The Left Should Stop Rewriting the History of Clarence Thomas’ Legacy
There’s a battle being waged that does not involve guns or bullets—the battle over history.
A striking example is found in the news story declaring that in a new Smithsonian Museum dedicated to African-American history, Anita Hill is a more important figure than Clarence Thomas. That museum is in a corner of the “mall” in D.C., close to the Washington Monument.
In the article “New Smithsonian hails accuser Anita Hill, barely mentions Clarence Thomas” (circa.com, 10/3/16), Raffi Williams writes, “Thomas disputed Hill’s allegations and won confirmation, but his side of the story is mostly ignored in the exhibits. Museum officials acknowledged that Thomas has ‘very little presence’ in any of the exhibitions.”
He adds, “One of the few mentions of Thomas in the museum reads: ‘In 1991 Anita Hill charged Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment.’”
It is astounding that a museum dedicated to black history would essentially snub one of the most important African-Americans in our time, Clarence Thomas—only the second-ever African-American justice to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.
Now, his accuser from that “high tech lynching” (as Thomas himself called it) in the battle royal over his confirmation by the Senate a quarter of a century ago gets more attention at the museum than he does.
Here is a man—Clarence Thomas—who, for 16 years prior to the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, held the highest office in the land of any black person in America.
He was approved by a close vote in the senate. And the liberals have continued much of their hysterical disapproval of him ever since.
For example, Julianne Malveaux, a liberal black commentator, made this remark on the June 4, 1994 edition of a program on PBS: “You know, I hope his wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter and he dies early like many black men do, of heart disease.” When conservative Betsy Hart protested, Malveaux wouldn’t back down. “Well, that’s how I feel. He is an absolutely reprehensible person.”
Why would someone say that, and on a platform paid for by taxpayer dollars, no less? To the left, it would appear that there is nothing so unforgivable as a black conservative. Those who are pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-conscience, and pro-religious liberty are to be marginalized—no matter how consequential they actually are.
Too often, American museums are increasingly becoming bastions of political correctness. And Clarence Thomas has committed the grave sin of not being sufficiently liberal and P.C. And that’s a shame. I consider myself a big fan of museums, but not this new direction.
In this new display at this new museum, one can understand that they would briefly mention the Anita Hill charge, as that was part of the Clarence Thomas story. But it was just a “he said/she said” conflict and was disputed by some who knew her.
Meanwhile, Clarence Thomas’ intriguing and original contributions to the court are completely ignored.
The sad thing is that millions of people will attend this museum and just take these things at face value. And in this way, history gets rewritten. In fact, history gets rewritten by the cultural elites who seem to have all the high places in this culture. I see the same mistreatment all the time today of America’s founders, but that’s another topic for another day.
My friend Bill Federer is a best-selling author and speaker on history-related themes. He recently wrote a forward for an upcoming book related to history and Christianity that I’ve written.
In his foreword, Bill commented on the importance of history: “Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur Schlesinger, who was on President John F. Kennedy’s staff, wrote, ‘History is to the nation as memory is to the individual.’”
Bill added, “In America, we have national Alzheimer’s. Here we are in America, and we have been the freest most prosperous country that planet earth has ever seen, but recently we’ve lost our memory.”
He quotes poet Carl Sandburg, who wrote: “When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along.”
He notes that Karl Marx, the father of Communism who advocated the idea of deconstruction—separate people from their historical past and then you can reconstruct society the way you want to—said “The first battlefield is the rewriting of history” and “Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily destroyed.”
What a tragedy that, unless they correct this error at the museum, millions of visitors will be treated to a deconstructionist, biased, and distorted view of our 106th Justice on the Supreme Court, designed to fulfill a political goal rather than to accurately recount history. Yes, history matters.
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