Justice Clarence Thomas told an audience at the Library of Congress that the victimhood culture that is becoming prevalent in American society would eventually fatigue the nation. “At some point we’re going to be fatigued with everybody being a victim,” he said.
Justice Thomas related a story about an encounter with a black college student, during a recent trip ti Kansas, who had told him that she was more concerned about education than the political upheaval taking place at many college campuses in America.
He went on to relate how his grandparents had dealt with the segregation and white centered focus in southern Georgia and how we can learn from their example. The Daily Caller reports:
Thomas has struck similar chords throughout his public life. He appeared on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program in November 2017, and suggested contemporary activists could benefit from the example of his grandparents, who exhibited quiet fortitude during the heady days of white supremacy.
He made his Thursday remark in the context of a broader discussion about his childhood. Thomas was born in Georgia’s coastal lowlands among impoverished Gullah-speakers, and spent his childhood working his grandfather’s farm. He likened his upbringing to Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel “The Help” as most of the women in his life, including his mother, were domestics in white households.
Given the few options open to blacks in the Jim Crow south, Thomas’ family felt they had no choice but to do the best with what they had. The justice detects the hand of providence in those select opportunities open to him, like parochial education and Savannah’s Carnegie library, which served the black population.
“You always have to play the hand you’re dealt,” he said. “If you’re dealt a bad hand, you still have to play it.”
As detailed in his 2008 memoir, he inherited these sensibilities from his grandfather. Thomas was sent to live with his grandparents after a fire ravaged his mother’s home during his childhood.
By Thomas’ telling, his grandfather was the defining figure of his life. When he joined the Supreme Court in 1991, his wife commissioned a bust featuring his grandfather’s favorite quote.
“His favorite quote was ‘Old Man Can’t is dead. I helped bury him,’” Thomas said.
The pendulum will only swing so far in one direction before it swings back to the other. The victimhood culture that Justice Thomas points to is one which has been growing in intensity over the course of the last two decades.
So many victims come forward with cries of being wronged while demanding sweeping social changes in order to accommodate them. Their number is vast and the amount of change that they demand seems to be endless, as there seems to always be another victim claiming that society has to change because of how they feel.
Those changes never seem to reach a critical mass as more steps are continually demanded. More and more, society at large will eventually begin to see these cries of victimization and endless social change as a ship without a port. It will always be at sea, and it will never reach a destination, merely that that course must be continually altered.