Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Monday that people today are more race-conscious and politically correct than ever before, and that he has endured far worse treatment at the hands of northern liberals than supposedly racist southerners.
Thomas, who is currently the only black member of the Supreme Court, made his remarks on race during a speech at Palm Beach Atlantic University, according to Yahoo News’ Chris Moody. Contrary to the stereotype of southerners as racist, Thomas said he has overcome more discrimination in the North than in the South.
“The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites,” he said. “The absolute worst I have ever been treated. The worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.”
Thomas is no stranger to actual racism. Throughout his career he has been called an “Uncle Tom” — a derogatory term for a black person who is perceived as being subservient to white people–by liberals who don’t like his conservative policies. Last June, Minnesota state Rep. Ryan Winkler, a Democrat, called Thomas an Uncle Tom, although he later apologized and said he didn’t know the phrase was considered derogatory.
Thomas also told Palm Beach Atlantic University students that obsession over trivial identity-based sleights has reached an all-time high.
“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school,” he said. “To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up. Now, name a day it doesn’t come up. Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out. That’s a part of the deal.”
Nowhere are Thomas’s observations on racial obsession more apropos than American university campuses. At the University of Michigan, for instance, minority students recently cited a black student feeling left out during group assignments as evidence of campus-wide racism. (RELATED: UMich meets demands of black students who threatened ‘physical action’)
The minority student group asked administrators to address the problem by approving a $300,000 renovation of the UM multicultural center. Administrators complied within one week.