The following is an excerpt of an interview with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas by Michael Pack, taken from the new book ‘Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words‘.
The Democrats And The Media Run With It
MP: The media and Democrats certainly jumped on this leak. What was your reaction?
CT: This is the mob. That’s what it felt like. It just felt like the mob outside of the jail in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” They didn’t have their little robes on, but boy they were sanctimonious and they had their torches, which were maybe computers and things. But no, this was the mob; it wasn’t any more a trial than Salem had trials.
MP: You mentioned the media circus, and we haven’t talked much about that, but that had been ongoing?
CT: The media was always bad. They just pretend to be objective, but for the most part, they were part of the mob from the beginning. But it just got worse. When you have media people calling up friends and they ask “Do you have any dirt on this guy?” not, “What is the story?” Just dirt. That pretty much should tell you all.
It goes back to when I was at the EEOC, that I was “controversial.” I was brand new. How can I be controversial? That means I don’t have the views that they’ve assigned to me. That’s the only controversial thing. So I had then effectively been caricatured. The media was not trying to find out facts; they were clearly a part of one team versus the other. There were a few who weren’t.
MP: The media also went out to Pin Point, GA.
CT: Initially when the media were told I was from Pin Point, they said Pin Point didn’t exist. And that was really funny. These guys know so much. They said “you’re a liar.” Who would lie about where you’re from? That’s easy to prove and who would lie about it? Every time you said something and they didn’t agree with you, you were a liar. One of the reporters went to Savannah and argued with my mother about the number of kids she had. How do you argue with a woman about the number of kids she had? I think she may have been there. She eventually had to tell them to leave.
MP: How could the reporter be arguing about the number of children she had?
CT: He said they can only find records for two kids. How can you be so arrogant to tell a woman how many kids she had? But I think that it is similarly arrogant to tell people what their views ought to be just because of their race. “I know what your views should be. I don’t know you, but since you’re black, your views should be this.”
MP: Yes, I hear this still from your liberal critics. They say you are “a traitor to your race.”
CT: Because you have views that you shouldn’t have. You say what race? The human race? Which race? It is absurd. I love it when you are looking at a white person telling you that and they just don’t see how laughable that is.
MP: After it’s leaked, then Anita Hill has a press conference. Did you see that?
CT: Oh God, no.
MP: Did Ginni see it and tell you about it?
CT: She watched and told me it was slickly done, that it was smooth, and there were a lot of professionals there. But what she described was not the person who worked for me. As I recall, [Anita] was portrayed as conservative (not true), that she was quite religious (that’d be the first I’d ever heard of that), and that she was demure (no way). That’s a nice image to paint but that wasn’t the person I knew. The person I knew was outspoken, could fly off the handle at people, get upset with people, a person who stormed into my office, could be pretty loud about things, and was quite liberal. She may have been religious but never professed to be that I knew of.
“It was hard. I’m at the end of my line”
MP: Did you hear from Jack Danforth about the next stage for the hearings?
CT: I get a call when I was at Larry Silberman’s house from Jack Danforth, Orrin Hatch, and Bob Dole. And they said that if [the full Senate] voted, then they couldn’t guarantee that I would be confirmed. Remember we’re dealing with a Democrat Senate and that they thought we needed to address this matter and it was determined that they would have another hearing.
MP: And how did you feel?
CT: Not good. It was hard. I’m at the end of my line. I don’t know what they are going to do to me next. I still don’t know what I’m accused of doing, so you’re tormenting yourself. Did I say something? Did I make an offhand remark? Did I suggest something? And then you worry about what can they convince people that I have done. You got all these PR firms, and slick law firms, and interest groups. I’m just sitting there, I mean it’s my wife and me. We’re at home, and we have a couple of prayer partners who would come over and we’d pray and listen to music. The phone kept ringing and the news kept getting worse. Media was parked outside of our house, so you’re literally under siege. Now you don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know what they’re going to say next about you. You weren’t worried about what you’ve done. It’s like what can they convince the world that you’ve done. Because if they had made it this far with that, then they were going to go the whole way.
MP: After the leak, the media just camped out at your house?
CT: Yeah, they stayed, and then whenever we left, there would be a chase car and there was a motorcycle behind us. President [H.W.] Bush invited us to see him for reassurance. Senator Danforth rode with us to the White House, and we were followed by the press the entire way. It was in every possible way disconcerting and awful. We’d never been through anything like this.
President Bush sat with me in the Oval Office. Virginia went for a walk with Mrs. Bush. The president apologized for getting me into this. I told him this wasn’t his fault, that he didn’t do anything to me. It should have been a great moment for a poor kid from the Deep South and the elites have turned it into a nightmare because of some thing they want. Not because of something I’ve done or some crime I’ve committed: because of something they want that they don’t think they’ll get with me. He assured me he was not going to withdraw [my nomination], that he was going to be with me to the end if I could hang in there, and again apologized for getting me into it.
This excerpt is taken from the new book ‘Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words‘ from Regnery Publishing. The book was edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta and is a companion piece to the blockbuster documentary ‘Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.‘
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.