Dem compares Clarence Thomas to an ‘Uncle Tom’ as Georgia Senate approves statue of SCOTUS justice

The Georgia Senate on Tuesday approved a proposal to place a statue of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Georgia state Capitol in Atlanta, prompting outcry from Democrats and apparent criticism from some media outlets. The Republican-led state Senate voted 32-20 along party lines to mandate a statue of Thomas, a native of Pin Point, Georgia, which is located near the city of Savannah. Senate Bill 69 will now head to the state House for further debate. Republican Sen. Ben Watson, who represents Thomas’ birthplace, sponsored the bill. JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS IS ‘OUR GREATEST LIVING AMERICAN,’ DESPITE CONSTANT ATTACKS FROM THE LEFT, AUTHOR SAYS “Clarence Thomas… has lived a life marked by tremendous achievement,” Watson told fellow senators. “This native son of Georgia deserves a place of honor and recognition on our Capitol grounds, a place where future generations of Georgians can learn valuable lessons from his legacy and gain inspiration and belief that their lofty dreams are obtainable too in America, regardless of the circumstances into which they are born.” The statue would be funded by private donations, according to Watson. In contrast to GOP support, Democrats loudly criticized the bill, arguing Thomas is too controversial to receive such an honor. One state lawmaker even suggested Thomas, the second black American ever to serve on the nation’s highest court and currently its longest-serving justice, is a traitor to his race. “I’m just trying to tell you what we have in the African American community when we talk about a person of color that goes back historically to the days of slavery and that person betraying his own community – we have a term in the Black community,” Sen. Emanuel Jones, who’s Black, said on the Georgia Senate floor while discussing the bill. “That term that we use is called ‘Uncle Tom.’ An Uncle Tom… talks about a person who back during the days of slavery sold his soul to the slave masters.” Thomas faced racial discrimination while growing up in Georgia to a poor family during the Jim Crow era. He ended up going to Yale Law School and became chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which administers and enforces civil rights laws against workplace discrimination. Generally considered one of the more conservative members of the Supreme Court, Thomas takes a textualist approach to interpreting the Constitution, trying to uphold the document’s original meaning. His approach to many issues, such as opposing affirmative action, has drawn criticism from liberals and members of some minority communities. “There’s a whole laundry list of positions that Justice Thomas has taken that I find offensive,” said Jones, adding Thomas’ rulings have “sparked outrage” among Blacks, women, and the LGBTQ community. “Sometimes, when I talk to the majority party, I say, ‘Y’all just don’t get it.'” Republicans countered that the Georgia Capitol grounds has a statue of Georgia Democrat Jimmy Carter, who served as governor before becoming president. JUSTICE CLARENCE THOMAS ‘DOESN’T CARE’ ABOUT ‘RACIST’ ATTACKS FROM THE LEFT OVER ABORTION RULING: PAOLETTA “There are citizens, probably members of this body, that take issue with his policies when he was governor or president, but we respect history,” said Sen. Jason Anavitarte, a Republican from Dallas. Beyond disagreement over his rulings, Democrats also pointed to sexual harassment allegations leveled against Thomas by Anita Hill, a lawyer who formerly worked under him. The allegations marred Thomas’ 1991 confirmation hearings. “His service is problematic,” said Sen. Nan Orrock of Atlanta. “There’s a cloud over his service… and that cloud continues today.” Early Wednesday morning, the day after the Senate vote, MSNBC tweeted, “Only one Supreme Court justice has been impeached. Clarence Thomas could be the second,” linking to a March 2022 opinion piece by MSNBC columnist Mehdi Hasan arguing why Democrats should impeach Thomas. Democrats have also criticized Thomas over records showing his wife, Ginni Thomas, sent texts urging the Trump administration to fight the results of the 2020 presidential election. Thomas later told the House committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot that she regretted sending those texts, but Democrats have argued Justice Thomas should recuse himself from election-related cases. “At minimum, this bill should be tabled until such time that Justice Thomas and his wife are cleared of collaboration in this dark chapter in our history,” said Democratic Sen. Nikki Merritt. “This is not the type of shame we want to enshrine on Capitol grounds.” DEMS CITE GINNI THOMAS, MITCH MCCONNELL AS REASONS TO IMPOSE CODE OF CONDUCT ON SUPREME COURT JUSTICES Republicans note the statue isn’t of Thomas’ wife and Thomas hasn’t been charged or indicted with any crimes. At the federal level, Democrats recently introduced a bill that would force the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct for justices, citing Ginni Thomas as one of the reasons why such a code is needed. Still, others argued Justice Thomas’ journey from living in poverty as a Black man in the segregated South to serving on the Supreme Court for over three decades deserves recognition. “It’s not controversial to honor the first black Supreme Court Justice from Georgia,” tweeted Kelly Loeffler, a former U.S. senator from Georgia. “Justice Thomas deserves a statue at our state capitol!” This is not the first time that honoring Thomas has become a point of contention. Initially, Thomas was barely included in the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. There was no showcase of Thomas’ life and career, although Anita Hill was featured prominently. Following widespread outcry over Thomas’ exclusion, the museum added a display featuring the Supreme Court justice shortly before the museum’s one-year anniversary.
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