As a newlywed nearly 17 years ago, I remember being awed by the commanding presence of Clarence Thomas as he was pilloried by the media during his Supreme Court confirmation and nearly lynched by most of the liberal members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee chambers became an abysmal three-ring sacrifice, complete with leaks (likely by members of that very committee) of allegations about Clarence Thomas as sordid as they were false. My only regret these years later is that I didn't join in with the thousands of Americans who thanked Justice Thomas for enduring a vile and thankless confirmation process. Justice Thomas, thank you for enduring. It was worth it to America.
After reading Justice Thomas' autobiography, my respect for him has grown immensely. It is beyond me to fathom how anyone can read the same book and come to a different conclusion.
It was very clear that the allegations of Anita Hill against Clarence Thomas were disgraceful fabrication. I cheered then as Clarence Thomas reminded the liberal members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 that they were participating in a high-tech lynching. I cheered again as I read those same words spoken in noble defiance nearly two decades ago. The anti-Thomas committee members knew then that they were involved in the most racist of acts, yet they bore on. They knew that they could not afford to allow an "uppity black" to take his rightful place as a member of the Supreme Court. And they nearly succeeded.
Nearly two decades later, truth has vindicated Clarence Thomas, and he has served with great distinction on the United States Supreme Court. Those who dragged his reputation through the refuse have, as far as I know, never apologized to Clarence Thomas. Howard Metzenbaum, Edward Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, and Joseph Biden are, due to their collusion in the process, unfit to be representatives of the high trust of the United States. Yet several of them are still there. And none of them have ever apologized. As I look through the forgiving eyes of Clarence Thomas, I would expect Anita Hill to issue a tearful apology for becoming a pawn in a most dangerous game. If she could only understand that it would not be embarrassing to make such an admission--it would be a relief, not only to the nation, but to herself.
In retrospect of the confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas stated:
I wasn't [their] kind of judge, or [their] kind of person. I had sworn to administer justice "faithfully and impartially." To do otherwise would be to violate my oath. That meant I had no business imposing my personal views on the country. Nor did I have the slightest intention of doing so.To this day, Clarence Thomas has done his best to keep that promise. In my opinion, he has succeeded, which is rather different from some other justices whom he served or is serving with on the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has become a man of immense grace and wisdom. He has shown the pattern for forgiveness in the face of the vilest of calumnies, something that I would likely not have been man enough to do. Will those whose unjust opprobrium was heaped like refuse upon his head ever apologize to Clarence Thomas? Not likely. But no matter. It is enough for him that those who have studied the issue from the perspective of fairness know what the true story is.
Truth always ultimately prevails. As it has in the case of Clarence Thomas.