the "PBS NewsHour. The Reconstruction amendments are the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. They abolish slavery, empower newly freed slaves and protect their right to vote. For anyone who follows matters of race in America, the 14th Amendment is vital. The amendment, with its emphasis on equality, has become the epicenter of a fierce legal battle over what the Constitution says about race. Thomas and other conservative judges believe the 14th Amendment bans any preferential treatment of minorities because the Constitution is colorblind. It doesn't matter if a person is white, black or green, they say, dividing people up by race is unconstitutional. They cite Harlan's "colorblind" dissent in Plessy in which he invoked the 14th Amendment. Others say judges such as Thomas are engaging in clever semantics, commandeering language that was originally used to help racial minorities to argue for policies that now exclude them. Doug Kendall, founder and president of the Constitutional Accountability Center in Washington, says Thomas is a "faux" originalist who ignores the "original intent" of the 14th Amendment framers who were trying to create laws to address the legacy of slavery. "They were the first proponents of affirmative action. Kendall says of the Reconstruction amendment lawmakers. "They passed a whole series of laws that were designed to help the freed slaves realize the promise of being a full and equal citizen in the U. But Gerber, the Ohio Northern University law professor, says Thomas bases his originalist vision in the Declaration of Independence. "He knows that most of the framers were racists. says Gerber. "He rejects those personal practices but as (Abraham) Lincoln pointed out, the framers committed the nation to the idea of equality that is articulated in the Declaration. Question 3: Why doesn't Thomas follow his own advice about not playing the victim? When he worked for the Reagan administration, Thomas once told a reporter that all civil rights leaders did was "bitch, bitch, bitch, moan and moan, whine and whine. Thomas has long preached that blacks should be self-reliant and stop complaining about racism. He traces that philosophy to his childhood in Georgia, where he was raised by a stern grandfather who told him he had to "play the hand" fate dealt him. "I'd long believed that the best thing to do was to stop government-sanctioned segregation, then concentrate on education and equal employment opportunities. he wrote in his memoir. "The rest I thought would take care of itself. Yet critics say Thomas doesn't follow his own advice. They say he regularly portrays himself as a victim even though he sits on the nation's highest court. Fletcher called him "the most successful victim in America. He says Thomas holds grudges against old college classmates, black critics and "elites. He often equates his plight to that of slaves when he compares critics to "overseers" and talks about blacks who expect him to be an "intellectual slave. He has a lot of slights that he catalogs carefully throughout his life. Fletcher says. Slights against the U. Supreme Court also affect Thomas. While speaking to a bar association in Georgia in 2011, Thomas said critics of the Supreme Court's decisions were illiterate or lazy. "You don't just keep nagging and nagging and nagging. he told the Augusta Bar Association. "Sometimes, too much is too much. Thomas recently used an occasion of great joy for the black community. the election of the nation's first black president. to complain about persecution. When he was asked if he was surprised that a black man became president, he criticized the "elites" and "the media. The thing that I always knew is that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media, because anybody they didn't agree with, they would take apart. Thomas said during a C-SPAN interview at a Pittsburgh law school in April. Thomas' behavior at his confirmation hearing in 1991 soured some critics as well. When he was accused of sexual harassment, Thomas publicly told a Senate panel that he was the victim of a "high-tech lynching" reserved for uppity blacks. Thomas flashed the race card to get on the Supreme Court, says George Curry, a commentator, media coach and speaker who once placed Thomas on the cover of a now-defunct black political magazine called Emerge with the title, Uncle Thomas. He used race when it was convenient to him. Curry says. "That was designed to put an all-white panel on the defensive. Thomas, though, says it's not persecution if it's real. In his memoir, he wrote about his confirmation hearing: As a child in the Deep South, I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan; as an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along. My worst fears had come to pass not in Georgia but in Washington, D. C., where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony. Horace Cooper, an attorney and commentator, says Thomas was only telling the truth when he invoked a "high-tech lynching. He says many people haven't accepted that Thomas isn't the liberal crusader they think the successor to Marshall, the court's first black justice, should be. "The law isn't about helping oppressed and downtrodden people get justice in a system tilted against them. says Cooper, whose columns appear on, a conservative online magazine. "Justice Thomas has been reminding people that it is not the role of the court to undo unfairness but to literally use the rules: Call a strike a strike and a foul a foul. Thomas' pugnacious public image doesn't jibe with his personality, others say. He is the warmest and most accessible Supreme Court justice, they say, a man with a booming laugh who mentors young people. In a 1998 address to a group of predominantly African-American lawyers, Thomas showed a more vulnerable side. "It pains me deeply. more deeply than any of you can imagine. to be perceived by so many members of my race as doing them harm. he told the National Bar Association, the nation's largest group of lawyers, during a meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. "All the sacrifice, all the long hours of preparation were to help, not to hurt. he said. "I have come here today not in anger or to anger. Thomas' speech was greeted with scattered boos and little applause, news reports say. Thomas' latest decisions may receive the same hostile reaction from his own community. But that won't stop Thomas from issuing his fiery opinions on race, in court and out of it, some say. "It seems as if he's accepted the fact that he's out there alone and he's writing for the future, not today. says Coyle, author of "The Roberts Court. The goals of that future aren't that much different from those of the past, Thomas suggests in his memoir. At the end of his book, Thomas wrote that he was visited by Marshall, now considered a civil rights icon, in 1991 shortly after Thomas was confirmed to the court. Thomas tells him he would have marched with civil rights demonstrators if he had the courage. "I did in my time what I had to. Thomas says Marshall told him. "You have to do in your time what you have to do. Whether people agree with Thomas or not, one thing is apparent from the direction of this Supreme Court: Thomas is not so alone anymore. This is his time.
Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words. Now Residing in the Blessed Realm: Christopher Tolkien ~ The Imaginative Conservative Skip to content After his fathers death, Christopher Tolkien became the literary heir of all things Middle-earth. He quit his prestigious academic professorship at Oxford and dedicated himself fully to his fathers legacy. We are a better people and a better civilization as a result. On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the holy host of the Valar (all 14 members of that august body) welcomed and praised Christopher Tolkien as he gently passed from this Middle-earth toward the Blessed Realm, with a quick stop in Tol Eressëa. It was yet one more grievous loss to us in early 2020, and one more celebrated in the Halls of Manwë. Christopher Tolkien had led an exemplary life, one of immense piety. Hed dedicated himself to his father in mythology, to his country in wartime, and to his civilization in crisis. When J. R. Tolkien died in September 1973, he had yet to complete the grand prequel to his entire mythology, the story of the Elder Days, The Silmarillion. The failure to complete this work weighed heavily on the author as well as on his legions of admirers. Clyde Kilby, a Wheaton College professor whod spent the summer of 1966 helping Tolkien organize his manuscripts, recorded in his diary: “A letter received today (July 30) from one of my friends in New York says: ‘Were all saying prayers and lighting votive candles for the early appearance of The Silmarillion. Tell JRRT his following is no longer a cult. It is a zeitgeist. He is determining the frame of mind of a whole university generation. ” The letter writer was not incorrect, despite the tangible enthusiasm dripping from his pen. However minor a literary figure Tolkien might have been in the 1960s, he has since become a giant in terms of reputation, success, influence, and fandom. That success, in no small part, is due to his third child, Christopher. After his fathers death, Christopher became the literary heir of all things Middle-earth. “My fathers invented languages, though enormously complicated, are of more interest than the rather well-tramped field of Anglo-Saxon, ” Christopher admitted at the time. “I would like to go on to prepare the remaining material, other versions of stories in prose and poetry. ” His fathers stories and larger mythology (the legendarium) had been with him, he beautifully recalled, since childhood. “All the children were very frightened of Gollum, ” Michael and Priscilla Tolkien reported in 1974, but Christopher delighted in the character. At night, his siblings remembered, he would turn off “the lights, and rushed into the room holding two lighted torches by his eyes, and succeeded in scaring the other three out of their wits! ” As a college student, Christopher (born November 21, 1924) had proudly read out loud his fathers chapters from The Lord of the Rings —as it was being written—to the formidable literary group the Inklings, consisting of C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and others. His father had sent him each successive chapter while he served as an officer in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Still, the separation affected both men deeply. “My own third boy (of the same name Christopher) goes into the RAF in March, ” J. Tolkien wrote in a private letter. “The best of my bunch. It casts a shadow of gloom over us. ” When, in 1936 or 1937, Tolkien and C. Lewis had challenged each other to write the kind of story each liked, Lewis took the theme and setting of space, and Tolkien took the theme and setting of time. Though Tolkien never completed his, The Lost Road, what remains of the story, explains much about his intense love toward and friendship with Christopher. The Lost Road follows a father and son who reappear throughout a multitude of generations in Anglo-Saxon civilization down through the ages. “At any rate he seemed interested in the same things, and asked the same questions; though with much less inclination to words and names, and more to things and descriptions, ” Tolkien wrote in The Lost Road. “Unlike his father he could draw, but he was not good at ‘verses. ” True to life, it was Christopher, not the father, who made the best maps of Middle-earth. If one looks carefully at the map “The West of Middle-earth, ” included with The Lord of the Rings, he will see the initials of the cartographer, CJRT: Christopher John Reuel Tolkien. During the Second World War, Tolkien wrote letter after letter to his son, in addition to sending him the newly completed chapters. These letters serve as a window into the thought of the father. In them, J. details everything from his thoughts on the Catholic faith to loss to friendship to politics. In one such letter, he wrote: “My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control no whiskered men with bombs)—or to ‘unconstitutional Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants. ” In another, the father worried that America and the U. were mechanizing the world in their own materialistic image: Well! I wonder (if we survive this war) if there will be any niche, even of sufferance, left for reactionary back numbers like me (and you. The bigger things get the smaller and duller or flatter the globe gets. It is getting to be all one blasted little provincial suburb. When they have introduced American sanitation, morale-pep, feminism, and mass production throughout the Near East, Middle East, Far East, U. R., the Pampas, el Gran Chaco, the Danubian Basin, Equatorial Africa, Hither Further and Inner Mumbo-land, Gondhwanaland, Lhasa, and the villages of darkest Berkshire, how happy we shall be. If Christopher really was as reactionary as his father, we have no evidence to prove it. or deny it. The first task of Christopher—after 1973, of course—was completing The Silmarillion. “Ive had his whole opus spread out in front of me, letters, papers, essays—more than he ever had, because of the confusion his papers were in, ” Christopher explained. J. Tolkiens mythology had begun just prior to the First World War, but had found inspiration and animation in the war itself, as he struggled to remember the permanence of goodness and beauty apart from the brutality. Rarely rewriting on the same copy of a story, the father would almost always start over, thus leaving “layer upon layer” of manuscripts and ideas. He spent his final decade and a half of his life writing about the ideas that animated his stories, characters, and plots, more concerned with explaining than storytelling. “As his life went on, the mythology and poetry in my fathers work sank down behind the philosophy and the theology in it, ” Christopher noted. Christopher hired a young Canadian and future novelist, Guy Gavriel Kay, to assist him in the overwhelming task. “The initial idea had been to produce a scholarly text rather than a single narrative, ” he remembered 15 years later. “Such a book would have been some 1300 pages long, and would have consisted of chapters which had as their main text the latest version of the passage concerned, followed by appendices giving variant readings from other, earlier versions, complete with an editorial apparatus of footnotes and comments on dates and inconsistencies, and so on. ” Given Tolkiens reputation as a supreme storyteller, Mr. Kay objected profoundly to this approach, arguing that the book must find its structure in a narrative or not at all. Christopher agreed, and the two proceeded chapter by chapter, with Mr. Kay always proposing solutions to the textual problems that inevitably arose. It took roughly a year to complete the first draft, and the two men had it done by February 1, 1975. Mr. Kay “and Christopher felt like medieval monks, ” he recalled. “It was a labor of love for both of them, a time of rigorous mental discipline. ” Initial reviews by and large savaged The Silmarillion, but sales and time have proven the book a classic, equal in importance and beauty to The Lord of the Rings. Diligently and with never an expectation of profit, Christopher continued to edit his fathers unpublished works: Pictures; Unfinished Tales; The Monsters and the Critics (academic essays) History of Middle-earth (12 volumes) The Children of Húrin; The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún; The Fall of Arthur; Beowulf; Beren and Lúthien; and The Fall of Gondolin. A year ago, in the pages of the glorious American Conservative, I had this to say about Christopher, his father, and the publication of The Fall of Gondolin, the last of the three great tales of the First Age of Middle-earth. As always, Christopher offers not just the chronology but an insightful examination of why his father chose this or that, as opposed to that or this. Presumably, The Fall of Gondolin is the sons last, though not all of the fathers writings have yet seen print. Now aged 94, Christopher must be praised mightily and in every way for his service not only to his father, but, frankly, also to Western civilization. After all, it would not be too much of a stretch to compare his fathers mythology to that of Homer, Virgil, and Dante. And, it bears repeating: though J. Tolkien despised formal allegory, his created mythology, begun sometime around 1913 and still not completely finished—despite the work of father and son—reflects all of our anxieties and desires in the modern and postmodern worlds. If we speak exclusively of J. Tolkien in relation to the mythology of Middle-earth, we have created a grave error. Truly, we must properly speak of the Two Tolkiens: J. and Christopher. Much to my absolute delight, Christopher responded to my review through my good friend, the excellent Tolkien scholar and NASA engineer Carl F. Hostetter. Please will you thank Mr. Birzer for his extraordinarily — but it must be said, excessively! — generous references to my work. As I see it, I have called myself a ‘literary archaeologist. I have never been more than a discoverer, and interpreter of what I discovered. My chief underlying purpose, I incline to think, was to demonstrate the fulness and the richness of the narratives of the First Age, and to show that “The Silmarillion” was essential to the Myth. ‘One long saga of the Jewels and the Rings, my father said; ‘I was resolved to treat them as one story, however they might be issued. Well, Christopher Tolkien, no one has ever accused me of subtlety, and I can only repeat and affirm what I wrote a year ago. You were and are a great man, an exemplar of piety and scholarship. Rivaled only by your father, you understood and lived myth like few men in history. We are a better people and a better civilization because of you. You most certainly demonstrated fullness and richness—in this world and in any other. Republished with gracious permission from The American Conservative (January 2020. The Imaginative Conservative applies the principle of appreciation to the discussion of culture and politics—we approach dialogue with magnanimity rather than with mere civility. Will you help us remain a refreshing oasis in the increasingly contentious arena of modern discourse? Please consider donating now. The featured image is “Drawing, Sunset Over Hilltops, Jamaica, West Indies, August 1865” and is in the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free pdf. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free online. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free web site. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words freelance. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free software. Created equal: clarence thomas in his own words free video. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words free. It has been said that the very moment a man finds himself, he finds God. This captures the story of Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, a man of deep faith whose youthful struggles with racism caused that faith to be shaken but who later returned to it, more deeply and more resolutely because of his great character and refusal to settle for anything but truth. The new film "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words" will be released in theaters nationwide Jan. 31, exquisitely timed with Black History Month. But this is also a time of great tensions and divisions in our nation, with race continuing to be one of the main issues dividing us. Thomas published his memoir, My Grandfather's Son. in 2007, which tells the story of his journey from beginning life dirt-poor in Pinpoint, Georgia, to his confirmation as U. S. Supreme Court associate justice in 1991. Now filmmaker Michael Pack delivers Thomas' remarkable story to us in his own words, bringing to the screen exclusive interviews with Thomas and his wife, Virginia Thomas, in which they speak their minds. TRENDING: Anonymous' White House 'insider' identified and will soon be gone, says DiGenova Judge Thomas strikes a strong personal note with me because I know well what he means when he talks about being attacked for being black by not acting and saying what is expected from a black person. I was in the early days of my own work in policy activism when Democrats brought Anita Hill into Thomas' confirmation hearing. I helped organize a large group of black pastors to come to Washington from around the country and demonstrate support for him. When Branch Rickey, president and general manager of the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Jackie Robinson to be the first black in Major League Baseball, Rickey warned Robinson that he would be challenged to focus on the game and not react to the racist jeers that would come not just from the stands but from his own white teammates. "They'll taunt you and goad you. Rickey warned. "They'll do anything to make you react. They'll try to provoke a race riot in the ballpark. " Justice Thomas had to stand the same test. Except this time, it was not whites trying to drive a black man off the field. It was liberals, black liberals and white liberals, trying to drive a black conservative off the field. Thomas describes what he had to endure. Y)ou're not really black because you're not doing what we expect black people to do. " And with regard to what the left was trying to achieve with Anita Hill, he said: People should just tell the truth: This is the wrong black guy. He has to be destroyed. This circles back to Thomas' similarities with Jackie Robinson. Both men drew their strength from their deep faith to stand with integrity in the face of merciless attacks. Thomas talks about the restoration of his Catholicism after his youthful rebellion and black radicalism: I asked God, If you take anger out of my heart, I'll never hate again. Anger and hate are just other forms of slavery. Other people are controlling you. Thomas became a free man once his faith was restored. Thomas is now the most senior associate justice on the Supreme Court and has become one of America's great conservative elder statesmen. His opinions over these years have already created a legacy of finely and rigorously reasoned jurisprudence, faithful to the core principles on which America was founded. When Thomas was sworn in, after enduring what no man or woman should have to endure in his confirmation hearings, in his speech he alluded to Psalm 30, which reads: I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning. " What better way to pay tribute to America and black history than going to see this important new film.