Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By John Grimaldi
AMAC 

National African American Museum Ignores Justice Clarence Thomas, Honors Anita Hill Instead

Black history museum shows a bias against black Conservatives, says AMAC 'Distinguished Justice Clarence Thomas ignored'

 

October 18, 2016

The only part of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' career on display at the Smithsonian's new African-American museum is the sexual harassment allegation against him.

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 14 - This year marks the 25th anniversary of Clarence Thomas' appointment to the Supreme Court and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened last month in Washington, has seen fit to "honor" the jurist by completely ignoring the event and Thomas, himself.

Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, calls the museum's "snub" a deliberate insult. "What else can it be when a prestigious institution dedicated to telling the story of America's black heritage ignores the accomplishments of such a distinguished jurist-the longest serving black justice in our country's history. The life and times of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American appointed to the court is on display. There's even a tribute to Anita Hill, the woman who sought to smear Thomas at his confirmation hearings in 1991. But there was no room for Justice Thomas."

The irony of dismissing Thomas in the very place where he should be celebrated for his personal and professional accomplishments has implications, says Weber. "When a role model such as Thomas is given short-shrift in a museum allegedly dedicated to uplifting black men and women of accomplishment, it suggests a genuine bias against Conservative principles is flourishing in the nation's capital. Apparently all black people were not created equal in the eyes of the museum's curators."

Washington D.C.'s Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture only includes two references to the nation's second black Supreme Court Justice - and they're both in a part of the museum dedicated to Anita Hill, whose testimony opened a national discussion about sexual harassment and paved the way for greater rights for victims, Circa reported.

Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton is decidedly critical of Justice Thomas. Earlier this week she disparaged the judge saying "he has spent the last 25 years on the court protecting barriers and putting up new ones designed to stifle blacks and other minorities." Yet, even she indicated disappointment that he was not honored by the black history museum. "Like it or not," she noted in the same column, "Thomas is an historical icon. He deserves a prominent spot. If this acclaimed museum is to tell the true story of the African-American journey, it cannot sugarcoat the course."

Weber says the venerable Smithsonian Institution created the museum and needs to disavow political preferences in favor of historical accuracy. The Smithsonian should rethink its mission and make room for Clarence Thomas who, as his longtime friend Mark Paoletta points out, is guilty only of having his own views.

"Thomas believes that the country was founded on the principle that individuals have rights, not societies, associations or any other such groups. Paoletta says that the justice is a man who opposes racial preferences and was banished from Washington's new Pantheon of black history for that reason," Weber concludes.

 

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