The Unchristians
Onward Sharpton soldiers
Randall Kennedy exhumed





Clarence Thomas last month secured his place in history as the Supreme Justice of Jim Crow Law, last month. In a bizarre demonstration of independence from his mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, Thomas registered the sole dissent in a Dallas death penalty case that "revealed the most thoroughly documented, blatant example of racist jury selection as official policy that could be constructed outside of a Hollywood studio." (See "All About Clarence: Self-Loathing on the High Court," February 6.) Thomas staked out new ground to the right of Scalia - a sick man's version of judicial "independence."

comprehends Thomas' dissent as a message to his fellow African Americans. He hates other Blacks just as he loathes himself. He and we are his nightmare.

As the late Franz Fanon would instantly recognize, Thomas suffers from the most perverse racial paranoia. He imagines that other Black people see through to his worthless (in his own mind) core, and he hates them for it.

The 54-year-old Thomas is the walking definition of the "self-hating Negro," a bane to his own existence and to the rest of us for the remainder of his life term. The folks at the Carolina's Associated Minority Contractors (CAMC) understand him all too well. They dropped us a note:

To the point and right to the jugular.
Ye great and glorious "BLACK COMMENTATOR"
Should be heard round the world!


Paul Moon is a Korean-American reader who also appreciates the work of our artist, Khalil Bendib.

The cartoon is very good. I could see how it could offend some people, but there is one criticism, and you offend the right people.

You forgot the other part of the terrible two, Scalia. I would have loved to see you involve him because they are both basically on the same page, legally speaking. Also, they both share a self-loathing from their ethnic and class backgrounds they have come from and betrayed. Unfortunately, they are also considered unequal partners. Scalia is considered a brilliant jurist yet Thomas is not. Racism? Maybe. But, I think that there is some element of racism, especially considering the historical practice of Caucasian Americans to denigrate the intelligence and mental acuity of Africans in America....

Personally, I find nothing brilliant about someone who enjoys legally terrorizing all people and yanking away their rights, and would throw every person of color in jail for the war on terrorism. As does Thomas.

felt it was important to point out that Thomas is a victim of soul-destroying racism, which has distorted him so grotesquely, as well as an active tormentor. Eric Mauer, writing from San Francisco, found our piece useful.

I read with intense interest your article about Thomas' self-loathing and essentially agree with what you conclude. He is an angry, nasty, punitive, extremely mean-spirited person who should never, ever be in the position of power he is in. He is a danger to our democracy - such as our democracy (still) is.

Your article helped me to synthesize many analyses I have attempted about this man over the years into a clearer whole. Keep up your important work!

Clarence Thomas has had folks scratching their heads ever since his tumultuous confirmation hearings, 12 years ago. His sickness is now visible to all except the racists who elevated him to the High Court, who "are incapable of imagining the emotional inferno they have stoked these hundreds of years." Bridget Borer ponders Thomas - and shakes her head.

The commentary on Clarence Thomas was brilliant. It made so much sense and was articulated so well.

It's really very sad and unfortunate - for him and all the others he despises.

Thanks for a great website!

Bruce Tomczak also appreciated Dr. 's diagnosis of the man who styles himself Lord High Executioner of African Americans.

What a wonderful column in CounterPunch on Clarence Thomas! I have never understood how the man was confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Of course, I am sure the same question could be asked of the other justices.

Justice, what an ironic appellation for people who should be called Pre-judgers. Their decisions and resulting rationalizations are astonishing. Too bad Gilbert and Sullivan weren't alive to satirize this reckless crew.

Keep up the good work! I enjoy your articles.

"Thanks for your wonderful work!" writes Vernellia R. Randall, Professor of Law at the University of Dayton. Professor Randall posted our Clarence Thomas piece at her extremely valuable web site "Race, Racism and the Law" - a treasure trove of information and insight worthy of a long visit.

We should take this opportunity to thank the high-powered brains behind,,, the Institute for Global Communications and the ever provocative for sharing our work with their readers.

The People Disappearing Act

The government that has taught so many other regimes the fine arts of "disappearing" dissidents is about to declare war on dissent, worldwide. No one knows what Permanent War will look like under 21st Century conditions, or how a state of Permanent National Emergency will mangle American society. However, it is clear that domestic tranquility cannot coexist with the international chaos that is certain to follow Shock and Awe.

Although not yet formally listed as legislation for congressional debate, "Patriot II is the perfect tool to 'disappear' any number of human beings for any reason to any place for any length of time," we wrote in the February 27 piece, "In the Time of Disappeared People."

M. McNease seems reassured to learn The Black Commentator shares his anxieties.

Thanks for your commentary. A friend thinks I've gone over the edge because I said the cartel holding power now in all branches of government will never give it up. If there is any danger of Bush being defeated in an election (and we've already seen what they can do with those), we will find ourselves under martial law and our democracy and Constitution suspended. These people will not give up power under any circumstances.

My friend thought I was being farfetched, and I pointed out that Oliver North was involved in a plan to do just that back when Reagan was president: create civil unrest, declare martial law. So they waited 20 years, that's all. I will be highly surprised if this is not the beginning of the end of American democracy.

Actually, as we pointed out to Mr. McNease, the Bush Pirates have been working towards this day for at least a decade.

We get the impression that Premilla Dixit has been working for peace for a lot longer than that. She's with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, New York.

I am so glad to hear someone calling a spade a spade. The double speak on all sides is enough to give one a nosebleed.

The question is What do we do?

We will do what we must, in a world that will change in ways that we cannot imagine.

Putting the Democrats through changes

The national Democrats ponder the polls and wonder why they can't touch Rev. Al Sharpton's core of Black support. The answer should be obvious: you can't hold Black people at arms length and move them from place to place at the same time. As we put it in the February 27 commentary, "Al Sharpton's Battle to Transform the Democrats."

Huge numbers will follow Sharpton despite his perm, because they know that he "speaks truth to power," an esteemed quality among African Americans, the most sophisticated electorate in America.

Eddgra Fallin read the piece in Huntsville, Alabama. She's exactly who we were talking about.

I knew when Bush stole the 2000 election and the media drove the get away car that we black folks were in Trouble with a capitol T. I have found that I have to be selective about what I watch on TV because it elevates my blood pressure. The media has decided that they are tired of black folks. There are very few of us they are letting on TV nowadays and the few they are letting on the air are ineffective. As for me and my house, we support Al Sharpton. He has consistently been there for black people.

I can't support Carol Mosely-Braun because I can't think of a thing she has done for black folks other than be a figurehead. I call Carol the Colin Powell/Condi Rice of the Democratic Party. The Democrats parade Carol out so they can say, "See, we ain't racist!"

Al is my man.

Voters like Ms. Fallin are the reason we wrote: "There can be no compromise with people who poison the political well. Cohabitation with Rightists and racists means death to the Party."

K. Lowell, of Hawaii, sent us an intriguing letter/poem that addresses the non-Black side of the political transformation question.

I am waiting for the Black voters in this country, all of them, to wake up and realize they are strong.

I am waiting for the Black leaders in this country to wake up and realize they stand in front of a willing army.

I am waiting for Black writers, musicians, athletes and actors to wake up and realize people are listening, watching, emulating.

I am waiting for Black CEO's to wake up and realize they have leverage, power.

I am waiting. And I'm White.

Randall Kennedy (ugh) again

The Internet is a wonderful system/instrument, allowing the visitor to delve instantaneously into a publication's archives to rediscover subjects that even the publishers would prefer to forget. Mary Scott rummaged through 's summer issues, and found herself in the malodorous presence of Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School professor and author of books designed to make white racists feel good about themselves.

Kennedy's "Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word" gave whites broad latitude to employ the racial epithet, provoking a series of articles on the controversy. In the August 22 triplet, "The N-Word Three Ways," we urged African Americans to "shun" Kennedy as a "fraud" and Harvard's Dr. Martin Kilson described his colleague as an intellectual "tramp."

Mary Scott emerged from the archives with this assessment:

After reading the words of Randall Kennedy I had to wonder if this man has been living in a box.

Coincidentally, on the same day that Ms. Scott's letter arrived, we heard from Carl Fletcher, who made the Randall Kennedy - Clarence Thomas connection and provided commentary on the evolving Sharpton story.

Thanks for expressing in words my thoughts, without the expletives, almost exactly on the dual clowns of Randall Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Joel Klein, Eleanor Clift and Peter Beinart of the neoracist New Republic are setting the litmus test of disregard of Sharpton for the Democratic presidential candidates. The term media whore comes to mind. Eleanor Clift used to write in Newsweek often about how Clinton should "stick-it-to the Black Caucus to shore up support with independent voters. Also the use of the "sista-souljah" moment. No matter what you say about the Republicans they do not seem to hate their political base. They have shown no compunction at rollicking in the mud along with the Jesse Helms and Jerry Falwells. Maybe it is not fair to say the Democrats feel this way, perhaps it is more fair to say that the Democrat elite and media whores feel this way.

It is not limited to conservatives - the American Prospect had a nasty polemic against Sharpton last month and both they and the Nation use Kennedy as their resident black voice on issues. Disgusting!

Coping with "Christians"

When Alice Copeland Brown's letter arrived, we were in the middle of writing this week's Cover Story, "Racism & War: Perfect Together." Ms. Brown seemed to have been reading our minds.

I am looking to the Black Caucus for moral and political leadership in this awful insane time. The symptoms that Southern schizophrenia has gone national are all around us. I graduated with 150 Birmingham teen-agers in 1955 from high school. The blindness of so-called Christians to the evils of segregation is now present in the blindness to the insanity of bringing democracy to Iraq as we bring death by bombing, when we no longer have it ourselves. I used to think this hypocrisy was willful; now I believe it to be a psychopathic condition brought on by years of living in denial with a mass media that censures out anything to the contrary.

We need cheap gas to fuel our SUVs, so the deaths of thousands that we'll never see matters not at all. But how do you talk to these people? I've received 12 letters from classmates, ordering me to take them off my mailing lists... people who attend church every Sunday and think of themselves as loving Christians (and they are, to one another). What do I say, without being obscene and using the fury I feel behind my words?

Unfortunately, racists hear and see only that which confirms their superiority, or - in the case of Ms. Brown's "Christians" - their moral uprightness. They have been known to react murderously when contradicted.

As a movement veteran and Head Organizer for Allegheny County ACORN (Pittsburgh), Maryellen Hayden has run up against racists and reactionaries of every variety. She relaxes, kind of, with .

I love your take on the issues that cut to the lives of African Americans and Americans who are not in the elite class. I am so overwhelmed by the current situation that I just don't know what to do anymore. I am a lifelong in-the-trenches activist who has tried to work for change, and I feel like every gain we have made is being taken away and we seem to be powerless to stop it. Reading your e-magazine brings me back to my good old anger, the kind that drives me to fight anyway, and I love you for it! Keep doin' it!

Ms. Hayden is looking for organizing talent in the Pittsburgh area. Only determined movers-and-shakers need apply. (Click here for the ACORN website Organizer page.)

Keep writing.

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Issue Number 33
March 13, 2003

Other commentaries in this issue:

Cover Story
Racism & War - Perfect Together

The Issues
Why Blacks are under-represented at peace rallies... Supreme Court ponders another capital case... Pardon sought for executed woman



Commentaries in Issue 32 March 6, 2003:

All About Clarence:Self-loathing on the High Court

The Issues
Condoleezza vs Schwarzenegger for Senate... Africa’s "Right to Health"... Turks: "Stick it up your backside"

The disappearing 2004 election... Delousing the Democrats... TV’s "Meet the Prejudiced" and "Face the Fool"

Persistent Peril: Why African American babies have the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world By Ziba Kashef, ColorLines RaceWire

You can read any past issue of The Black Commentator in its entirety by going to the Past Issues page.