Racism Against Justice Clarence Thomas Essay

1278 words - 5 pages

Racism is a controversial issue that often plays the central role in many conflicts. Racism is the intentional or unintentional use of power to isolate, separate and exploit others. I believe racism and racial stereotyping played an important role in Justice Clarence Thomas's life. He has achieved a lot through his life to get where he is now.Clarence Thomas was born June 23, 1948, in Pin Point, Georgia. Clarence was raised by his maternal grandparents in Savannah, Georgia. His grandfather was determined to see that he received an education. He attended both all Black schools and integrated Catholic schools. He intended to enter the priesthood, but left after he encountered racist issues.He earned a B.A. from Holy Cross College and his J. D. from Yale Law School in 1971. After law school he became an assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri from 1974 to 1977. Thomas worked briefly at Monsanto Company in St. Louis and he also worked as a legal assistant for Senator John C. Danforth. Thomas served as an assistant secretary for civil rights with the Department of Education from 1981 to 1982 before moving on to chair the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission until 1990. He was then appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991, becoming the second African American to serve as an Associate Justice on the Court. His nomination was ratified by a vote of 52 to 48.This was one of the closest margins in the history of the Supreme Court. This was because of the confirmation hearings. President Bush's nomination of Clarence Thomas was instantly controversial. Many African-American and Civil Rights organizations, including the NAACP, the National Bar Association, and the Urban League, opposed the Thomas nomination. These organizations feared that Thomas's conservative stance on issues such as Affirmative Action would reverse the Civil Rights gains that Justice Marshall had fought so hard to achieve. Women's groups including the National Organization for Women were equally concerned that Clarence Thomas, if appointed to the high court, would rule against legal abortion. The legal community also voiced apprehension about Thomas's clear lack of experience since he had only served two years as a federal judge.Despite these voices of dissent, the Thomas nomination proceeded to the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings. The first few days of the hearings were relatively uneventful. When asked about his stance on legal abortion, Thomas claimed that he had not formulated an opinion and the issue was dropped. After a few more days of outside testimony, it appeared as if the Senate committee would easily confirm the Thomas nomination.When the nomination moved to the floor of the Senate, it took a sudden and dramatic turn when Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, came forward with accusations that Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Hill had worked for Thomas several years earlier when he was head of the Equal Employment...

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