Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas expected to see an African-American president in his lifetime — as long as the candidate abided by standards for blacks that are prescribed by “elites and the media,” he said in little-noticed remarks last month. And he suggested that Barack Obama fits the mould.
“I always knew that it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media,” Thomas said last month at Duquesne Law School in remarks posted to YouTube Friday.
“Any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart,” the justice said. “Pick anyone who’s decided not to go along with it — there’s a price to pay. So I always assumed it would be somebody that the media had to agree with.”
He didn’t elaborate on what those prescribed standards were.
Thomas was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1991 by George H. W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall, the first ever African-American to serve on the court. A staunch originalist who unfailingly votes with conservatives on issues of race and diversity, Thomas has complained that his J.D. from Yale was tarnished due to the elite law school’s affirmative action program. He’s also been described by Supreme Court watchers as deeply distrustful of mainstream media after the Anita Hill scandal that marred his confirmation hearings.
Thomas said he has met Obama but hasn’t had any “in-depth conversations” with him. “I’m not into politics,” he said. “I don’t like politics.”
Watch the video, uploaded by user Wayne Dupree:
This story was originally published by Talking Points Memo.
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