Those pieces of art that allow you to see the past with new eyes based on having experienced the present are few and far between. Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words is one of those creative endeavors. If being “red-pilled” means seeing something so clearly with new eyes that you are unable to unsee it, then I have been.
Most of the film is narrated by Thomas himself with participation from his wife Ginny. At times their comments are in response to the interviewer and at other times it is in reaction to news clips and other media used by the film makers. Director Michael Pack of Manifold Productions filmed over 30 hours of interviews with the couple to create this film.
The documentary covers Clarence Thomas’ life from being born at home in Pin Point GA where they spoke Geechee to present. The rural poverty of his early childhood, which Thomas referred to as “livable”, ended when the home he, his brother and mother lived in burned in a fire. HIs mother then moved the young family to Savannah where she worked. Thomas often wandered the streets while his mother worked. At the age of six he was supposed to go to school in the evening, but rarely went. In the city they lived in a type of poverty that was “putrid and gross”. Thomas described problems with how the sewage worked and other types of squalor. Overwhelmed, Thomas’s mother took her boys to the home of their grandparents where they lived through the remainder of their childhood.
Throughout the movie the influence of his grandparents, Myers and Christine Anderson, on Justice Thomas is clear. His grandfather taught him the value of hard work and perseverance. He expected Thomas and his brother join him in his fuel delivery business and in working the family farm from a very young age. He also passed on a strong Catholic faith and sent the boys to Catholic school. For those who don’t know, the settling of Savannah, Georgia was very Catholic and very Irish. To this day the cathedral is one of the most prominent items in the skyline.
His grandmother and the Irish nuns that educated him gave him love, affection and taught him to expect more from himself. His meandering path to becoming the Justice that even Antonin Scalia referred to as an ‘extreme originalist’ is one best told in his own words. A current list of showings and information on how to arrange one for your community can be found on the film’s website. I would strongly encourage everyone to find a way to see it and bring your children.
The Big Impression
Thomas’ personal story is amazing. However, what left the biggest impression on me was the portion of the movie where his confirmation hearings were covered. I was 19 when they happened and not deeply familiar with the details. Seeing the clips almost thirty years later through the eyes of Thomas and his wife Ginny was stunning.
It was like watching the confirmation circus of Justice Kavanaugh except Orrin Hatch’s hair was brown and and plaid was fashionable. Joe Biden was so nearly incomprehensible when questioning Thomas on his views regarding natural law you would have thought it was a recent Iowa town hall. However, two things were abundantly clear. First, it was about fear that Thomas would vote the wrong way on abortion. There was no way the first black man on the Supreme Court was going to be an originalist appointed by a Republican.
The Democrat playbook was so obvious. Anita Hill’s complaint was given the the Judiciary committee. The FBI inquiry that determined the complaint was uncorroborated. The complaint was leaked to the New York Times. The media fervor that followed fueled the demand for public hearings. Of course the hearings themselves became a media circus. You saw Anita Hill’s strange and hesitant answers. Then relived Justice Thomas’ full throated and angry defense of himself. The modern Democrat party showed all of America their playbook live on television. Of course, their allies in the media propped their narrative up.
And 30 years later, nothing about the plays has changed. The blatant pattern to this playbook is something I will never unsee and reinforces my view that Democrats should never hold positions of power. They have perfected the politics of personal destruction aimed at those who disagree with them. And now social media companies, schools, Hollywood and the media do their dirty work for them. We all just lived through their most ambitious application. The impeachment of President Trump.
One question went unanswered in the film. During the hearings following Anita Hill’s allegations, Justice Thomas was asked if he even wanted to be on the Court. His answer was to say he was not going to be chased out of the process. The accusations went to the very fabric of who he and his wife knew he was as a man, and he was not going to back down. He never answered the question about his desire to be on the Court at the time and did not elaborate in the retelling. You have to wonder if serving a lifetime appointment in a branch of the same government who launched such a personal and personally damaging attack on him doesn’t weigh on him to some degree.
Fortunately, the movie ends with the viewer knowing that weight gets lifted. Relief is found on the back roads, in the Walmart parking lots and in the state parks across this country where Justice Thomas takes his RV to unwind. In relative anonymity he explores the vast wonders of America. In a final picture viewers see the broad, jovial smile Clarence Thomas often displayed before his confirmation hearings. Relaxed and genuine with a blue body of water in the back, you can tell this is where he finds peace. You don’t see a smile like that from the Justice in public since his confirmation hearings.
My greatest hope for this great man is that a second term for President Trump will allow him to retire and be replaced with a like-minded Justice. Then he can hop into that RV with Ginny and spend time in happier places with frequent joyful smiles.
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