Justice Clarence Thomas, a black conservative serving on the Supreme Court, has recently been castigated by the mainstream media for his role in voting to uphold Michigan’s prohibition of affirmative action in their public universities.
Thomas ironically benefited from affirmative action himself, so this is a major point of contention that liberals have used to declare Thomas’ views as hypocritical. The other bit of irony is that if nothing else, liberals who are opposed to his views have only themselves to blame for promoting the affirmative action policies that placed Thomas in the schools that got him to where he is today.
Thomas did what was right, because American culture generally believes in meritocracy—the idea that people must earn their place in life. Though there is plenty of reason to believe that actual meritocracy is a myth, it is at least something to which folks pay a little lip service. For decades conservatives have argued against the idea of affirmative action on the basis that it leads to discrimination against more qualified individuals, in favor of promoting an ideology.
Affirmative action as we know it today comes from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when it was enacted by, ironically, a racist white liberal. Lyndon Johnson knew that by giving minority groups “goodies” such as welfare and civil rights, he could control their vote and maintain power. When asked why some of the racial policies of the Great Society reforms were so important to him, he said bluntly, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.”
Liberal racism is a constant theme in American politics. It’s the idea that blacks should vote for policies written by their compassionate white masters, because “we know what’s best for you.” When a minority has an opposing view, they are hunted down with a whip, and dragged back onto the plantation.
This liberal chauvinism extends to other “victim” groups as well. If women oppose abortion or feminism, they are derided as idiots. If immigrants oppose mass or illegal immigration, they become nothing more than stooges doing the bidding of the evil, racist, “old, white males.” When liberals don’t get their way after demonstrating their generosity and empathy, they ironically remind minorities to obey their white liberal masters or else risk condemnation.
Clarence Thomas has been called all manner of racist, pejorative terms in the past few days for opposing an unjust policy of racial discrimination. For Thomas, having his own views that diverge from the liberal or progressive narrative can be tantamount to social suicide, as he well knows.
It begs the question of what kind of country we live in currently. Do we live in a democracy that allows freedom of speech and opinion, or one that is run by bureaucratic elites who only allow freedom of speech if that speech supports their ideals and not yours? The Western world is steadily becoming more authoritarian when its citizens don’t support the policies promoted by liberal social engineers.
Is our destiny to become like Sweden, where expressing an opinion that criticizes the elites’ policy platforms can lead to public persecution and even prosecution? It seems so. In Sweden immigration critics are regularly tracked down by “Anti-racist” groups and publicly exposed, even harassing their employers in order to ruin their livelihoods and enforce “economic discipline”—metaphorical public floggings. They are branded as evil racists, prosecuted for hate speech, often losing their jobs or worse, all for daring to criticize the dramatic changes occurring in their nation.
The kind of racism seen in Thomas’ instance, a much more insidious one, is the kind which insists that minority groups ought to know that white liberals know best, that their policies are best for minorities. You are not free to choose what is best for you; the establishment must do it for you. We saw this in the treatment of Latinos like Ted Cruz, who were treated with absolute disrespect for opposing illegal immigration. Because they dare to have an opposing view to the progressive narrative, they are punished in the media by white liberals and the rest of their Republican lackeys that kowtow to the progressive narrative. The message of white liberals to minorities is clear: don’t wander off the plantation, because your master knows best.
James Harmon is a college-level instructor, artist, and writer. His blog is located here.