Book: Clarence Thomas still bitter about his confirmation hearings

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Clarence Thomas is arguably the most powerful black man in America, one whose position as a Supreme Court justice merits more than a modicum of respect. Yet as authors Kevin Merida and Michael Fletcher make clear in "Supreme Discomfort," a new biography, Thomas has yet to get his due.

Though most Italian-Americans are liberals, "they're all proud of me," conservative Justice Antonin Scalia tells the authors. Scalia's implicit question is: why do blacks not feel the same way about Thomas? Why can't Americans accept and celebrate him? For a country desperately trying to rid itself of a legacy of prejudice and discrimination, such questions are anything but trivial....

Thomas had served less than a year and a half on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit when Bush nominated him to replace Thurgood Marshall. He seemed headed toward a relatively easy confirmation until Anita Hill, a former colleague, accused him of talking dirty to her. Thomas responded by charging the Senate with conducting "a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks." The Senate, mortified, went on to confirm him. The authors suggest that Thomas still seethes at those he believes set out to humiliate him.

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Proctor Sherwood Burress - 4/27/2007

It appears the justice is the living embodiment of a "self fulfilling prophesy." His inner turmoil churns anew the pain from his experience and his behavior, both that which is undeserved and deserved.

This is true for all men.