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Letter writer Ryan Hurley advocates for Clarence Thomas, a Republican Black leader, for Black History Month. 

In these cold coronavirus times, many students at Iowa State have spent much more time in their dorms than ever before. Whereas you would usually see groups headed to make snowmen on campus, you now see a few solitary students marching from hall to hall, focused on escaping this bitter-cold weather.

During my time inside, I have seen many of the community advisers putting up boards that discuss Black History Month. The boards often tell the reader about prominent African Americans such as Malcolm X. I have seen several recurring figures on these boards of famous Black Americans such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ibram Kendi. Seeing these boards in every hall, I have noticed that not once have I seen Clarence Thomas mentioned.

For those who do not know, Clarence Thomas is a Supreme Court justice for the United States, having been appointed in 1991 by George H.W. Bush. He has since become a highly respected figure in judicial law. Often described as an “originalist,” Thomas is sure to consider the Constitution’s importance in all of his decisions. It did not take me long to realize why exactly Justice Clarence Thomas is not featured on the boards created by these CAs: his politics. Thomas is often considered amongst the Supreme Court members’ most conservative, primarily due to his reading of right-wing libertarian authors such as Ayn Rand.

During the Trump administration, Donald Trump appointed many lower-court justices who had formerly clerked with Thomas. He has often voted against radical leftist ideas, which has led to particularly harsh criticism from the left. This does not mean CAs should ignore his importance during Black History Month, as many have celebrated far-left extremists such as Ibram Kendi.

Suppose you are a young student reading this. In that case, I encourage you to use this time we are all spending inside to read more than what many biased professors, administrators, journalists and CAs tell you what to think. Whether it is reading about prominent thinkers such as Russell Kirk or Edmund Burke, listening to what others who oppose you have to say or even just looking at biographies, we are all in college to learn, and having a limited pallet of ideas will only serve to limit yourself.

Ryan Hurley is a junior in marketing and the president of Iowa State College Republicans.

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(5) comments

Daniel Bell

Add to your reading list: The Enigma of Clarence Thomas by Corey Robin.

From an article in The Atlantic:

"At the heart of Robin’s book is this extraordinary argument: Thomas “sees something of value in the social worlds of slavery and Jim Crow,” not because he endorses bondage “but because he believes that under those regimes African Americans developed virtues of independence and habits of responsibility, practices of self-control and institutions of patriarchal self-help, that enabled them to survive and sometimes flourish.”

Yep, he checks all the right boxes, doesn't he. If you see something of value in Jim Crow laws or slavery, why don't you give it a try?

Facts and Logic

You just proved his point - the point of the article is that the media (and college campuses) only choose to celebrate African Americans that specifically agree with their agenda. If we are truly celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans, we should celebrate ALL of them and ALL of their accomplishments, regardless of whether or not we agree with them politically.

Daniel Bell

Sure, it's all about the political agenda, and being victimized because it isn't -your- agenda that is being advanced. So by all means, celebrate Judge Thomas' contributions to...what ever. No doubt he has worked very hard in his life and has overcome obstacles I will never understand. But don't let your political agenda blind you to the hypocrisy of the flag-waving, freedom-loving "originalist".

Milty Friedman

So many liberals hate Clarence Thomas but they don’t know why. They are told he is the devil by other liberals and they follow the liberal herd blindly.

What inflames liberals about Thomas is that he realized how the welfare programs hurt, rather than helped, blacks, trapping them in poverty and keeping them dependent on government. Liberals believe blacks must conform to their liberal dogma and are not allowed to think for themselves. If you don’t parrot the liberal dogma, you are not black in their perverse opinion.

As a consequence of their hatred, they tried to frame Thomas on a phony harassment charge by Anita Hill at his Congressional hearing. Hill told a tale that Thomas had harassed her in the office with references to Long Dong Silver, a porn movie. However, that movie was not released until two years after she left his employment. Her complaint suspiciously resembles a harassment complaint that was filed by another woman in the Midwest. It appears she borrowed that story to use against Thomas.

Also, harassers usually harass all the women with which they come in contact. Hill was the only woman who complained of harassment from Thomas.

If you are an independent black with your own ideas and opinions, liberals will try to cancel you. Justice Thomas is an example of this treatment.

As for originalism, it means interpreting the Constitution as it was understood when the founding fathers wrote it. For example, the Second Amendment references “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, ....”. Modern liberals declare that a militia means the National Guard, but the Guard was not established until the 20th century, more than a century after the Constitution was written. In the founders’ time, a militia was all able bodied men from 16 to 60 years old.

Milty Friedman

“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas In His Own Words“ is a pretty good documentary on Justice Thomas in which he tells his story himself. Well worth watching.

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