In case you’re still in a tryptophan stupor, allow me to catch you up. Donald Trump is still president. There’s still a Congressman presiding over hearings about the president’s shady dealings with the Ukraine who appears to himself have had shady dealings with Ukraine. And now, we’ve got the longest-sitting Supreme Court justice launching a documentary which targets the Democratic presidential frontrunner. I say we just drop the ball on this sucker and end 2019 now.
The film, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” was previewed by ABC News on Thursday evening and is set to hit theaters early next year. Judging from the advance clips, we’re in for two hours of Thomas lamenting about being victimized by a lying Anita Hill and the keep-the-black-man-down mob which believed her.
The film appears not just to be a general tale of Thomas’ woes. It has a specific villain: the senator who presided over Thomas’ contentious confirmation hearings. Yes, that would be Joe Biden. He just happens be running for president.
In preparation for the film, Thomas sat for over 22 hours of interviews. The filmmakers say he was given the chance to “tell the Clarence Thomas story truly and fully, without cover-ups or distortions.” From the sound of it, that story is chock full of Thomas’s frustration about being pressed about his alleged sexual misconduct toward Professor Hill and being tricked into talking about his views on abortion.
Thomas doesn’t directly reference Biden in the film, but says about the senator presiding over the hearings, “I understood what he was trying to do. I didn’t really appreciate it.” In 1991, Thomas was confirmed by a Senate vote of 52 to 48. Bill Russo, Biden’s deputy communications director, said in a statement to ABC News that he was unsurprised that Justice Thomas thinks negatively about Biden.
“Then-Senator Biden voted against Clarence Thomas in the Senate Judiciary Committee, he argued against him on the Senate floor, and he voted against his confirmation to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court,” said Russo.
Clips show Thomas describing his realization that he’d been suspicious of “the wrong people.” It hadn’t been, as he’d expected, “the bigot in the pickup truck,” “the rural sheriff,” or “the Klansmen,” who’d be out to get him. It was, instead, “the modern day liberal,” who constituted the modern-day lynch mob.
“The idea was to get rid of me,” Thomas says. “And then after I was there, it was to undermine me.”
You’ll excuse me if I’m unconvinced that the Senate’s taking seriously a young black woman’s disturbing allegations is evidence of a Klan-like plot to eliminate Clarence Thomas from the national stage for being the “wrong kind of black man.” Furthermore, Thomas has had decades to peddle his tale of persecution to the public; doing it now, during the run up to the Democratic primary, smacks of self-indulgent impropriety. Now, let’s see, where have I heard before that Thomas shirked professional decorum to chase after his own personal ends? Oh. Right.
There is so much good Clarence Thomas could achieve by speaking out from his high station. Entangling himself in politics by badmouthing Joe Biden and delivering right-wing talking points on liberals as racists is gross. Thomas is good at being quiet — he’s known for staying silent during most Supreme Court proceedings. We really didn’t need for him to pipe up with this nonsense.
Still, we have much for which to be thankful; a biopic of Brett Kavanaugh hasn’t yet been green-lighted for production (to my knowledge). It’s likely I will not be called upon to write it.
[Image via Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.