Saturday, August 03, 2002

The Washington Post has a long, thorough, and surprisingly balanced look at Justice Thomas, focusing mainly on the unfortunate fact that many black people have nothing but contempt for Thomas, simply because he has voted the "wrong" way in three or four cases out of the nearly 1,000 he's decided in an 11-year period on the Court. An interesting quote:
He is known to phone columnists and other commentators to offer critiques of their work and advice. Essayist Debra Dickerson received one of Thomas's calls after an op-ed column she wrote for The Washington Post about the "conundrum" Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice present as powerful African Americans whose achievements merit admiration but whose Republican stripes often put them at odds with the majority of blacks.

Thomas liked the column, he told Dickerson, and talked about how difficult it is for blacks in public life with nontraditional views. He laughed and did 90 percent of the talking, keeping her on the phone so long that Dickerson thought, "He's a lonely guy."

"I think he would clearly love his relationship with the black community to be different . . . There is a wistfulness there. You can't be outside of the fold and not feel it," she says, speaking as an unpredictable black voice herself. "He is the lowest of the low in sort of official blackdom. It's unfair, and it's got to hurt."


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