Politics Mondays: Justice Clarence Thomas' "My Grandfather's Son" by Armstrong Williams

Justice Thomas is releasing his much anticipated memoir about his upbringing, years of government service, the confrontational and x-rated Supreme Court hearings and his musings about today's issues.  "My Grandfather's Son" is Justice Thomas' story about his upbringing and how it can be seen throughout his life.  From what I’ve heard it should be a story to empower anyone who has been disadvantaged in life. As readers we’ll be afforded the opportunity to glimpse into the Justice’s childhood and gain some insight into his personality.

US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' upbringing was a humble one.  He grew up in Georgia with his grandparents.  In explaining the name of the book, Thomas says, "so many people throughout my life have said I was just like my grandfather."  He talks about his challenges with dialect and not having support when he went off to school.   Having grown up in the South he learned a dialect called 'Gullah' and had little exposure to the industrial world of the Northeastern United States.   Thomas reflected that, "it was easier to learn the foreign languages, which were new and distinctive, than it was to learn the standard English."  He also mentioned his father being uncertain about his attending college in New Haven, Connecticut.  However, Justice Thomas said that one of his greatest strengths, which he took from his Grandfather, was being strong-willed.   He has used his determination to get through school, and to follow a course of action even when it seemed he was all alone.  His resolve has enabled him to stand up for his beliefs or keep silent even in the face of enormous opposition, and has helped him to formulate opinions on and defend his understanding of the truth.
Many will dissect his latest testimony and come to their own conclusions about the Justice and the motivation behind his rulings on the court.  Thomas, however is the one of the humblest, sincerest, brightest and occasionally most humorous individuals I've known throughout my years in Washington, DC.  He has an excellent understanding of the law and how to make it fair and blind for all Americans.  He makes a considerable effort to interpret the law, even when it opposes his personal opinion. He has given the analogy of a person struggling in water twenty feet below and only having ten feet of rope, he says that’s how he sometimes feels with the law being the ten-foot rope and his desire being to save the person. We hear countless stories of individuals meeting Justice Thomas from the Supreme Court to the heartland of this country and coming away impressed and shocked that he's not the same person often portrayed in the press.  In the past a favorite sport among the media was to make light of his intellect and contributions to the court.  They often referred to him as a clone of Justice Scalia.  Although, with the passing of time and Thomas’ being revealed through his rulings, the elite media finally admitted that he has incredible intellect and is held in high esteem by his colleagues on the court.  I respect Thomas as an honest, decent, and courageous person in this nation.  Given his road to the Court and the past assassination of his character it's amazing that he's found peace, solitude, and total forgiveness for those that chose to demonize him for their own selfish agendas. 
Justice Thomas has a permanent appointment on the Court, which he feels is the perfect job for him.  He loves his work and is always glowing about his eight amazing colleagues on the court.  Critics will continue to draw their own conclusions about him for the next 40 years, but the fact that he wrote the book is evidence that he has found the peace and solitude that he has always searched for in his life.  The hardships he faced have made him fully cognizant of race and the double standards that still permeate this country.  For this reason he makes it a priority to spend time with Black youths in an effort to encourage them.   In his wife, Ginni, and the Supreme Court, where he considers it a privilege to serve, Justice Clarence Thomas reports that he has found comfort and support, which enables him to provide hope for anyone who has faced the harshest of obstacles as he did growing up in America. ‘My Grandfather’s Son’ is certain to be a fascinating read.

Note: Armstrong Williams can be contacted via e-mail at: arightside@aol.com. Visit him at www.armstrongwilliams.com

Armstrong Williams

Monday, October 1, 2007