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Cruz Letter to Smithsonian Seeking Inclusion of Clarence Thomas Has Bipartisan Support

Cruz Letter to Smithsonian Seeking Inclusion of Clarence Thomas Has Bipartisan Support

“I’m simply requesting that a fair and accurate portrayal of his powerful story be included, for the great benefit of millions of future museum-goers.”

When it opened in September, the National Museum of African American History & Culture failed to include an African American in one of the most important federal branches — Justice Clarence Thomas.

Professor Jacobson blogged in October:

One of the unique identifying features of leftist control of institutions is the use and abuse of history to advance current political objectives.

By any fair measure, Clarence Thomas plays a prominent role in Black History. But not at the new National Museum of African American History & Culture, part of the Smithsonian. Thomas has been all but written out of the history books, so to speak, part of a decades-long effort to demean and trivialize Thomas because he’s a conservative jurist. How Orwellian of them.

Via The Daily Signal, Clarence Thomas Is Conspicuously Absent in New Black History Smithsonian:

Justice Clarence Thomas, the second black man to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, is practically absent from the new National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment, however, is given prominent billing in the museum.

The new Smithsonian, which opened in September, gives Hill pride of place in an exhibit on blacks in the 1990s. The exhibit features testimonies trumpeting her courage and the surge of women’s activism that ensued, while making only peripheral reference to the nation’s second black Supreme Court justice.

There is no showcase of Thomas’ own life and career, which ran its own harsh gauntlet of racial discrimination.

“I am not surprised that Justice Thomas’ inspiring life story is not a part of the new museum,” said Mark Paoletta, an assistant White House Counsel in the George H. W. Bush administration who worked on the Thomas confirmation. “Civil rights leaders have tried for decades to malign Justice Thomas because he actually dares to have his own views on race issues. One prominent liberal Supreme Court practitioner has called Justice Thomas ‘our greatest justice,’ but you would never know that listening to the civil rights leadership.”

The exclusion is especially odd given Thomas’ intimate experience with racial discrimination.

Monday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), wrote the Smithsonian, asking them to include an accurate depiction of Justice Thomas’ legacy.

Sen. Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Leahy (D-VT), and Sen. Coons (D-DE) also signed the letter.

“I became deeply disturbed upon learning that Justice Thomas’s moving story and incredible contributions to the country are not even mentioned, much less discussed in detail, in the new museum. Making matters worse, the only reference to Justice Thomas is in regard to a single individual’s controversial accusation against him at his Senate confirmation hearing twenty-five years ago — an accusation that was contradicted by numerous witnesses and rejected by The Washington Post, the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the American public at the time,” wrote Cruz. “I’m simply requesting that a fair and accurate portrayal of his powerful story be included, for the great benefit of millions of future museum-goers.”

The entire letter is here:

Ted Cruz Letter to Smithsonian Justice Clarence Thomas by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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DieJustAsHappy | December 20, 2016 at 5:50 pm

The bias is compounded in that Thurgood Marshall, the first African_American Supreme Court Justice, is also given but scant recognition. Ted Cruz, in his impressive, respectful letter suggests a remedy. I quote:

“I am simply requesting that a fair and accurate portrayal of his powerful story be included, for the great benefit of millions of future museum-goers. This could perhaps best be done with a balanced display discussing Justice Thomas and the esteemed Thurgood Marshall, the Supreme Court’s first African-American justice. Justice Marshall is briefly praised in the museum, but only in reference to his participation as a lawyer in the famous Brown v. Board of Education decision. An exhibit showing the inspirational beginnings, journeys, and vastly different judicial approaches of Justice Marshall and Justice Thomas makes much sense. After all, in 240 years, only three African Americans have served at the highest level of the executive or judicial branches of our great country—Justice Marshall, Justice Thomas, and President Barack Obama. President Obama has a large presence in the museum, so it would be appropriate to also examine Justices Marshall and Thomas.”

Hear, hear Ted! Well done.

There does seem to be a rather negative bias going on. Both Justices Marshall and Thomas have broken barriers that should never have been erected in the first place. They overcame adversity and accomplished much. To put Al-Chicagi in the same league only diminishes their stature.

ugottabekiddinme | December 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

As I thought of the two black Supreme Court justices in my lifetime, another reason occurs to me for including both prominently in this museum: each illustrates that political and legal philosophies are not the exclusive domain of any segment of our society.

Thurgood Marshall was a towering jurist on the left, and Clarence Thomas a towering jurist on the right. Both Americans, black, and both with remarkable personal and career trajectories deserve to be highly celebrated.

What a great photograph of Justice Thomas.

But, Justice Thomas isn’t a real black man. Don’t you know this?


Jesse, Al, and their ilk would agree. BUT unlike those thugs Justice Thomas is a Real American.

It is a terrific letter from Senator Cruz.

One question, Kemberlee. You write that Senators Grassley, Leahy, and Coons also signed the letter. I see that they are copied, but I do not see that they signed it. Am I missing something?

Why do we have race-based museums?

Where’s the Caucasian-American museum, I can’t seem to find it?

Clarence is certainly a credit to his race.