Civil Rights

To Cite a Mockingbird

|

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' autobiography is out. Titled My Grandfather's Son, the memoir goes over Thomas' hotly contested confirmation battle. A snippet from a Wash Post article:

In Thomas's eyes, he is both Richard Wright's tragic Bigger Thomas in "Native Son" and Harper Lee's doomed Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird," two of the most powerful portrayals of racial division in American literature. Lee's Pulitzer-Prize winning novel is set in the Deep South of the 1930s and features a courageous white lawyer, Atticus Finch (played in real life by former Sen. John Danforth in Thomas's rendering), who defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman.

Post writer Kevin Merida cites Edith Efron's 1992 reason article about Thomas, "Native Son: Why a black supreme court justice has no rights a white man need respect," which was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, the industry's highest honor, and remains an indispensable key to understanding Thomas' mindset (Thomas himself has said as much).

Merida's Wash Post article is online here.

reason's 1987 interview with Thomas, then head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, here.

Why Thomas is the most interesting sitting justice here.

Thomas as one of reason's 35 Heroes of Freedom here.

Obligatory Long Dong Silver joke here.

And just to get things going: Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature? It's well-drawn and all that, but its message of racial tolerance was hardly path-breaking in the year of its publication (1960) and its final lapse into the old white trash cliche of incest is really lame.

NEXT: Bill Clinton is 78 Years Old

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature?

    Thank you.

  2. Ive never read anything else by Truman Capote, are all his works like that?

  3. I liked the novel and the movie.

  4. that would be Harper Lee, Capote’s idiot inbred southern cousin…

  5. To kill a Mockingbird
    Was written by Harper Lee. A life long friend of Capote. The character Dill is based on her remembrance of the young Truman.

    Nick,
    You fawn of over Gatsby and defile Mockingbird? I’m loosing respect for your literary critique.

  6. A better title would have been: “Pulling the Ladder Up Behind Me”.

  7. Thomas should have just kept his mouth shut.

    They country had pretty much forgotten about Anita Hill, and the people who did remember have a vague recollection of where the dispute stood at the time of his confirmation – as a he said/she said disagreement that seemed to be settled in his favor, because he was eventually confirmed.

    Now it’s all going to come back out – including the other women who came forward with similar staories, “Strange Justice,” David Brock – the whole deal.

  8. “A better title would have been: “Pulling the Ladder Up Behind Me”.”

    That is right because no black man ever got ahead without a hand up from whitey. If Thomas has the power to “pull the ladder up behind him” for an entire race of people, then maybe the racists are on to something. Since I don’t believe the racists, I will just call bullshit on that.

    That Ephron article was amazing. That is probably the best article I have ever read in Reason and one of the best pieces I have ever read anywhere.

  9. Dadiodayy, Warren,

    While its probably not true, you do realize that there have been accusations that Capote ghost wrote Mockingbird? Im not making jokes in a vacuum am I? Surely that conspiracy theory isnt too obscure for Reason?

  10. Er, isn’t robc’s comment about Truman Capote supposed to be a clever reference to the fact that many believe Capote ghostwrote the book? That’s what I thought it was, and I thought it was amusing enough.

  11. OK, so robc just spoke for himself. There ya go.

  12. Thanks Tom – I like to know that someone understands the stuff I post.

  13. It’s well-drawn and all that, but it’s message of racial tolerance was hardly path-breaking in the year of its publication (1960) and its final lapse into the old white trash cliche of incest is really lame.

    Yeah, man, racial tolerance and denouncing intsitutional racism in the South was so passe in 1960, four years before the Civil Rights Act passed.

  14. “Thomas should have just kept his mouth shut.

    They country had pretty much forgotten about Anita Hill, and the people who did remember have a vague recollection of where the dispute stood at the time of his confirmation – as a he said/she said disagreement that seemed to be settled in his favor, because he was eventually confirmed.”

    Yeah right Joe. He should jut let people like you slander him and never say anything. He has no right to defend himself. Further, we found out in the 1990s after Clinton, that the people who accused Thomas didn’t believe or care about what Anita Hill said either. It is funny to look back at how quant the allegations against Thomas were, basically creepy passes made at a co-worker, versus Clinton using the Arkansas highway patrol to scam women for him as governor, getting blowjobs from a 20 something intern in the Whitehouse and then when it came to light telling Sydney Blumenthal to paint her in the media as a stalker, even though he knew she was telling the truth. Had it not been for the famous stained dress, I am sure Blumenthal would have succeeded and Monica Lewinsky would have been thoroughly and effectively slandered as a crazed stalker and nutcase, even though she was telling the truth. Yeah, maybe that was all private life for Bill Clinton and had nothing to do with his fitness to serve. But whatever it was, anyone who defended Clinton in the 1990s, needs to shut the hell up about Anita Hill and Clearance Thomas.

  15. To Kill a mockingbird is about racial tolerance but it’s really about an individual (Atticus) standing up to the crowd and fighting for what he believes in, as seen though his children’s naive eyes. If that’s not up reason’s alley then what is?

  16. Tom,

    I thought the claim that Capote had written it had been put to rest a year or so ago?

  17. Wow, John, are you going to look like an ass in a month.

    He must have been slandered, because…uh…something about Bill Clinton.

    Look over there! Bill Clinton! I hate feminists!

    That means Clarence Thomas didn’t do anything wrong, and the Republican Noise Machine wasn’t complicit in putting a perjurer on the Supreme Court.

    Bill Clinton! Arkansas Highway Patrol! Froth froth, fall over like John Belushi!

  18. Quick, John, call me a terrible person because Clarence Thomas is black.

    It’s really your last redoubt.

  19. I missed my required “To Kill a Mockingbird” reading in high school when they moved me to a higher-level English class mid-year.

    Therefore, I may be the only person in the U.S. who’s never read it. I suppose I should read it, but then I loose that snazzy distinction.

  20. John,

    What does Clinton have to do with this again?

  21. We have to get Janice Rogers on the Court. Two
    black libs on the court? What a country!

  22. I love it when you have no response Joe. The people who were so concerned about Hill’s allegation against Thomas went on to tell the world that what Bill Clinton did was just a “private matter” even though it was 100 times worse than anything Clinton had been accused of. The truth is they didn’t care about Hill or believe her, they just wanted to smear Thomas and their subsequent behavior proved it. As far as “perjurer” on the Supreme Court. First, there is no evidence of that. Second, you don’t seem to have a problem with a known perjurer who admitted as much to the Arkansas bar remaining President until the end of his term, so you don’t really have a lot of credibility on the matter. I can’t believe you are dumb enough to claim Thomas is a perjurer in a conversation about Clinton.

  23. The Bill Clinton thing is pretty relevant. It makes some people you like seem hypocritical, joe, but that does not mean it is misdirection. It just means you need to face your own hypocrisy more honestly on the issue of sex harrassment in the workplace.

  24. You’re yammering about Bill Clinton and some unnamed “people,” and accusing me of having no response? That’s a larf.

    Here’s a response: stop jacking the thread, John. Do you really thing the people reading this don’t understand exactly what you’re trying to do?

  25. “John,

    What does Clinton have to do with this again?”

    Because the very same people who claimed that what Thomas was accused of in 1991 was the end all be all went on to defend Clinton in the 1990s. The bottom-line is with the Clinton era, sexual harassment died as a public crime. Yeah, some schmuck working for corporate America can get nailed but not politicians. The conclusion from the Clinton era is that is doesn’t matter if you are harassing women and sleeping with interns and then trying to smear them when they come forward. In light of those facts, the Hill claim against Thomas becomes a relic of a more innocent age I guess. We learned in the 1990s that sexual harassment just doesn’t matter.

  26. Dave,

    Perhaps you posted on the wrong thread, because the subject of this thread is not “joe is a hypocrite.” The subject of this thread is not Bill Clinton. The subject of this thread is not “liberal political activists engage in political activism for liberal causes.”

    The subject of this thread is Clarence Thomas.

    I’d want to change the subject too, if I were you.

  27. I will put it in simple terms Joe. You can’t claim that Thomas is unfit for the Supreme Court because he asked Anita Hill out on a date and made a Long Dong Silver joke in one breath and then in the next breath claim that Bill Clinton getting blow jobs in the oval office is a private matter and doesn’t effect his fitness for office. So which is it?

  28. John,

    Because the very same people who claimed that what Thomas was accused of in 1991 was the end all be all went on to defend Clinton in the 1990s.

    Perhaps. But so what? That doesn’t seem to have much resonance in a discussion about Thomas. Now if it were a discussion about partisanship…

  29. Because the very same people who claimed that what Thomas was accused of in 1991 was the end all be all went on to defend Clinton in the 1990s.

    Oh, well, in that case, then I guess there really aren’t several women who backed up Anita Hill’s story. I guess “Strange Justice” didn’t evicerate the case against Professor Hill. I guess David Brock didn’t admit to making up that case in “The Real Anita Hill.” I guess Clarence Thomas really is a first-rate individual who was truthful in his Senate testimony.

    Because Bill Clinton blah blah blah blah.

    Hey, Look Over There!

  30. The title of the book is My Grandfather’s Son”, not ‘my grandfather’

    And John, I agree with your final point re: joe’s comment…. but isnt your equally morbid fascination with Clinton just as gay as the tarnishing of Thomas’ reputation?

    Your point may be that there’s more actual substance to clinton allegations… but you arent really undermining the idea that rumor and character assasination is political Fair Game, to use Rove’s words. I was as disgusted with the whole congressional Blowjob-investigation as much as I was with Clinton himself.

    Har. I actually originally typed “I was as disgusted with the blowjob investigators as much as I was the recipient”. Then I reread it and laughed.

  31. The Thomas nomination proved the pointlessness of the whole confirmation hearing procedure. For all of the rhetoric, time and money expended on the hearings, they never did manage to figure out who put that pubic hair on his coke.

  32. You can’t claim that Thomas is unfit for the Supreme Court because he asked Anita Hill out on a date and made a Long Dong Silver joke in one breath and then in the next breath claim that Bill Clinton getting blow jobs in the oval office is a private matter and doesn’t effect his fitness for office.

    Ah, John. The issue of the woman’s consent just never enters into you righties’ thinking on this issue, does it?

  33. Joe,

    You can’t talk about Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill without seeing it in the light of subsequent history. The subsequent history in the 1990s showed that sexual harassment just wasn’t that much of a crime, at least according to Hill’s biggest defenders. In light of what happened in the 1990s, I don’t see how anyone can argue that Hill’s accusations against Thomas, even if true, disqualified him from anything.

  34. Anyway…

    I’m not quite sure how to respond to this statement:

    In Thomas’s eyes, he is both Richard Wright’s tragic Bigger Thomas in “Native Son” and Harper Lee’s doomed Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” two of the most powerful portrayals of racial division in American literature.

  35. Is Thomas a libertarian?

    About as much as a Federal Judge can be.
    He isn’t a colloidal silver drinking, 9/11 truther, militant atheist, dopertarian so he might not quite pass the H&R commenter purity test.

  36. You can’t talk about Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill without seeing it in the light of subsequent history.

    No, John. YOU can’t. I can look at that case on its own terms just fine.

    If you were less of a partisan, you wouldn’t respond to every story that makes a Republican look back with a patholotical need to find a similar charge to level against a Democrat.

    In light of what happened in the 1990s, I don’t see how anyone can argue that Hill’s accusations against Thomas, even if true, disqualified him from anything.

    And this is why you JUST DON’T GET IT. You see a case of a woman being harrassed by her boss over a long period of time, and a case of a woman pursuing and having a sexual relationship with her boss, and you think they’re the same thing.

  37. “Your point may be that there’s more actual substance to clinton allegations… but you arent really undermining the idea that rumor and character assasination is political Fair Game, to use Rove’s words. I was as disgusted with the whole congressional Blowjob-investigation as much as I was with Clinton himself.

    Har. I actually originally typed “I was as disgusted with the blowjob investigators as much as I was the recipient”. Then I reread it and laughed.”

    Honestly, and I can say that I though this at the time, the Clinton thing was blown out of proportion. I think the sexual harassment law is completely unfair and the Paula suit should have never been allowed. I think at least with regard to Lewinski, Clinton got a raw deal, but I think Thomas did to and thought so at the time. The upshot of the Lewinski affair is that it showed how ridiculous sexual harassment laws in this country are and it put Hill’s accusation in some real needed context. Both issues should be dead. Clinton’s scandals with women and his defender’s reactions to them, should have killed any talk of Anita Hill’s accusations being relevant to Thomas’s fitness to serve on the court.

  38. I don’t see how anyone can argue that Hill’s accusations against Thomas, even if true, disqualified him from anything.

    Backtracking on the “slander” charge?

    Good idea. Best to start hedging your bets now, crawfish.

  39. c’mon joe, not everyone lives to be as old as Alan Greenspan. I mean, the guy should be allowed to write his memoirs before he kicks. Do you think it’s Thomas who’s highlighting the Hill portions of his memoirs, or is it the media?

  40. BTW, the 1992 article is well worth reading. A lot of it probably concerns stuff many of us have thought before about the Thomas hearing process, etc., but there are number of things I’ve at least never considered.

  41. I am backtracking at all. I found Anita Hill to be utterly uncredible, but you seem to beleive her. Fine, even if she was telling the truth, you can’t defend her and then also defend Clinton.

  42. MP,

    Thomas could have elided that portion when he wrote his memoirs, but he decided that he was going to take the opportunity ferociously re-argue the case, complete with all the race-card pleading he showed back at the hearings.

    He reopened the door.

  43. SIV,

    He isn’t a colloidal silver drinking, 9/11 truther, militant atheist, dopertarian so he might not quite pass the H&R commenter purity test.

    What do you think of Thomas’ opinions (majority or dissents) on the Court’s Fourth Amendment cases?

  44. “He reopened the door.”

    And after the Clinton era, he doesn’t have one political opponent who can say one word without looking like a complete hypocrite. That is why Clinton is relevant when talking about Thomas.

  45. I am backtracking at all. Good, because I want to be able to rub your face in it as Thomas’s story is publicly demolished over the next month. It’s going to be fun watching you people turn into the anti-feminist version of the Alger Hiss defenders.

    I found Anita Hill to be utterly uncredible, but you seem to beleive her. Yup, and I was fucking right. The facts are on my side, the evidence was on my side, and now the whole world is going to be reminded of that.

    Fine, even if she was telling the truth, you can’t defend her and then also defend Clinton. Nope, you can’t. Unless you have that irritating liberal habit of treating the woman’s consent of lack thereof as a relevant detail to consider.

  46. Thomas could have elided that portion when he wrote his memoirs

    It was a pretty significant event in his life. I don’t see why he should simply gloss over it.

    You said “he should have just kept his mouth shut”. It just seems to be a silly thing to say regarding the inclusion within a memoir of a discussion about a significant event in one’s life. In fact, of all the places for Thomas to discuss it, his memoirs are the most logical place for that discussion to occur.

  47. yeah i don’t see the capote connection with to kill a mockingbird…their styles are wildly different.

  48. MP,

    I don’t see why he should simply gloss over it.

    Well, watch the news over the next month. He should have glossed over it, because he was lying about it, and he and his allies managed to get the lie adopted as the conventional wisdom.

    And now it’s going to be dug up and re-examined, and the truth is gcoming out at last.

  49. yeah i don’t see the capote connection with to kill a mockingbird…their styles are wildly different.

    [conspiracy mode]
    That shows just how talented Capote is.
    [/conspiracy mode]

  50. Truman Capote was an immensely talented writer who could produce a novel in a completely different voice from his own, if he wished.

    He was known as a light, comic authoer before “In Cold Blood.”

  51. “Fine, even if she was telling the truth, you can’t defend her and then also defend Clinton. Nope, you can’t. Unless you have that irritating liberal habit of treating the woman’s consent of lack thereof as a relevant detail to consider.”

    I guess Paula Jones asking Bill Clinton to drop his pants and Monica Lewinski asked to be portrayed as a deranged stalker. You are really funny Joe. If Clearance Thomas had been accused of half of the things Bill Clinton was, he might have ended up in jail and certainly wouldn’t have nominated much less confirmed. You once again show yourself utterly without any sense of self awareness or ability to critique your own side. Someone could write a PhD dissertation on you and your political psychology.

  52. joe, John, get a room guys!!

  53. I found Anita Hill to be utterly uncredible, but you seem to beleive her. Yup, and I was fucking right. The facts are on my side, the evidence was on my side, and now the whole world is going to be reminded of that.

    ‘Cause David Brock said so…….
    Those are your “facts”, right joe?
    The hole hitjob was about abortion and Thomas overcame the pathetic attempt and is a Supreme Court Justice. Anita Hill got her payoff and is a tenured Women’s Studies Professor at Brandeis.

  54. Well, watch the news over the next month. He should have glossed over it, because he was lying about it, and he and his allies managed to get the lie adopted as the conventional wisdom.

    So when should you write about a political hot potato in your memoir? When your dead? Or never, because others might get their panties in a wad? It’s is memoir. How people might react to it should not be a concern.

  55. . . . The issue of the woman’s consent just never enters into you righties’ thinking on this issue, does it?

    Not that I am a rightie, but:

    1. Paula Jones.

    2. Even with Lewinsky, you can’t consent to quid pro quo harrassment.

    The concept of “consent” doesn’t diminish your hypocrisy on this issue. I don’t usually agree with John about much, but he pretty much nails it on this one.

  56. “So when should you write about a political hot potato in your memoir? When your dead? Or never, because others might get their panties in a wad? It’s is memoir. How people might react to it should not be a concern.”

    Nor should you not defend yourself against such accusations. Had Thomas not said anything, Joe would be on here telling us how Thomas has now admitted guilt by not talking about Hill. He denies it and Joe tells how he should just shut up. Heads Joe wins, tails Thomas loses. He had to talk about the Hill allegation in his memoirs. The only people who have a problem with that are people like Joe who are convinced that everyone in public office not on his side are evil.

  57. joe, i would disagree, having read everything that little dude ever wrote. capote and lee were childhood friends, creating routines together and whatnot. but capote’s voice is capote’s voice, and it is unmistakable from other voices, other rooms to in cold blood to his reporting and celebrity profiles and even his unfinished final novel.

    it is not the voice of to kill a mockingbird, which is far more flat and narrative-driven rather than being personality driven.

    the kicker for me is capote’s egoism, which was pretty rampant and full-fledged even early in life – without lee, he can’t write in cold blood because no one in that small town would trust the flamboyant oddity. lee never got a lot of credit for that, and especially after the whole pulitzer prize thing i find it hard to believe capote would keep his mouth shut about what he would have felt was a pretty serious personal injustice.

  58. Nick,

    As a children’s book about facing up to the assholes in the world, I think it is an excellent work. I’m a little young to make an assertive judgment, but I think that white trash incest wasn’t quite a tired theme by 1960. In this instance, it served to further indict the motives behind the racism.

    As an enduring adult insight into racism and anti-racism of the 1930’s, I’d have to agree with you. That’s just not the lens through which I look at it.

  59. dhex,

    Didn’t a letter recently surface in which Capote mentioned Lee’s book but took no credit for it? That is a letter written prior to publication?

  60. When you start talking about how funny or amazing I am, John, it usually means you have no argument.

    I guess Paula Jones asking Bill Clinton to drop his pants Assuming Jones was telling the truth, her case would be a less serious example of sexual harrassment, as Clinton stopped when she expressed discomfort and never bothered her again. As opposed to Hill’s case, which involved constant, repeated behavior over a period of time.

    …and Monica Lewinski asked to be portrayed as a deranged stalker. Has nothing to do with sexual harrassment, even if your characterization was accurate.

    If Clearance Thomas had been accused of half of the things Bill Clinton was, he might have ended up in jail and certainly wouldn’t have nominated much less confirmed.

    Bill Clinton was accused of a lot of things. Some of us actually allow evidence and facts to enter into our judgement.

  61. I liked Edith Efron back in the day, but her article on Thomas is seriously over the top. She talks a great deal about racism, but then it turns out that she meant the Republicans were racist in their handling of Thomas’ nomination.

    As for Anita Hill, Efron says “Anita Hill simply made a group of empty generalizations or recited a list of subjects that one can find in library card catalogs, in dictionaries, in encyclopedias, in articles, in monographs, and in books.” No, she said Clarence Thomas talked dirty to me. Thomas could have said, yes, I was divorced and unhappy and I behaved badly. But I never threatened her or took any hostile action towards her. Hill’s charges then could have been discarded as a trivial personal attack, which in fact is what they were.

    Instead, in my opinion, Thomas lied. If the Republicans on the committee felt that Hill was lying, why didn’t they demand that she be indicted for perjury? Why didn’t Thomas? I think Thomas lied under oath, which is not a good recommendation for a Supreme Court justice, but, after all, Renquist got away with it too.

    And, yes, “To Kill A Mockingbird” isn’t so hot. But how about “Native Son”? How easy is it to accidentally suffocate someone? And if you did accidentally suffocate someone, would you really burn the corpse? Bigger Thomas was accused of raping and murdering a white girl, and he was innocent, and Clarence Thomas was accused of talking dirty to a black girl–not a crime, but something he did, in my opinion. And, in my opinion, there’s quie a difference between the fate of Bigger and that of Clarence.

  62. robc,
    I forgot about the ghost writing theory.

    Re:Anita Hill,
    She is the most grotesque transparent liar I’ve ever seen. I consider Thomas’ confirmation hearings the darkest moment for congress since the McCarthy era. It still astounds me as to how anyone can credit that woman.

  63. Taktix,

    Nope, there’s two of us out here. I never read To Kill a Mockingbird either. I think I was stoned that week… month… most of high school. Somehow, the assigned reading from English class never seems nearly as interesting as Voltron when you’re baked. Oh, yeah, and all the teachers who claim they can tell if you use Cliff Notes? They can’t.

    And Clarence Thomas is still the most consistently thoughtful sitting Justice, despite his past behavior that may or may not have occurred.

  64. SIV,

    Watch the news over the next month, if you are interested in the facts. I suspect they will get a decent amount of coverage. But knowing you as I do, I don’t think you care about the facts.

    MP,

    So when should you write about a political hot potato in your memoir? When your good name doesn’t depend on burying the truth about that hot potato.

    John,

    Once again, you just argued that my position is wrong and an expression of partisan bias, based on the proposition “joe is a biased partisan, so he must be wrong.” You do that a lot.

    I keep writing about how confident I am about the facts coming out about Thomas, and you keep writing about…er…Bill Clinton, and me.

  65. dhex,

    I’m not saying Capote wrote the book, just that he had the talen to do so and not leave fingerprints in the authorial style.

  66. Didn’t a letter recently surface in which Capote mentioned Lee’s book but took no credit for it?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5244492

    the letter was from ’58 or ’59 iirc. mockingbird was published in ’60.

  67. joe: talent, yes. personality? no.

    some authors have a voice that is deeply consistent and persistent. some of them match that with an ego that all the gin and quaaludes in the world can’t quite drown.

  68. BTW, as the facts do come out over the next month, John and SIV are going to tell us that only biased, racist, partisan Democrats would believe them, because they are being reported on CNN, the three major networks’ news stories, and in major newspapers.

    Faux News and the Washington Times will run denialist stories, and who knows what’s true? It’s all so muddied. “Why can’t you just be fair and balanced, joe, and admit that there are two sides to the stories?”

  69. joe,

    I’m not on the liberal listserv so could you tell us what the “facts” are?
    (or direct me to the lefty blog where this is)
    The only thing I could imagine would have any relevance would be credible charges of harassment since Thomas’s confirmation.

  70. You’ve got a point there, dhex.

  71. dhex,

    Thanks. I also don’t see Capote holding back once the book took off.

  72. SIV,

    Several other women, some of whom came forward during Thomas’s hearings but didn’t want to go public, have reported similar stories about his behavior. This is covered in a book that came out a few years ago, titled “Strange Justiice.”

  73. dhex,

    Who is your favorite Southern author?

  74. SIV,

    Of course, my favorite fact is that the clerk at the video store in Thomas’s neighborhood reported, during the hearings, that Thomas was such a regular renter of p0rn that he was on a first-name basis with him…

    …which he told a newspaper after Thomas denied that he had ever rented p0rn. Under oath. Before the Senate.

    The man lied. The man made a habit of harrassing women who worked for him. And the Republican Noise Machine set out to the ruin the life of an innocent woman, because she told the truth about him.

  75. dhex,

    For me it is Walker Percy.

  76. In Joe world Anita is the absolute bearer of truth and there is all of these “facts” that are going to come out now. These facts have apparently been hiding for the last 16 years. I guess no one bothered to look because the Thomas Hill saga just wasn’t a big enough story. Not like it made the papers or anything. But Paula Jones is obviously a liar and nothing she said can be trusted. I, on the other hand, don’t believe either one of them to such a degree worthy of disqualifying a person from public office based on their accusations. Since there is no way to tell beyond one person’s word against another what happened, both Thomas and Clinton should have received the benefit of the doubt. But what do I know? I am a Republican partisan.

  77. “Of course, my favorite fact is that the clerk at the video store in Thomas’s neighborhood reported, during the hearings, that Thomas was such a regular renter of p0rn that he was on a first-name basis with him…”

    Yeah that is not a total invastion of privacy or anything. Thank God, you just post on the internet and aren’t in any position of authority Joe. I think you could be downright dangerous given the opportunity. “He watches porn lets get him!!” Further, who is to say the clerk didn’t lie? He wasn’t under oath. You really would convict someone of purjury based on a second hand account by someone who may or may not have an axe to grind that wasn’t even under oath? Oh your real fair.

  78. SIV,

    He isn’t a colloidal silver drinking, 9/11 truther, militant atheist, dopertarian so he might not quite pass the H&R commenter purity test.

    What do you think of Thomas’ opinions (majority or dissents) on the Court’s Fourth Amendment cases?

  79. joe, John: you are boring.

  80. I don’t doubt that Thomas likes the women and probably skirted the line, but I’ve never been very impressed with the accusations and innuendo against him. The idea that a senior official at the EEOC wouldn’t know how to deal with someone harassing her and wouldn’t do it on principle is quite unlikely. The whole thing smelled of political hatchet job from the beginning, though I expect that there was at least some fire with the smoke. Who knows? Lies were told by most if not all involved. I’m curious (meaning I don’t know the answer), was there ever a civil action brought against Thomas?

    On the video records point, the Congress passed a law restricting access to those after the Bork hearings. I think they got scared that reporters would find out just what kind of sick porn your average Congressperson enjoys.

  81. These facts have apparently been hiding for the last 16 years.

    Actually, they already came out, in the years following Thomas’s confirmation. You just made a point not to notice them, because you’re a Republican partisan, and since the story was over, they weren’t shoved in front of you face. The way they’re about to be.

    And just to make you feel better, John, no one noticed that you ignored the point about the clerk contradicting Thomas’s sworn testimony, and erected a straw man about his “privacy” and me being anti-p0rn..

    No one noticed you doing that. At all.

  82. Pro Libertate,

    The idea that an ambitious woman would avoid rocking the boat in the old boy network isn’t difficult for me to believe at all.

  83. I dont know if anybody saw the interview with Thomas on 60 mins last night, but I liked the shit out of the guy. He was candid almost to a fault. He mainly seemed frustrated that no one will let him live as a principled individual, without being a political animal. He is both proud of being black and also sick to death of people who can only perceive him through that lens. A quote he made was, “I’m black the same way I’m 5’8″. So what? Does that have something to do with how I should think or act?”

    His view of the Anita Hill thing was extremely clear = “It was about Abortion”. ie. people believed he was cherry-picked to sabotage Roe v Wade, so they went after him with a bunch of garbage to try and find a reason not to confirm. I buy it. It’s more plausible than anything else I’ve heard.

    Steve Croft seemed taken aback by this reading.. which goes to show how naive even experienced journalists are.

  84. “And just to make you feel better, John, no one noticed that you ignored the point about the clerk contradicting Thomas’s sworn testimony, and erected a straw man about his “privacy” and me being anti-p0rn..”

    You didn’t notice that you are willing to convict someone of purjury based on some second hand report of a clerk, whose identity and agenda you have no idea, statment that wasn’t even under oath. Only a true a fanatic would do that. How do you know that the clerk is telling the truth and not Thomas other than that is what you want to believe? Is there any allegation against Thomas, no matter how flimsy, that you wouldn’t believe?

  85. What do you think of Thomas’ opinions (majority or dissents) on the Court’s Fourth Amendment cases?

    Without going on at length: I have not been happy with the outcome of some of those decisions.
    His opinions seem to address the point of law in the case rather than a broader view of the 4th amendment.

  86. Who is your favorite Southern author?

    i would have to say capote, really. he is a joy to read in almost any context.

    i also find flannery o’connor hilariously funny/sad (a strange but almost consistent emotion invoked by her work as a whole) with a dash of fatalism that can only come from living with your mom and raising peacocks until you tragically die.

  87. Joe you believe some nameless clerk, but you won’t believe Paula Jones or any of Clinton’s accusers. You don’t believe Thomas but you do believe Hill. In your world, someone’s veracity is apparently the direct produce of their political views. Yet, you still expect people to take you seriously?

  88. “What does Clinton have to do with this again?”

    Dont you know, ‘look what Bill Clinton did’ is a perfectly valid response to any critcism of anything done by any republican?

  89. Just re-read Efron’s piece again. Way more powerful than I remembered.

    The man lied. The man made a habit of harrassing women who worked for him. And the Republican Noise Machine set out to the ruin the life of an innocent woman, because she told the truth about him.

    And he had a BIG BLACK DICK. Run Joe.

    This is exactly what Efron was talking about. Exactly. With all that it implies.

  90. Let’s say there is a thorough revisitation of the facts of Anita Hill’s testimony, and the evidence strongly demonstrates that she was lying. That would demonstrate that my capacity to understand the case, and the facts behind it, have been blinded by partisan bias.

    But what if my predictions are correct? What if there is a thorough airing of the evidence, and it demonstrates that the only reasonable conclusion is that Anita Hill was telling the truth, and Thomas did have a problem with sexually harrassing his subordinates and coworkers – what would that show?

  91. joe seems to have a hard on for Justice Thomas.

  92. I like Shelby Foote as a southern author. His civil war history is America’s Illiad. Just fantastic. I can’t beleive no one here mentioned Faulkner when talking about Southern writers. I know he is impossible to read at times, but if you trudge through it is a lot more rewarding the To Kill a Mockingbird or anything Capote wrote.

  93. The whole thing smelled of political hatchet job from the beginning, though I expect that there was at least some fire with the smoke.

    i agree with the pro libz.

  94. S of S,

    I view Thomas as having some libertarian tendencies, but he’s no Janice Rogers Brown. He’s just libertarian when compared to the other justices.

    joe,

    I forbid you to call anyone a partisan until you admit that the Democrats are at least nearly as evil as the Republicans 🙂 I invoke the wrath of the Deified Washingtonius! Fear his anti-partisan thunderbolt!

    As for Hill sitting on this for ambition, why would she change her mind later? Old boys were still there, right? No, this had political motivations, even if she told the unvarnished truth. And the legal grapevine over the years has hinted at Thomas’/GILMORE’s explanation that this had as much to do with the hot abortion issue than with anything else. I wish that whole argument would go away. Can’t we just freeze all the embryos for later thawing or something?

  95. “But what if my predictions are correct? What if there is a thorough airing of the evidence, and it demonstrates that the only reasonable conclusion is that Anita Hill was telling the truth, and Thomas did have a problem with sexually harrassing his subordinates and coworkers – what would that show?”

    Nothing because we know for a fact Bill Clinton had the same problem and no one cared. For better or worse, Bill Clinton killed sexual harassment as a public crime.

  96. what would that show?

    That a sleazy dickhead got ahead in politics. Shock!

  97. Southern author digression:

    I like

    Harry Crews
    Cormac McCarthy

  98. John,

    You didn’t notice that you are willing to convict someone of purjury based on some second hand report of a clerk, whose identity and agenda you have no idea, statment that wasn’t even under oath.

    As a matter of fact, he was identifed by name in the newspaper report and quoted. Yet more inconvenient truths you’ve managed not to know?

    Ah, John, TWC: I’m going to have an enjoyable autumn. It’s been very kind of you to stick your necks out like that.

  99. Pro Libertate,

    I forbid you to call anyone a partisan until you admit that the Democrats are at least nearly as evil as the Republicans

    I don’t find it useful to think of people in terms of groups like that. Who, exactly, is nearly as evil as whom?

    As for Hill sitting on this for ambition, why would she change her mind later? Because he was going to get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

    No, this had political motivations, even if she told the unvarnished truth. Perhaps. Who cares? It is the truth that we should worry about, and let the partisan implications follow from that.

  100. I love you, John. I love you because you write things like:

    “What would [the fact that Hill was vindicated] mean?”

    “Nothing, because Bill Clinton….”

    Hack.

  101. You go joe!

    The inconvenient TRUTH is out there!

  102. i like faulkner too.

    fwiw, in cold blood is not his best work anymore because he helped invent a style that is far more common now. i would recommend the dogs bark, a short story collection with a novella length piece on the porgy and bess tour of the ussr.

  103. Flannery O’Connor is my favorite southern writer.

    “Lady, you ain’t so smart. I’ve been believing in nothing my whole life.”

    “She would have been a good woman, if there was someone there to shoot her every minute of her life.”

  104. it is indeed a shame that abortion has become the litmus test/flashpoint for supreme court nominations, but i don’t see that changing any time soon.

  105. John,

    I’m done for now.

    You’ve given me plenty of quotes to throw back in your face, you gullible, deluded partisan hack.

    See you later.

  106. Does Mark Twain count as a Southern author? One would think so, given his (extremely brief) stint in the Confederate army. Anyway, I love his stuff.

    Oh, joe, pretending that you don’t ALWAYS back the same group is as bad as anything you care to accuse John of doing. But I agree–the truth is all I really care about. It’s too bad that lying, spinning, and dodging are such acceptable behaviors these days, because it’s well nigh impossible to determine the truth without being a principal in whatever events that have occurred.

    Perhaps being a lawyer makes me look too hard at impeachable contradictions and motivations, but the credibility of Prof. Hill took a pretty big hit by her not acting earlier. Whether that was for valid reasons or not doesn’t affect that she isn’t entirely credible. And the fact that the picture painted of Thomas was of a guy out of control doesn’t jibe with the decades since then. John’s bringing up Bill Clinton does remind us that Monica was not much of a surprise, because the guy’s history preceded him. I bet he’s sleeping with some trailer honey right now, in fact. Bill, not John.

  107. “As a matter of fact, he was identifed by name in the newspaper report and quoted. Yet more inconvenient truths you’ve managed not to know?”

    You know this guy? You know who he is, whether there is any reason to believe that he is truthful or that he even exists? Again, if it comes down to one person’s word under oath versus another person’s word in a newspaper article not under oath, the person under oath wins. Only a real fanatic like you Joe would believe that. Again, why do you believe the clerk and not Thomas other than the clerk tells you what you want to hear?

    “I don’t find it useful to think of people in terms of groups like that. Who, exactly, is nearly as evil as whom?”

    I have challenged you on numerous occasions to give one example of Democrats doing something you think is wrong besides being too easy on Republicans and you have never once given an example. As I said above, you are totally devoid of self awareness and constitutionally incapable of seeing flaws in your own side.

  108. Get with it folks. Women NEVER lie about rape or sexual harrasment. Children ALWAYS tell the truth about molestation, and minorities are certainly ESSENTIALLY CORRECT when claiming discrimination. This has been well established. White (and white acting) males, lie all the time!

  109. “John’s bringing up Bill Clinton does remind us that Monica was not much of a surprise, because the guy’s history preceded him. I bet he’s sleeping with some trailer honey right now, in fact. Bill, not John.”

    If only I could Pro, if only I could. I agree with you though about the time lapse. Whether it be Paula Jones or Anita Hill, I think people have, absent serious extenuating circumstances, an obligation to bring allegations to light at the time and not crawl out of the woodwork years later when the person holds an important office. If there is one lesson of the 1990s, it is how unhealthy digging the incessant digging into people’s pasts is for the country, whether the person in question be Bill Clinton or Clearance Thomas.

  110. Does Mark Twain count as a Southern author?

    to be sure!

    hilariously ahead of his time.

    in a weird way his style reminds me of nietzche.

  111. When your own motives and insights are all derived from partisan fervor, it’s natural to project that onto your opposition.

    Since Thomas and defenders were only interested in getting a politically-reliable activist on the court, and were willing to be dishonest to make that happen, it MUST BE TRUE that accusations against him were only about politics and influencing the court, and his accuseers must be lying, too.

    This is how con men work, and why their victims are almost always people looking to make a dishonest buck themselves.

  112. Joe, other than the fact that you want them to be true, why do you believe Hill’s allegations? It is a he said she said situation. My view is that if it happened, she had an obligation to say so at the time and if she didn’t, Thomas gets the benefit of the doubt years later. What is your view? What makes her so credible and Paula Jones so discreditable other than the fact that you want to believe one but not the other? For that matter, if Hill is believable, why isn’t Anita Broderick? I don’t believe Broderick for the same reason I don’t believe Hill; if this happened why didn’t she say something at the time? You on the other hand are not bothered by a time lapse, so again what is so unbelievable about Broderick? Yeah, she was used by Clinton’s political enemies but Hill was used by Thomas’s enemies. Show me where you believe anything that doesn’t fit neatly into your preconceived view of the world, and then maybe you will have some credibility.

  113. joe,

    My point in all this is that it smells bad. Hill could very well have suffered some form of harassment. The similar witch trial with Bork (though I’m extremely happy with the result) showed that the Democrats of the time were definitely willing to play some nasty tricks to keep “bad guys” off the Court. The Hill hearings were predictable and consistent with that. Of course, these days, those hearings don’t seem as shocking as they did then, and either party is capable of bringing in misdirection to muck up the works.

  114. One wonders what the conversations about the Iraq War will be like come 2023. Of course, we might still be there tehn.

  115. S of S,

    What war in Iraq?

  116. Because they are backed up by credible testimony by other credible witnesses, while Thomas has been caught lying.

    Just watch the news over the next few weeks. This is very quickly going to cease to be a controversial question among all but the most devoted partisans.

    My view is that if it happened, she had an obligation to say so at the time and if she didn’t, Thomas gets the benefit of the doubt years later. What is your view?

    That while that generally counts as a knock against her credibility, it is understandable that an ambitious woman would not want to rock the boat and derail her career in the good old boy culture of the Washington bureaucracy by casting herself as a troublemaker.

    It’s not “he said – she said.” It’s “he said – they said.”

    As for my credibilty, I don’t care what you think. I’m going to look perfectly credible in a couple of weeks, and your certainty about Thomas’s innocence and Hill’s dishonesty is going to be one more nail in your coffin.

    Yup, one or the other side in this dispute is letting partisan blinkers harm their judgement. I suspect we’re going to have a very clear understand of who that is by the end of October.

  117. Pro Libertate,

    I don’t question that “Democrats are willing to play some dirty tricks” to keep right-wingers off the court. I don’t even question that that might be a helpful thing to keep in mind.

    Where I break with, say, John, is in his apparent belief that such reasoning is all you need to know whom to believe, or at least to conclude that the truth cannot be known.

  118. “As for my credibilty, I don’t care what you think. I’m going to look perfectly credible in a couple of weeks, and your certainty about Thomas’s innocence and Hill’s dishonesty is going to be one more nail in your coffin.

    So Joe, you honestly believe that 17 years after the fact, in one of the most divisive and well publicized confirmation fights in history, there are all of these as yet unknown facts out there that are going to come to light this fall that will vindicate one side? Are you on crack? If there was anything else to be said about that case, it would have come out all ready. What do you think Thomas’s enemies just decided not to come forward with all of these blockbuster facts during the last 17 years out of kindness? You are amazing.

  119. What war in Iraq?

    He is referring to the Iraq front in the Global War on Islamofascists.

    Re:Southern literature

    I’d recommend

    Harry Crews A Feast of Snakes

  120. Pro Libertate,

    Oh, I should written “the ongoing unpleasantness” in Iraq.

  121. John,

    As I said before, the facts are not “unknown” and “coming out now.”

    These facts came out years ago. You just managed not to know them, and the press decided not to put in the effort to make you know them.

    No, this is not new stuff. This is old stuff. You’re just going to learn about it for the first time, now, in 2007, because Thomas, like the villains in “Rope,” couldn’t keep from crowing about his crime.

  122. But, yes, I am amazing.

  123. Joe, you have no moved from being a Democratic Partisian nut to being an ironic comedy act. That has to be the funniest post I have ever read. We don’t know the real truth about Thomas because media decided not to publish the truth, again out of kindness I suppose. That is funny.

  124. Syloson of Samos,

    I miss police actions. Whatever happened to those?

    joe,

    I’d accept the Rope analogy if we still had Jimmy Stewart. But he is gone, alas.

  125. Pro Libertate,

    As a young child I had in my mind that “police actions” were fought by cops in blue.

  126. Ah, John, I wonder how funny you’re going to find the subject three weeks from now.

    I know I’ll be laughing my ass off.

    Again, thank you for taking my kind offer of rope, and hanging yourself.

    Have a great Fall.

  127. Favorite Southern Writer:
    I like all the candidates so far…

    What about
    William Gibson (South Carolina)

    And why hasn’t Robert Heinlein (Missouri)been mentioned yet. He always gets in early in these discussions

  128. Nick,

    Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature?

    That wasn’t even a rhetorical question. That was a truism (or at least what should’ve been one by now).

  129. Now Now, S of S:

    hier is the image of a policeman we all know is what you imagine

    [keed keed]

  130. I want to use your fern.

    Your fern! Your fern!

  131. “Ah, John, I wonder how funny you’re going to find the subject three weeks from now.”

    So it is going to be three weeks until the big anouncment right Joe? That is Monday Ocotber 22nd. I have marked it on my calender Joe. Do you have any idea how pathetic you sound?

  132. You wanted a low-tech lynching?

    I’m on the Rush Limbaugh show right now if you want to listen.

  133. I AM A SELF-LOATHING JAZZ FAN WHO THINKS SCOUT WAS REALLY HOT.

    *this is probably irrelevant to the discussion, but it was time to bust some chops*

  134. VM,

    Dude, that is an inspector!

  135. There is no “big announcement,” John. Just lots of talk about facts and evidence that already in the public record, and just haven’t gotten much exposure.

    I’m sure that’s going to become your fallback argument, though – “Look, this is old stuff. There is no new information coming out now.”

  136. hier, then!

    hier is a travesty that shan’t be repeated!

    amicalment,

  137. VM,

    Actually, they are making a sequel I think.

  138. VM,

    “Are you a fool? You raving oriental idiot! There’s a time and a place for everything, Cato! And this is it!”

  139. Can’t we all just get along?

  140. S of S: figures!

    ProGLib – does your dog bite?

  141. VM,

    No.

  142. I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite…

  143. VM,

    That is not my dog.

  144. robc
    missed the reference/in joke entirely…too illiterati for me I guess…BTW didn’t Truman Capote write War & Peace under an assumed identity as well?

  145. VM and PL

    Your accents are terrible. I can understand every word.

  146. Isaac Bartram,

    Do you have a massage for me?

  147. Truman Capote wrote the Shakespeare plays, too. And he masqueraded around the Nordic countries, wanting to be called Beowulf.

    He makes Jack Palance seem like a mere actor and not the Renaissance man that he really was!

    Ditka – actually Capote.

    Issac – i am sorree zat mai akzent zometaims zlips.

  148. If Truman Capote and Da Bears each wrote a novel, who would win the Nobel Prize for Literature?

    What if Ditka was da Bears’ editor?

  149. Capote wrote and directed the first two Godfather films. He’s proficient enough to disguise his authorship. Puzo was a front for Capote, too.

  150. Capote actually wrote that last comment.

    joe – Hurricane Jordan, of course.

  151. VM,

    I just read some of Capote’s quotes (as “Lionel Twain”) from Murder by Death. Strangely enough, Capote foresaw this exchange. Don’t believe me? Then why did he say this: “Moose, moose you imbecile!”?

  152. Didn’t Capote ghost write for William Shakespeare?

  153. S of S,

    No, that’s a myth. However, he was Francis Bacon.

  154. Thanks, PL.

    I’ve been trying to remember where I heard the line, “I’m not a Frenchie, I’m a BELGIE!” I am now reminde that it was Milo Perrier in Murder by Death.

    Funny movie, that.

  155. Pro Libertate,

    Yeah, but did Richard III really kill the princes?

  156. Tudor lies!

  157. Pro Libertate,

    The Tudor Ministry Of Truth would never lie!

  158. Lie? No. Write works of fiction? Well, read some of Bacon’s plays.

  159. “Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature”

    All I can say to this is A-f@#$^ing-men. This book ranks as the most overrated piece of pablum forced on high-schoolers everywhere. And the movie is the most self-important, pretentious, “look at how enlightened we are for making this” piece of garbage in the history of film. It sickens me every time I read about the accolades bestowed upon it. Thank you.

  160. And just to get things going: Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature?

    Whatdya talking about? Gregory Peck was great in that book!

  161. Bob,

    I’m afraid me and the boys are going to have to come over and lynch you. Nothing personal.

  162. Hey! That wasn’t me. That was that Harper Lee/Truman Capote chick/dude.

  163. I wonder if there could possibly be something other than low literay quality that could cause a right-leaning American not to like an anti-racism book.

    Racking my brains here.

    Nope, nuthin. There could not possibly be anything else going on.

  164. I’m sorry, did you just insinuate that Nick Gillespie is right-leaning?

  165. Now joe, that’s uncalled for. I imagine most hate for the book stems from the fact that it was compelled reading in high school or earlier. Not because of racism. I mean, you’d have to be pretty much an all-out Klanmeister to hate the book for the reason you’re suggesting.

    I’ve always liked the book and the movie. Of course, I’m technically a native Alabamian, so maybe I’m biased ?

  166. What an interesting comment thread.

    You know, I always wondered how Reason staffers, and libertarians in general reconcile Thomas stance in reference to the fourth amendment, and his support of Scalia in the drug war and against the constitution and the fourth amendment with that “35 heroes of freedom”, because as far as I can see, if the republic does not do a “Rome” and even if it does, won’t Thomas be seen as having his fingerprints on the gun that shot constitutional government and the limits of law restraining it from sovietazation?

  167. I will just point out that Dhex would never have tasted the wine of Flannery O’Connor if not for I

    And joe wins points for sharing my POV on this matter

  168. ProGLib – indeed I remember that scene. That’s a favorite movie.

    S of S:

    VM | October 1, 2007, 2:22pm | #
    Truman Capote wrote the Shakespeare plays, too. And he masqueraded around the Nordic countries, wanting to be called Beowulf.

    too slow 🙂 boo yah!

  169. Am I the only one who thinks To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most overrated books in American literature? It’s well-drawn and all that, but its message of racial tolerance was hardly path-breaking in the year of its publication (1960) and its final lapse into the old white trash cliche of incest is really lame.

    Certainly not. To quote Mark Rosenfelder:

    Metcalf is much kinder to the book; but he also gets it curiously wrong. For instance, he calls it a book of the ’60s, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Feminine Mystique, and wonders why it seems so out of place in that company. Easy: because it’s not a book of the ’60s, but of the ’50s. It came out in 1960, but was written over the course of the previous decade. The ’50s were not the ’60s, not even for liberals. The race problem was to be approached with solemnity and “all deliberate speed”, in the Supreme Court’s delicate oxymoron. Martin Luther King was on the extreme side of things.

  170. I haven’t read To Kill a Mockingbird in years, but I was really fond of it when I did. It may have been preachy, but I knew it came from an era where all “decent” people weren’t assumed to be in the choir. And sure, it was “liberal”, but it was liberal in the deep and historical sense of the word, not in the “progressive”/Blue sense.

    Others’ mileage may vary.

  171. if the republic does not do a “Rome” and even if it does, won’t Thomas be seen as having his fingerprints on the gun that shot constitutional government and the limits of law restraining it from sovietazation?

    I think Thomas is the least-worst one there at the moment, even on this point, but I wouldn’t be measurably happier if they were all only as bad as Thomas.

  172. Pro Lib,

    I don’t think it’s outright racism, so much as misguided anti-PC sentiment. As in, “Aw, geez, another story about how evil white people…”

    Not racism, precisely, but anti-anti-racism – an open hostility to anti-racist pieces.

  173. About as much as a Federal Judge can be.
    He isn’t a colloidal silver drinking, 9/11 truther, militant atheist, dopertarian so he might not quite pass the H&R commenter purity test.

    I wish you would have written that before I met The Hitch on Saturday!

    Can I use it in the future?

  174. Incidentally, Harper Lee is a self-described Republican (or was as of 1999) and says her heroes are Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson.

    http://www.hazelrowley.com/mockingbird.htm

  175. joe,

    Kind of a racist mockumentary? A rockumentary, if you will.

    I didn’t find the movie particularly preachy or elitist. My memories of my Deep South grandparents and great aunts and uncles jibe with the story, too. None of them were racists, though they were, like most people before the end of the last century very conscious of race. I think a very major theme in the book is that there were plenty of people in the South who opposed a lot of the nonsense, though some needed a certain amount of prodding to escape the status quo. Social inertia can be a terrible thing.

  176. Kate O’Beirne has an interesting take on Justice Thomas

    Oh, I heard elsewhere there was something in that book about Mr. Thomas hearing his grandfather called “boy” when Mr. Thomas was a child, which some folks find just fine around here as long as it is not in a “racial context”.

  177. Perhaps you posted on the wrong thread, because the subject of this thread is not “joe is a hypocrite.” The subject of this thread is not Bill Clinton. The subject of this thread is not “liberal political activists engage in political activism for liberal causes.”

    The subject of this thread is Clarence Thomas.

    joe, thank you for being the unelected Thread Subject Overlord. We can all sleep better knowing that none of that pesky freedom of speech will break out over here and spoil a perfectly good thread.

  178. Pro Libertate,

    It makes you ask, how much more racist can it be? And the answer is, none. None more racist.

  179. I have to stand up for To Kill a Mockingbird — it is a great book.

    I agree with those who say it is only incidentally about racism; the main theme is about standing up for what you know to be right, instead of taking the path of least resistance and going along with the crowd at the expense of your own conscience.

    As a junior high student, I remember being struck by a comment by Atticus: “One of the few things that can’t abide by majority rule is a man’s conscience.” OWTTE.

    The odd little side-plots reinforce the individualist theme:

    – Mrs. Dubois fighting her morphine addiction = Some struggles you just have to be strong enough to fight by yourself, even when it would be easier to make excuses for your weaknesses.

    – Atticus being the only man who would stand in the path of a rabid dog to shoot it = One man can make a difference in a community. If one make standing up can save a community from the threat of a mad dog, then maybe his example can also save it from the madness of racism. At least he has to try.

    Counterbalancing the individualist message is the subtheme of being polite and tolerate to folks who are different from you, whose ways are different, but doing the best they can by their own lights. (“Doing the best they can with whatever sense they have.”)

    It is a great libertarian book.

  180. Guy Montag

    There is a hell of a lot of difference between calling an elderly man “boy” and calling a seventeen-year-old boy “a boy”.

    Seventeen-year-old boys of all races are “boys”.

    Elderly men regardless of their race deserve respect.

    I’m not sure why you are unable to make that distinction. Most of what you write indicates that you are not that stupid.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.