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Clarence Thomas: A Conservative African American Leader


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Clarence Thomas is the second of only two African American Supreme Court Justices. He is an important person in our society because he disproved the stereotypical African American’s political views, with many thinking that all African Americans were democratic and liberal, with the same feelings about all topics. Instead, Thomas usually represents the Republican viewpoint in his rulings. For example, he is against affirmative action. Affirmative action is a law that gives African Americans that have the exact same credentials as a white American for a certain job or position will get this job or position. This is an attempt to help integrate American society and try to repay a fraction of what the ancestors of African Americans had to face in the past. Thomas, however, thinks that this does not allow African Americans to do anything of importance because they don’t have to work as hard as whites, making their achievements come second to those of whites.

Thomas views the Civil Rights Movement differently as well. He believes that it only served to make people more sensitive about race. Thomas says that even though he was the only African American in a white high school, the subject of race rarely came up in conversation. Now, he says that “Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah.” Thomas thinks that mentioning race, gender or sexual preference in a negative way is something everyone has to face, not something the government must control.

Clarence Thomas has different views on topics of race than the democratic, liberal African Americans that are sometimes considered the only African Americans. He shows narrow minded whites that African Americans each have different opinions. As a Supreme Court Justice, Thomas usually takes the side of Republicans and uses conservative views in his rulings. Clarence Thomas is an important African American in our society today and helps to show that African Americans are not all democratic and liberal.



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