Every Brother Ain’t a Brother
In Public Enemy’s classic song “Welcome to the Terrordome,” Chuck D said, “Every brother ain’t a brother cause a color just as well could be undercover.”
And while I dislike criticizing other African-Americans for their political leanings, there is no way the only Black judge on the United States Supreme Court should be the only dissent on a case, which purposefully excluded Blacks from serving as jurors.
Every justice, including Chief Justice John Roberts, voted that race should not be used to exclude people from serving on juries in a 7-1 decision, except for Thomas.
Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal explained, “Timothy Foster was sentenced to death by an all-White jury after his conviction for the 1986 murder of Queen Madge White, a 79-year-old widow in Rome, Ga. Prosecutors used their peremptory challenges, which allow removing a juror without expressing a reason, to exclude all Blacks in the jury pool.
“Mr. Foster’s attorneys objected under a Supreme Court decision handed down earlier in 1986, Baston v. Kentucky, which found it unconstitutional to strike jurors based on race…
“The notes disclosed that prosecutors had marked the name of each Black person in the jury pool with the letter B, and highlighted each name in green, amid other evidence showing the state’s effort to keep African-Americans off the jury.
“The all-White jury sentenced Mr. Foster, who was 18 at the time of the murder, to death after prosecutors urged it to ‘deter other people out there in the projects.’”
To read such overt racism is not shocking.
However, to have even one dissenting opinion in this case is extremely shocking.
That it would come from Clarence Thomas makes it even worse because what he is saying with his dissenting vote is that Black people do not even have the constitutional right (implied in the Sixth Amendment) to a jury of their peers.
So what that Clarence Thomas opposes affirmative action even though he benefitted from it in the past because affirmative action is not in the United States Constitution.
But it is something else to say that your own people do not have the same constitutional rights as others, which has to be the worst decision he has rendered from the bench in his infamous tenure.
No one is saying that Foster is innocent of his crimes.
What people are saying is that it is reprehensible that a Black judge would condone such overt discrimination aimed at his own people.
And then he usually has the audacity to criticize the same Black community for its imperfections.
No wonder we need affirmative action because if this does not prove that the chips are stacked against us, nothing will.
The only African-American, other than the late, great Thurgood Marshall to serve on the high court, Clarence Thomas has a history of voting against things that benefit the Black community.
The former radical who idolized Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. voted to dismantle a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.
Justice Clarence Thomas wants to eliminate the use of race totally from public college admissions under the Equal Protection Clause.
And according to a 2013 CNN.com article, Clarence Thomas leans to the far right, and rejects cases that would benefit African-Americans, because he wants to create a colorblind society.
While I applaud him for trying to create a colorblind society, one cannot create a colorblind society by allowing people to be excluded from something because of their skin color.
That is the ultimate hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, he is not creating a colorblind society. He is making it harder for people in American society to get a fair shot at life because of their color.
Chuck D of Public Enemy elaborated on the aforementioned song by stating, “Every brother ain’t a brother cause a Black hand squeezed on Malcolm X the man. The shooting of Huey Newton from a hand of a nig who pulled the trig.”
Sometimes it is our own kind that creates the roadblocks for us.
Unfortunately, Justice Clarence Thomas just proves the point that every brother ain’t a brother.