Sunday, October 21, 2007

America's Favorite "House Nigger"

If there is one thing that has always tickled the heck out of me, it is the absolutely pathological disdain with which Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas, views affirmative action. Not just the program itself, but the people who have benefited from that program - people like himself! To hear the good judge say it, you would think that it was the worst idea in American history!

According to Uncle Thomas in his recently published memoir, My Grandfather's Son, when he received his diploma from Yale Law School, he put a "fifteen cents" sticker on it and relegated it to the basement of his home. You see, Clarence Thomas believes that it was the very existence of affirmative action that made his law degree all-but-worthless. To his way of thinking, he would have been much better off had he just pursued his dream of becoming a lawyer only on the merits of his talent and abilities and not relied on the good intentions of all those evil, white, liberal, do-gooders. In his mind, his place on the Supreme Court would today be all-the-more significant and he would be sitting on that revered bench free of the guilty conscience that obviously torments him to this very day. His place in the halls of justice would have meant so much more had all of those silly and stupid Great Society types not interfered with his ambitions.
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Question: Just where do you think Clarence Thomas would be today had it not been for affirmative action?
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Answer: He would be mounted on the front lawn of some beer distributor's home in Albany, Georgia, wearing a jockey uniform and holding a lamp.
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Malcolm X used to tell the parable of the Field Negro and the House Nigger. The Field Negro worked the plantation - worked it hard, Jack! From dawn to dusk, he would be out there breaking his back, spilling his blood, and without a single break! He was frequently subjected to savage beatings by the overseer, even for the simple offence of being too physically exhausted to carry on. Oh, he hated the Master. He hated that old bastard with a passion so deep and unbending that he would not have been able to express it in words had he tried. He had dark, vivid fantasies about ending the life of the lord of the plantation - and the lives of his wife and heirs - through an act of cold blooded murder. His only ambition was to escape his soul-destroying existence of tormented, unrelenting, physical hardship.
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The House Nigger, on the other hand, had a pretty sweet deal by comparison. He worked inside the home, setting the table, making the beds, and preparing the meals. He loved his Massah! There was nothing he wouldn't do for him. If he saw another slave committing an infraction against Massah's strict rules, he made damned good and sure that Massah found out about it to ensure that the poor bugger would be beaten silly. Whatever Massah wants, Massah gits! Yassah! When the House Nigger went to bed at night, he had nothing but sweet, contented dreams about Massah. When the Field Negro was able to get what little sleep was available to him, he dreamed only that the Master would die.
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Minister Malcolm was the modern day equivalent of the Field Negro: one who despises the sick, racist system that we're all forced to live in and dedicates his or her life to pulverizing that system to dust. To put it in Hollywood terms, when you think of the House Nigger, think of Stepin Fetchit. When you think of the Field Negro, think of Ossie Davis. That illustrates it beautifully! If the term "House Nigger" ever makes into Webster's Dictionary, it's only safe to assume that there will be a engraved etching of Clarence Thomas' utterly clueless face next to its definition.
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These disgusting, subservient Negros have become more and more visible in the last quarter of a century. Condoleeza Rice, Tony Brown and Michael Powell (Bush's Chairman of the FCC and Colin's half-witted kid) come immediately to mind. I have to believe that ideology had not a thing to do with their joining the fold. It was nothing more than cynical opportunism on their part. Let's face some serious facts here, folks: African American faces at Democratic gatherings are a dime a dozen. If a black man or woman really wants to be noticed, it has be at a gathering of Republicans. The reason is quite simple: No sane and rational person of color - in his or her right mind - could possibly support the extremist, racist policies of the kooks, criminals and fools who have hijacked that party! That is why there are so few of them "in the tent", so to speak.

A black person in the Republican camp has one hell of an opportunity to stand out - and maybe even make a little extra bread on the side (as Armstrong Williams did when he was paid a quarter of a million dollars in taxpayer cash by the current administration to promote their No Child Left Behind scam). It also gives the Great White Father the opportunity say to the rest of the world, "See? We really are the party of all the people!" It is a mutually beneficial arrangement: Quid pro quo. One hand washes the other; ya know what I mean?
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Back in 1980, the GOP had a little problem. By that stage in the game, the "Party of Lincoln" had lost all credibility with the descendants of slaves. It didn't help matters any when Ronald Reagan launched his campaign that year from the little town of Philadelphia, Mississippi - a town whose only claim to fame was the brutal murder of three civil rights workers there in the summer of 1964. (Shame on us if we ever forget their names: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner). At the time, it really didn't surprise anyone who knew the Gipper's history. After all, Ronnie's first exposure as a political figure was in 1964 when he made a nationally televised speech supporting the candidacy of Barry Goldwater. It was during this tirade of an address that he condemned the Johnson administration for the Civil Rights Act which had been passed earlier that year.

His not-too-subtle message sixteen years later in Philadelphia was as clear as a bell: "Jim Crow's gonna have a friend in my White House." The nasty little reality facing the Grand Old Party was their well deserved reputation for being the
Party of the White Man. Every television picture of every crowd at every convention always showed the same old faces: WHITE FACES. All they had to do, at the very least, was give the illusion of inclusion. Well now, just how the hell were they going to do that?
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America's House Niggers bravely came to the rescue.
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By the time the conventions of 2000 and 2004 rolled around, the crowd shots still showed almost entirely white faces. So where were all these newly recruited Black Republicans, you may ask? THEY WERE ALL UP ON THE STAGE - EVERY FREAKING ONE OF THEM!!! Oh, my goodness! That was a funny sight, indeed! It looked so much like an old time minstrel show with all of those smiling, slap-happy and pathetic Uncle Toms shufflin' 'cross the podium! I thought I was watching a tribute to Scatman Crothers:
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We got wings
'Dey got wings
All God's chil'en got wings!
All God's chil'en got wings!
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Watching this tragicomic spectacle on television, I remember thinking to myself, Just where do they find these assholes???
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In 1991, Judge Thomas scored the the ultimate affirmative action gig. Legendary Justice, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American in history to serve on the Supreme Court (in ill health and with not long to live) was retiring and George Bush the elder thought he could score some political points on both sides of the aisle. He would please the liberals by appointing another Black man, while at the same time appeasing the right wing by making sure that the Black man in question was a half-witted, reactionary darkie. He didn't have to look far to find the man who fit the bill: Clarence Thomas was there, ready to do his bidding for dear ol' Massah. What a great trick Poppy must have thought he had pulled off! One can only imagine Judge Thomas sitting in the oval office, congratulating the president on his political chicanery:
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"Hee! Hee! Oh, Mistah White Folks, you sho' is sly!!"
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Thomas' confirmation hearing, which was initially expected to sail through the senate, hit a snag early on in the process because of the disturbing accusations of a woman named Anita Hill. (We won't go into the sordid details here - Hey! Even I have standards of decency, thank you very much!) After a long and contentious fight (Thomas describing it as a "high tech lynching"), he was able to win over a few of his more timid, Democratic detractors and was then confirmed as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States of America. He has been dutifully making the lives of black people in this country miserable ever since.
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Clarence Thomas, the ultimate House Nigger, is a sad, bitter and confused man. In 1958, the year I was born, the very idea that an African American would one day sit on the Supreme Court would have been dismissed as ludicrous by even the most liberal minded person. It is because of the very policies that Thomas so despises - policies placed into law by the progressive-minded lawmakers he views with such utter contempt - that he is where he is today. The very fact that he would want to pull up the ladder that made it possible for him to climb to the pinnacle of his profession - thereby preventing other members of his oppressed race from achieving the same opportunities that he so skillfully exploited - is one of the most despicable things I have ever been forced to witness as an American citizen. No law or program is perfect and affirmative action is no exception. One of its glaring imperfections is the undeniable truth that it occasionally allows someone of mediocre ability and intellect to rise to the top of the heap. Clarence Thomas' very presence on the highest court in the land is an embarrassing testament to that truth.
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Bill Maxwell is an African American writer for the St. Petersburg Times. In an excellent and moving opinion piece that was published yesterday in the Times Herald-Record of Middletown, NY, he reminisced about his early years as a scholarly but dirt-poor black kid from the deep South and the advantages that came his way because, one fine day, some whiny, cheese-eating, latte-swirling liberal recognized his great talent as a writer and chose him to become an "affirmative action baby":
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"Thomas got into Holy Cross and Yale University Law School through affirmative action programs. I got into the University of Chicago the same way....Affirmative action had opened up this rich world to me, a young black man born into Southern poverty. I was proud to be at the University of Chicago. I wore a "U of C" sweatshirt everywhere. Clarence Thomas' diploma may be worth fifteen cents to him. My degree from the University of Chicago is priceless."
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Amen, Brother Bill. Amen.
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Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
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SUGGESTED READING:
Black Like Me
by John Howard Griffin
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Notes of a Native Son
by James Baldwin
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X
by Malcolm X (with Alex Haley)
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Nigger
by Dick Gregory

For more recent postings on this hideous, positively un-American site, kindly proceed to the link below:

"The Rant" by Tom Degan

Shameful, left wing propaganda. Oh, the humanity.

14 Comments:

At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great Blog on Clarance Thomas. Thanks again Tom for your refreshing views of reality.
Greg

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Thank you for the kind words, Greg. Much appreciated. I hope that no one objects too strenuously to my liberal use of the "N" word in this piece. It was used in the context that Malcolm X used it and I believe - especially in the case of Clarence Thomas - it greatly applies.

Peace....

Tom Degan

 
At 10:28 AM, Anonymous fearless flower said...

Tom,

Again, you've eloquently made a point that badly needed to be made.

Clarence Thomas must feel that he didn't deserve his degree and that he wasn't accepted because of his own merit. But many blacks must have benefited from affirmative action who did have merit. Wasn't that the intention of affirmative action in the first place? It seems to me that Clarence Thomas is not comfortable in his own skin and he seems to want his color to be ignored.

I believe the solution to racism is not to try to regard all races as the same but to learn to appreciate the differences. Affirmative action was needed and is still needed because racism is still a reality in this country. It's bad enough when arrogant privileged people act racist; it's double bad when a person of color supports it!

Clarence Thomas' bashing of affirmative action doesn't help matters for blacks and others who do have the ability to achieve on their own merit and just need the opportunity.

As for your use of the "N" word, anyone who knows you at all knows where you stand with black Americans. I bet they have even stronger words for this man!

 
At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Charles Moore said...

Hi Tom,
A very powerful posting and extremely to the point. The sad thing is that given his attitude, Thomas would be better as a statue holding a lantern in front of some house in Albany GA than he is on the Supreme Court. He simply does not deserve this honor and distinction.
What he needs to realize is that he is The Token on the Supreme Court; he is there not because of his qualifications (?) but because of his color.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger bloominblacksheep said...

Sad that Justice Thomas was born in a situatiom that was not to his liking, and, as I remember, quite difficult at times. But, you know? So many white, Native American, Asian, First Generation, handicapped and other children were also born with very visible difficulties, lived in poverty, and didn't have half the family concern and support that this man did. Instead, they had daily abuse in place of anything constructive. There are many adults like that, who never had the gentle influence of such a kind relative.

Nor did they have Affirmative Action. Justice Thomas is absolutely correct. Many women of his time, who were not entitled to "connections" (or refused to use them) who were white, had spent years in school, on loans, while also raising kids, only to find that while male employers wanted a "twofer", a black, female employee so they could get TWO "Affirmative Action" points. HR Departments didn't give a damn.

White women had also faced job discrimation for years, but they were not even considered. So divorced, with kids to raise, college loans to pay off, they took jobs for a pittance, and most of them are now living on nothing.

The fact is, Thomas was appointed by Daddy Bush and now the son, who is the worst President we've ever had in my nearly 70 years (and probably more) has appointed men who appear to have lied and charmed their way through their hearings, even angering the Republican Head of the Judiciary Committee. Mediocrity appears to be the watchword these days.

As for Thomas being a "token", was Thurgood Marshall? Or does it depend on the quality of the Justice, or on his decision-making capability? People can change; Justices have been known to mellow.

Thomas loves the Court; he loves his colleagues. Despite my fondness for your writing in general, Tom, I find that this chaacterization is perhaps a bit overdone.

The Court is ever in flux. there is always hope for a miracle...

 
At 11:15 AM, Anonymous myers said...

"Thomas loves the Court; he loves his colleagues."

There is a ringing endorsement if ever I heard one. I sure hope its true, because I would like to think he had at least one more qualification, other than his 15 cent sheepskin. George I picked him for cynical political purposes and then had the chutzpa to say "he was the most qualified person for the job". As the old saying goes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as the Brahmins continue on their quest, to reduce much of the citizenry to servitude, by transforming the institutions of government into functionaries of the corporate state.


"The Court is ever in flux. there is always hope for a miracle..."

Sorry, faith based politics don't fill me with much hope. Miracles would be nice but hardly a default position for anyone who cares about the constitution or what it represents. While we are on the subject of flux, I assume you are referring to the shift by George II appointments of Roberts and Alito. Alito being rubber stamped by all those "principled and courageous liberals" who voted against him, after they voted for cloture and knew he would win.

I have a brother in law who is an attorney and he and I disagree on the Judicial's virtues and abilities to prevent the oncoming tyranny. In the same way that people can't -won't accept that the Iraq war was planned, by people at the highest levels of government, long before 9/11, people deny that the judiciary has been tilted by years of purposeful ,reactionary appointments to the benches at all levels and the blocking of those who weren't, at the committee level.

No one need look further than the Bush v Gore decision to see how capricious and partisan our courts have become and how malleable the constitution is in the hands of people who don't believe in it to begin with. Having witnessed this, I realize now , even the SCOTUS for all the sanctimonious platitudes, will make decisions based on the service to the corporate state, at the expense of the individual, precedent be damned.
If that isn't enough, look at the blatant politicization of the DOJ and the kabuki like, empty,impotent, gestures of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 
At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldnt have put it better myself. Good ole Clarance "Me Too" Thomas is nothing but a spinless, vapid, shuffin' Tom from the word go! How the hell does a Black man whos the head of the Affirative Action Administration, not bring a SINGLE case to adjudication during his tenure? By being a total SELL-OUT thats how!
I wish his grandfather was still here to see whats become of him. He'd probably bitch-slap some sense into that little toady for forgeting about all the people who struggled for so long just to survive, let alone progress.
You know; some of us used to try Passing For White (if we were light enough). How the hell did HIS black ass manage it?

 
At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Dangerous Dave said...

Wow, well written. I googled "house nigger" and "Clarence Thomas" and came up with your most eloquently stated post. Masterful. It should be passed out in front of the supreme court. Amazingly enough, someone posted that he, Clarence Thomas enjoys his post at the supreme court. That is not true. Here is a quote from him from his speech at Chapman University
“There’s not much that entices about the job,” Thomas said, answering questions from the public that provided a rare glimpse of the man behind the office. “There’s no money in it, no privacy, no big houses, and from an ego standpoint, it does nothing for me.”

Thomas, 59, said the position is satisfying because he feels he’s serving the public, and he’s honored by it, “but I wouldn’t say I like it.”

“I like sports,” Thomas said. “I like to drive a motor home.”
source: http://thinkprogress.org/2007/12/20/clarence-thomas-hates-his-job/

Sigh......

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful column on Clarence Thomas (Mr. Long Dong Silver). Will definitely be bookmarking this.

 
At 1:04 AM, Anonymous Robert Wayne said...

Your bashing of Clarence Thomas sounds like what we whites, well those of us with the sense to see what the Obama Commiecrats really are, think about the white traitors who support Obama and his communist pals.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Dear Robert,

"Obama Commiecrats"?

Don't be silly, luv.

peace....

Tom Degan

 
At 7:12 PM, Anonymous Freeman said...

How cute, a white, house nigger of the Democrat Plantation Party.

 
At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Nose Job said...

Clarence Thomas must feel that he didn't deserve his degree and that he wasn't accepted because of his own merit. But many blacks must have benefited from affirmative action who did have merit. Wasn't that the intention of affirmative action in the first place? It seems to me that Clarence Thomas is not comfortable in his own skin and he seems to want his color to be ignored.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger Catharine said...

I can't even write on the topic of Clarence Thomas, because to me, he's a unicorn -- he doesn't exist. But I will say, I truly appreciate this post and its straightforward dealings with the GOP and race.

Thanks, Tom.

~A~

 

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