12 September 2008

Clarence Thomas On Racial Preference

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know how much I admire Supreme Court Justice, Clarence Thomas. I read his memoir, My Grandfather's Son, in 2 days. I believe I wrote about it here and about Thomas most recently, here.

When Clarence Thomas holds forth on anything, I pay attention. Partly, because he is smart and wise and partly because he so rarely opines on anything not related to a formal Supreme Court written opinion. This gives added emphasis to everything he says. Especially this:
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Tuesday that African-Americans are better served by colorblind programs than affirmative action.

Thomas, addressing leaders of historically black colleges, said affirmative action "has become this mantra and there almost has become this secular religiosity about it. I think it almost trumps thinking."

A longtime opponent of race-based preferences in hiring and school admissions, Thomas said, "Just from a constitutional standpoint, I think we're going to run into problems if we say the Constitution says we can consider race sometimes."

Thomas, 60, has voted on the court to outlaw the use of race in college admissions and in determining which public schools students will attend. He wrote with evident resentment in his autobiography "My Grandfather's Son" that he felt he was allowed to attend Yale Law School in the 1970s because of his race and took a tough course load to prove he was as able as his white classmates.

I think here he's referring to what President Bush called "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

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