Clarence Thomas has held a seat on the United States Supreme Court for just a day over 25 years. From one perspective, it could be said that he was the most powerful black man in U.S. politics pre-Obama. From another, he has a long history of conservative politics and has been accused of sexual harassment. But should his legacy be officially acknowledged as a part of African American history?
That same question is bing raised after a petition was launched on StandUnited to have Thomas included in the recently opened National African American Museum on the National Mall.
“Director for Smithsonian Museum of African-American Culture and History, Lonnie Bunch III : Don’t Overlook African American Leaders like Justice Clarence Thomas,” was started by a Megan Thomas of Reston, Virginia and has more than 7,000 signatures as of this writing.
“It is obvious politics is what kept Justice Thomas out of the museum. For years, he has been shunned by the liberal black community since he has spoken out against affirmative action,” reads the petition’s opening message. “He has written that affirmative action amounts to racial discrimination, and detailed how it worked against him when he was trying to find work as a lawyer. ”
The inclusion of Thomas into the museum brings up a discussion that’s clearly worth having.What qualifications should be met for inclusion in the first place? Has Thomas met them in his 35-plus year career?
While he’s clearly a black man who’s had many individual accomplishments, it could be said that he hasn’t done much to for black community as a whole.
Perhaps it should be taken as a sign that the petition has mostly stalled out at 7,000 signatures.
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