Excerpt from "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words" just published by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta So, the Supreme Court judge reflects the changes in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia. The book is based on a more than 30-hour interview pack conducted by Thomas and his wife Ginny for the movie of the same name. 95% of the material in the book, including this excerpt, is new.
Michael Pack:You talked a bit today about how manywell-meaning social programs haven't improved the lives of the black community. ..In a way, do you think it's worse than when you grew up?
Clarence Thomas:It's a disaster. When I grew up, you had a family and you weren't gangbanged with drugs or.You can walk down the street.
There has been a change in our society. I think these programs have certainly had an impact. Go back to the savanna and look around you. Our worst horror has come true. We didn't want to be right. We wanted to be wrong. It wasn't about winning the debate. No, we wanted to lose the argument. I didn't want the damage to happen. That is why we were involved. I don't particularly like public life. I didn't want to be in public life. I would like to go to a soccer match. I don't want to make decisions about the lives of others, but it's when I see these principles undermined that I'm dragging you in, which leads to such destruction. I think policy will destroy people and ultimately what enables us to have freedom and a free society.
MP:Therefore, heirs of these movements likeBlack Lives Matter are focusing onother things: mass imprisonment, police. Atrocities. What do you think of the current movement for racial justice?
CT:I don't really follow the movement of the diary. I'm confused. It's fascinating to me that the radical groups of the '60s, like the Black Panther Party, which we all knew and liked at the time, are now a sort of mainstream. .. But at that time we knew they were more marginal. I don't know what to say about this. But if you look at some of the things that are still problematic, such as bad education,dangerous areas, drugs,alcohol, and the collapse of the family, these seem to be what we warned at the time. Basically, I was told to walk a long pier. And I understand that. I'm sure some people don't want to hear dissenting opinions. But at the same time, we do not take ownership of these policies, which play an important role in the damages inflicted.
MP:I've returned to both pinpoint and savanna many times. When you come back, do you look back on your life? Do you look back on what you are doing now?
CT:I don't really reflect on this kind of thing. Much of this seems depressing, and it didn't have to happen. The savanna I'm back in isn't the savanna I grew up in. There are good parts and you can move around freely. You have no separation, but you have a medical condition that we did not have before. You have a crime that we didn't have before. You have afamily collapsethat you did not have before, a disorder that you did not have before. And they were avoided. You didn't have to do it to the poor, and it's just a pain. Something has changed, so it's a little difficult to get back.
My grandfather always talks: how do you Do you help? People who don't turn them into national wards, and don't turn them into people who don't help themselves. He would have this line, "You help people help themselves." And there was a difference between helping oneself and helping oneself. I used to do it all the time, so now I can do it individually. It wasn't just our Christian duty.That was our way of life. That is the way of life in our community. You have fish and someone else has beans, they bring you beans, you give them fish, or vice versa. But what about those who can't help themselves? And his grandfather said, "Some people can't help themselves, others can't." And he wanted to help those who couldn't and those who couldn't. And how do you make that distinction? Well, you live there. It's part of your community. It's a family, it's your neighbor. This person refuses to work, as opposed to a person with a disability or another child who has just been born and is now unable to go to work. But you don't know it from a distance.
If people have thesetypes of macro policiesand have unintended consequences, they are not happy with it. You changed your neighborhoodwhen you destroyed your neighborhood to replace a home. The small church, small community house, etc. that people used to go to on Sunday suddenly disappeared.
MP:Why these activists advertise Do you think these policies are. Do they have good intentions?
CT:Earlier we talked about promoting policies that make people feel good. "Oh, I'm happy with myself because I put all of you in public housing."My grandfather put all these skyscrapersin public housing. When I saw it,I thought it was terrible. When we visited a relative who lived in New York, he remembers saying, "Boy, this doesn't make any sense. The Po people of Pilin are above the Po people." .. And he turned out to be right. They demolished Cabrini Green [Chicago Housing Project] and many of these infamous high-rise public housing projects. They made a prophet from him. Because he thought it would cause more problems. Still, the people who pushed it never say, "Oh, we made a mistake." And they never take into account the damage they have done to people in their epic experiments, the gangs they created, the drug trafficking they contained, and the destruction of their deteriorating families. Not all of this was necessarily caused, but at least it was affected in the wrong direction by the artificiality of theneighborhoods they created.
Experts do not live in the neighborhood. They say it was in a substandard building when you demolished the little shoe store, so they don't know what effect it had. It's the same. When we consolidate schools,the unintended consequence is the impact it has on black teachers and neighboring schools. You walked to school, your parents went to that school, and what happens when you break those bonds.
MP:Good points. Unintended consequences are serious.
CT:One day, when we were on an oil truck, my grandfather said something, and they wereold substandard homes. Putand probably a new one. Well, they never put up with that part. So when they started destroying some of the dilapidated houses in our neighborhood, he said, "Boy, they are destroying the neighborhood and building a building." That phrase came to my mind. There is a difference ofbetween the neighborhoodand the building. And there may be subtle differences, especially when you are young. But as life progresses, you'll find that buildings and neighborhoods are completely different. You can have a really nice building and a terrifying neighborhood, and you can have a terrible building and a great neighborhood. And that was his point about our neighborhood. Our neighborhood was fine. But geniuses-experts-came in and began to destroy buildings and neighborhoods.