Conservative right-wing Republicans appeared to be overcome with disingenuous outrage after an African American Democratic state attorney general criticized the second-ever Black U.S. Supreme Court in accusations of race betrayal.
Video footage from an interview that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison did with a Black-owned Detroit-based news outlet was going viral on Monday in part because Ellison compared U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to a house slave character in the movie “Django Unchained” immortalized by actor Samuel L. Jackson.
The role of Steven, who professed his undying love for his cruel slave master while trying to sabotage other slaves to curry favor with his white owners, provided a spitting image of Thomas, Ellison said.
“Anybody who’s watched the movie ‘Django,’ just watch Stephen and you see Clarence Thomas,” Ellison told the Michigan Chronicle last week. “Clarence Thomas has decided that his best personal interest is siding with the powerful and the special interests regardless as to who they’re going to hurt. He’s like, I’m looking out for me, and I don’t care nothing about you, but I’m on the Supreme Court so it’s my job to look out for you.’ So he’s abdicating his responsibility. He has abdicated it a long time ago. When he got in office, he was this way. He’s this way now, maybe he’s worse now.”
Watch the clip below.
To be sure, a house slave is historically described as the counterpart to field slaves, who were relegated to manual labor. House slaves, on the other hand, worked in the slave master’s home in a domestic capacity. In the case of Steven from Django,” to whom Ellison compared Thomas, the fictional character put forth an effort to further ingratiate himself to the master at the expense of the other slaves. Actions like Steven’s — and Thomas,’ according to Ellison — are tantamount to the so-called Crabs in a Barrell Syndrome, a metaphorical mentality based on the clawed crustaceans’ habit of preventing others from escaping their confinements.
Even though Ellison is far from the first person to make such a comparison between Thomas and Steven from ‘Django” – it also happened in the immediate aftermath of last month’s ruling to end affirmative action and prevent colleges from considering race in admissions – Republicans clutched their social media pearls in apparent unison to condemn Ellison’s words as “racist.”
“Democrats show no bounds with their racism on full display,” one tweet said.
“Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison goes on racist rant,” another tweet claimed.
“Keith Ellison clearly hasn’t had enough DEI training,” Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz tweeted.
Far-right radio host Joe Pagliarulo tweeted that “Keith Ellison is a disgusting person.”
That same level of outrage from the aforementioned and other Trumpublicans was conspicuously missing in recent weeks when there was no mistaking conservatives’ anti-Black racism.
For instance, 1) when Arizona Congressman Eli Crane referred to Black Americans as “colored people” – on the House floor, no less – 2) or when Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul compared college basketball players to “rap stars” because he is apparently in favor of the NCAA’s model of free slave labor that capitalized on Black athletes; 3) or when Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville said it was only an “opinion” that white nationalists are racist.
In those instances, conservative voices labeling the people behind those statements “racist” has still not happened.
But when a sitting attorney general suggests that a Black Supreme Court justice who was admittedly the beneficiary of affirmative action concurs with a ruling to do away with the policy — and does so after receiving alleged bribes from a billionaire Republican — is evidence of him actively working against the members of his race, somehow the mostly white voices representing the views of the mainstream Republican Party decides that is “racist.”
This is America.
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