I really admire Rich Lowry's writings and after George Takei's racist rant last week, he examines it well.
What Clarence Thomas can (still) teach George ‘Sulu’ Takei
By Rich Lowry
Justice Clarence Thomas set off a controversy in his dissent in the Supreme Court’s gay-marriage decision by reciting core American beliefs about the innate dignity and rights of all persons, whatever their circumstances or the injustices done to them.
He wrote that even people held in slavery, even people interned during World War II, retained their dignity because it is impossible to erase what is woven into our very nature.
What one would think is a stirring statement about our irreducible human quality occasioned outrage among the justice’s critics. Slate considered the passage “brutal.”
MSNBC found it “jaw dropping.” Salon called it “vile.” But none could top the gay actor and activist George Takei — famous as Sulu in Star Trek — who fumed that Thomas had forfeited his status as a black man.
Seriously. In a TV interview, Takei called Thomas “a clown in black face.” Amid a backlash over this insult, he doubled-down: “I feel Justice Thomas has abdicated and abandoned his African American heritage by claiming that slavery did not strip dignity from human beings.”
Takei the would-be racial arbiter eventually apologized, although he still thinks Thomas is “deeply wrong.”
That Takei’s first instinct was to deny the blackness of Clarence Thomas tells us much about the rancid racial essentialism of the left, which can’t get its head around minorities stepping out of ideological line.
That aside, the left’s freak-out is so remarkable since what Thomas wrote represents American Founding 101. Where did Thomas get this outlandish notion of rights and dignity that exist prior to government?
Maybe Thomas Jefferson? “We do not claim these,” he wrote of our natural rights, “under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of kings.”
Or John Adams? He wrote of rights “antecedent to all earthly government,” “that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws,” “derived from the great Legislator of the universe.”
One wonders if anyone disturbed by the Thomas dissent glanced at the Declaration of Independence over the July 4 weekend.
It says, as Thomas notes, all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
In case there’s any misunderstanding, the good folks at Merriam-Webster define unalienable as “impossible to take away or give up.”...
Yes, a right is something that is part of you, not something you tax your fellow citizens to provide for you. But that seems to be heresy these days.
...Frederick Douglass, was once held in bondage. He reportedly said of his appalling enslavement: “They cannot degrade Frederick Douglass. The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are inflicting it upon me.” (Quick — someone ask George Takei if Frederick Douglass was truly black.)
The reaction to the Thomas dissent is, in part, about the historical and philosophical illiteracy of his critics. But they also have a profoundly different worldview. The Founders believed we have innate rights that must be protected from government.
As Thomas writes, “Our Constitution — like the Declaration of Independence before it — was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from — not provided by — the State.”...
Thomas is in my book one of the classical libeals on the court, the other being Scalia. Alito....well, the jury is still out, but damned I wish he was chief justice right now instead of Roberts.
This notion is anathema to a left that identifies the state with progress, and that defines freedom much more loosely (not to say nonsensically) as including what government gives us, in an ever-expanding palette of benefits.
Thomas is the one firmly grounded in the best of the American tradition, even if his clueless attackers don’t get it.
Some of them acted as if he is somehow ignorant of the nature of slavery, even though his forebears were slaves and he grew up in abject poverty in the Jim Crow South.
Justice Thomas doesn’t just understand more about the reality of racial oppression than his critics, but more about America and its ideals.
They should keep reading his opinions. Maybe they will learn something.
Takei, like many libs, was overjoyed when six lawyers in robes decided to "give" them a right. I don't question the libs on the court have delusions of godhood, but they don't do it well.
But something else is not puzzling, but should be pointed out. Mr. Sulu obviously didn't read Justice Thomas's opinion before he commented, and stuck his foot in his mouth. And he did it again. It took a third try for Takei to see how badly he had made himself a fool and gave a half-ass apology. But question, if Limbaugh, or Levin or Hannity had made such a racist comment on an opinion written by the (excuse me while I snicker) wise Latina, aka Justice Sotomayor, would this have been so easily forgotten by the "usual suspects" after a pathetic apology like that? I think we know the answer.
My impression of Takei has changed somewhat over the years. After he came out of the closet in 2005, he's not just let a bit of resentment show about his homosexuality. It often takes a shot at this country about how his family lost everything with the interment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. But for some reason he is angry at conservatives and Republicans about this. Sorry George, but it was a Democratic president who ordered that and a Democratically appointed Supreme Court that upheld the interment. That case was Korematsu vs United States. You know, a case authored by the former Klan lawyer, anti-Catholic bigot and Roosevelt appointee Hugo Black, where he said the government could move you and take your stuff. But for some reason you worship radicals of the Democratic party.
George, I would remind you the United States, for its faults, let you become a national icon, now had granted you a "right to marry" and allowed you to become wealthy beyond your parents dreams. You may want to remember that next time you spout off about every perceived slight you have. May I recommend an excellent book for you. My Grandfather’s Son was Justice Thomas’s biography and devoted story of the man who raised him to endure Jim Crow without the bitterness you seem to have.