By Ralph E. Moore, Jr.

When the other-than-Lindsey-Graham-U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Tim Scott (R-S.C.), an African-American, voted against the confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to become the first African-American woman to sit on the Supreme Court, many wondered: who is this guy?

Justice Clarence Thomas, only the second African-American to sit on the aforementioned court, graces the news media and American politics these days with his outspoken, activist wife, Ginni. Both are proudly committed to the wrong side of history.  

Thomas has been the anti-Thurgood Marshall since he first took his seat on the highest court in the land on Oct. 23, 1991.  He is currently the longest-serving justice of the current Supreme Court and the most consistently far-right conservative and the least likely to support Black and Brown and other people of color in his rulings. Who is this guy?

Then there is former Heisman Trophy and NFL football star, Hershel Walker, a Republican candidate for Senate from the state of Georgia. Donald Trump hand-picked him to run against the first African-American senator in history elected from that state, Raphael Warnock, a Democrat.  Walker, to say the least, is new to politics.  But I think the hope is that his name recognition is enough to carry the election day for him. You have to ask about one of the least qualified persons in Georgia to run for office: who is this guy?

Despite all the attempts at racial reckoning of all three Black men, we should let the work they’ve done speak for them.

Once a member of the House of Representatives, Scott is the only African-American to have served in both chambers of Congress. He has served in the Senate since 2013. He grew up in a working poor family, went to college on a football scholarship and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Scott was endorsed in an earlier campaign by Alaska’s former governor, Sarah Palin.

Scott once, reportedly in 2011, sponsored a so-called welfare reform bill that would cut people from the food stamp program because their income went due to their being in a labor strike. However, on the other hand, he and Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker introduced a bill to make lynching a federal crime, which was passed and signed recently by President Biden.

So, Scott may be a bit of a mixed bag on race (much like his June 2020 police reform bill, with some good and several missing parts, which failed to pass in the Senate, incidentally).  His vote against Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, however, will mark his record for a very long time.

Clarence Thomas once studied in seminary to become a Catholic priest.  In an autobiography,   he said he left upon hearing gleefully derogatory statements from fellow seminarians about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He then enrolled in Holy Cross College in Worchester, Mass., where he helped start a Black Student Union. Upon graduation, Thomas entered and received his law degree from Yale University.  

Associate Justice Thomas has been influenced by his reading of conservatives such as Thomas Sowell and Ayn Rand as well as left-leaning Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison.  

Thomas worked for Senator John Danforth (R – MO) in two separate posts (Assistant Attorney General for Missouri and then as a legislative assistant to Senator Danforth). So not surprisingly, years later Danforth sponsored Thomas for nomination to the United States Supreme Court.  

Thomas replaced Robert Bork in 1989 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C.  Eventually, upon Thurgood Marshall’s retirement in 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to fill Marshall’s seat. During the nomination process, Anita Hill, a former co-worker of Clarence Thomas, testified to his sexual harassment of her in their workplace.  And yet he was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate in a 52-48 vote.

Associate Justice Thomas is an arch-conservative, the polar opposite of Thurgood Marshall. 

Thomas has been ranked the most popular justice among Republicans. He is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right of citizens to bear arms. In Fourth Amendment issues over prohibiting illegal search and seizures, Thomas has often sided with the police over the defendants. He has dissented against a court opinion that gave criminal defendants the right to an attorney.  

Clarence Thomas is perceived to vote against decisions that would help Black and Brown persons and for matters that disproportionately harm people of color.  He and his wife are noted in the media these days for aiding and abetting the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the Capitol to try to overthrow the 2020 election results. No good.

Finally, Hershel Walker, was once a college and NFL running back.  He is running for the United States Senate in Georgia.  He has never held public office before.  He is the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, endorsed by Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.  He may be a bit of an empty football uniform running to be an empty suit in the Senate. His education background is questionable at best in grades claimed and degree attained (he never graduated from college but claims to have).  

He has been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife but has never been charged with that crime. Walker’s life story, his domestic relationship and his generally questionable fitness to serve in the United States Senate don’t assure him victory against the sitting Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock, a charismatic, popular and hardworking Georgian.  His support from Trump will not endear him to Black and Brown voters.  

His weak record and his dubious awareness of issues and policies facing the nation, particularly the Black and Brown communities, puts him in the same dubious league as Scott and Clarence Thomas.  Who are these guys?  What do they stand for? Why are they not with their people? What makes them tick? Do they actually hate Black folks or do they hate themselves? Or both? How? And why? Or are their extreme right positions just showing business for effect?

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