May 18, 2011

What Thurgood Marshall said to Clarence Thomas.

"I had to do in my time what I had to do. You have to do in your time what you have to do."

And, on society's cynics:
"What monument is built for all that negativity? You are negative sometimes in order to make something better. You criticize it in a way to improve it. There are things wrong in this country that have to be improved, but you don't just keep nagging and nagging and nagging. But at some point it's got to stop. At some point too much is too much."
IN THE COMMENTS: Eric Muller said:
If I were Clarence Thomas, this is what I would tell myself Thurgood Marshall really believed about me too.

21 comments:

Lem said...

In a blistering critique of presidents Obamas decision not to defend DOMA the republican appointed Justice Thomas said.. ;)

"If law is to have any integrity, we have to give it that integrity."

PWS said...

I don't care for Thomas' jurisprudence, but I appreciate these comments.

Curious Ann that you refrained from the "civility bullshit" tag. Perhaps you don't think a call for civility was his message? Or perhaps his words altered your tagging habits?

Scott M said...

Perhaps you don't think a call for civility was his message?

Maybe it's because calls for civility are the new cries for a wolf. In other words, they've been so overused as to be nothing but easily skipped/skimmed background static.

Unfortunate, but most of what the left starts ends up that way.

PWS said...

Could be true Scott M but Thomas of course is not in that crowd and I doubt anyone on the right would accuse him of crying wolf.

Salamandyr said...

Ironic that the comments after the news article actually confirm exactly what Thomas was talking about.

Fred4Pres said...

Marshall alos said (in reference to Thomas) a snake is a snake, regardless of what color it is. That was uncalled for.

Fred4Pres said...

Thomas as been seggregated and treated as a second class citizen by the left. It is disgraceful.

Scott M said...

Thomas as been seggregated and treated as a second class citizen by the left. It is disgraceful.

Yes, but that all ended in January of 2009. We're post-racial now, didn't you know?

Eric Muller said...

If I were Clarence Thomas, this is what I would tell myself Thurgood Marshall really believed about me too.

Henry said...

@PWS -- Given that Thomas is one of the staunchest first amendment advocates out there, I think he knows the difference between civility and civility bullshit (even if he hasn't run across the latter term).

Civility is what he describes as the common experience between members of the SCOTUS. Civility bullshit is the attempt by partisans to shut other people up.

Civility bullshitters search out offensive rhetoric that they can wax indignant about. It's a propaganda play by hypocrites. Thomas does the opposite. He ignores them.

William said...

There have been many blacks whose failures and outright crimes have passed unnoticed. Coleman Young, Sharpe James, William Jefferson--there's a long list-- were not the subject of late night monologues and Sunday think pieces.....The way Thomas has lived his life indicates an honest and decent man. The way his critics go after him, year after year, quibble after quibble, does not speak well for them. The fact is that, after a while, white racist ballplayers relented in their hassling of Jackie Robinson. Not so the left in their treatment of Thomas. This proves conclusively that liberals are more bigoted than white racists.

John said...

Yeah Eric I am sure he just made it up. It is not like thomas or Marshall or real people with complex views or anything. Nope, they are just the cartoons you made up in your head.

Least deserving comment ever to get a hattip from Althouse.

Eric Muller said...

John, I didn't express doubt that Thurgood Marshall said this to Clarence Thomas. I expressed doubt that this is what Thurgood Marshall believed about Clarence Thomas.

Sometimes people say things they don't completely mean. Just a few days ago I told someone that something he'd written was "interesting," when in fact I found it pretty boring. I had reasons of professional and person courtesy for saying what I said.

If I were Clarence Thomas, and had to try to square my work and career with Thurgood Marshall's, I am sure that I'd want to believe that Marshall would approve of my choices, or at least grudgingly respect them. And I'm sure I'd use the quoted comment from Marshall to bolster that belief, all other relevant data notwithstanding.

Eric Muller said...

I meant "personal," not "person."

Ann Althouse said...

"Just a few days ago I told someone that something he'd written was "interesting," when in fact I found it pretty boring. I had reasons of professional and person courtesy for saying what I said."

See, this is why I love blogging. I can just say things that I think. When I go back into the real-life sphere and say things clearly, there are some people who love it, but a lot of people -- especially people who are vain about their writing/speaking -- really hate it.

Henry said...

"I had to do in my time what I had to do. You have to do in your time what you have to do."

That's not just two black men talking. That's two old men talking. An old Thurgood Marshall talking to the old man Clarence Thomas is now.

David said...

Any successful conservative black person is deeply subversive of the left. The shunning and attacks begin when such persons are young and vulnerable, and less able to resist the pressure. But such persons must be destroyed.

Just imagine what they are preparing for Herman Cain.

JAL said...

Herman Cain will eat their pizza.

Darleen said...

If I were Clarence Thomas, and had to try to square my work and career with Thurgood Marshall's ...

Interesting that it is Clarence Thomas who has some sort of obligation to "square his work" with Marshall's merely because of the depth of melanin of the two men.

How does that go again? That it is only Tea Party/Conservative/Republicans that are raaaaacists?

Moneyrunner said...

This is why I love the blogosphere.

Warning to Eric Mullers's acquaintances: he lies to your face, and explains why in a post on Althouse.

Too many jims said...

Fred4Pres said...
Marshall alos said (in reference to Thomas) a snake is a snake, regardless of what color it is. That was uncalled for.


Do you have a cite for where Marshall said that about Thomas?

In Marsall's press conference when leaving the Supreme Court, he was asked whether then President Bush had an obligation to name a minority. Among Marshall's comments was the statement: My dad told me way back that you can't use race. For example, there's no difference between a white snake and a black snake. They'll both bite. . . .

There is no reference to Thomas in that statement. Thomas's name is mentioned later in the comments as a potential nominee but Marshall did not call him a snake there either. Now, if you think that Thurgood Marshall is not a respectable man, then you may say: "He didn't say it but I know what he meant." That is fine, you (and others) are able to see into Marshall's soul and know what he meant aside from what his actual words were.

It is entirely possible that the LA Times edited out that piece and/or that there are other times when Marshall called Thomas a snake. But I'd like to actually see those instances, since the google does not seem to turn them up.

Until I find the quote that says Marshall made the snake reference about Thomas, my hypothesis is that white conservatives trot out the canard to discredit Marshall and black (and some white) liberals trot it out to discredit Thomas.