The Inspiration Of Clarence Thomas

If there was one thing I have learned about Clarence Thomas, it is that there are many sources of inspiration. From history, to current events, the Thomas’ of our time also inspire us with the possibilities of becoming stronger as a person.

In his first speech as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Thomas displayed an understanding of Black history that was uncommon among his fellow justices. He reflected on his role in starting the Civil Rights Movement and spoke of how those who marched through Selma, Alabama, “changed my life.” He was confident that he would get things done and did, even when President Clinton refused to grant his appointment to the US Supreme Court.

Later, when Thomas was called to testify in the Paula Jones trial, he revealed to the world that he was one of the original members of the Cherokee Nation. He recalled how his elders had advised him to “start a few things.” He talked about how much the Justice Department has benefited Native Americans by fighting for their rights. And he brought history back to life by addressing the Alamo.

Thomas’ greatest contribution to his role as Chief Justice is his commitment to Black History. Not only did he gather the Justice Department files, but he made it his business to try to get the American people involved.

When I was appointed Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, I thought I had something in common with Thomas. I worked hard to try to make the best use of resources and gather information and experience and write a book about the importance of Native American Indian rights.

Despite this shared interest, it was Thomas who saw the need to share with the country the “greatest irony” he observed in his first book, American Indians in the United States: An Indian America Story. He began his talk with the following anecdote. He noted that he had heard of a Native American who visited the farmhouse of white men.

The men made their bed. The Indians, nevertheless, were intent on getting into the bed. When asked what they were up to, the Indians responded, “We’ve been visiting a bunch of white folks.”

Thomas is currently writing a book about race relations, which also features a lot of stories about Native Americans. It’s fascinating to see what he reads and where he gets his information.

I’ve seen his stories featured in the mainstream media. But you won’t find them on MSNBC or in National Public Radio. Thomas, perhaps more than any other justice, understands the value of the outsider.

There are two great stories that I discovered about Thomas that I hadn’t heard before. One is a story about his visit to the south African native culture where he asked a woman to go for a long walk with him because he was a strong admirer of the culture.