I think segregation is bad, I think it's wrong, it's immoral. I'd fight against it with every breath in my body, but you don't need to sit next to a white person to learn how to read and write. The NAACP needs to say that.— Clarence Thomas
The most astounding Clarence Thomas quotes to get the best of your day
Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.
I don't believe in quotas. America was founded on a philosophy of individual rights, not group rights.
I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan;
as an adult I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along - where I was being pursued not by bigots in white robes, but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony.
A judge should be evaluated by whether he faithfully upholds his oath to God, not to the people, to the state or to the Constitution.
And I don't think that government has a role in telling people how to live their lives. Maybe a minister does, maybe your belief in God does, maybe there's another set of moral codes, but I don't think government has a role.
People get bent out of shape about the fact that when I was a kid, you could not drink out of certain water fountains. Well, the water was the same.
The job of a judge is to figure out what the law says, not what he wants it to say. There is a difference between the role of a judge and that of a policy maker... Judging requires a certain impartiality.
I love being around people who work with their hands, who do the hard things to keep our country going. They're just my kind of people.
And I thank God I believe in God, or I would probably be enormously angry right now.
I'd been very partial to Malcolm X, particularly his self-help teachings.
I don't know one of my friends who is considered a conservative who has not had to go back and thoroughly think through everything. You do a lot of soul-searching - 'cause we are not going to win any popularity contests.
I'm not an Uncle Tom. . .. I'm going to be here for 40 years. For those who don't like it, get over it.
In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution;
it is a religious institution as well, today's decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter.
Government cannot make us equal; it can only recognize, respect, and protect us as equal before the law. That [affirmative action] programs may have been motivated, in part, by good intentions cannot provide refuge from the principle that under our Constitution, the government may not make distinctions on the basis of race.
But what I believe is that if a person's individual rights or right to be a part of our economic system is violated under statute, we aggressively go after it. But we don't issue mandates to businesses that you've got to do this and you've got to do that.
You have a number of choices. You could continue to always fight against people who are really distractions. They're people in the cheap seats of life. Or you can do what you went there to do.
The absolute worst I have ever been treated, the worst things that have been done to me, the worst things that have been said about me, are by northern liberal elites, not by the people of Savannah, Georgia.
Even as someone who's labeled a conservative - I'm a Republican I'm black, I'm heading up this organization in the Reagan administration - I can say that conservatives don't exactly break their necks to tell blacks that they're welcome.
I was never a liberal. I was radical. I was cynical. I was negative. But, I was never a liberal. I always saw that as too lukewarm for me.
Any discrimination, like sharp turns in a road, becomes critical because of the tremendous speed at which we are traveling into the high-tech world of a service economy.
I tend to really be partial to Ayn Rand, and to The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
A good argument diluted to avoid criticism is not nearly as good as the undiluted argument, because we best arrive at truth through a process of honest and vigorous debate. Arguments should not sneak around in disguise, as if dissent were somehow sinister... For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.
We've talked more about civil rights after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than we talked about it before 1964.
When you look at where the real problems are among minorities in our society, particularly blacks, it's at the bottom. It's the people who are in school systems that don't educate, neighborhoods where there is a lot of crime, drugs, the whole bit.
My grandfather could barely read. My grandmother had a sixth-grade education. They were people who were industrious. They were frugal.
I think Juan stopped short - he got halfway to the destination and got off the train. He is certainly an excellent writer and a good person, but I'm not a nationalist.
But I know that the vote of 9 out of 10 black Americans for the Democratic Party or for leftist kinds of policies just is not reflective of their opinions.
I have to admit that I'm one of those people that thinks the dishwasher is a miracle.
The White House said today that Judge Clarence Thomas, President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, had smoked marijuana while in college.
If Congress can regulate this under the Commerce Clause, then it can regulate virtually anything-and the Federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
While the romanticized ideal of universal public education resonates with the cognoscenti who oppose vouchers, poor urban families just want the best education for their children, who will certainly need it to function in our high-tech and advanced society.
I was sympathetic to virtually all groups that wanted to get away from the old system.
So many of our conversations (about affirmative action) have been dishonest
Long gone is the time when we opposed the notion that we all looked alike and talked alike. Somehow we have come to exalt the new black stereotype above all and to demand conformity to that norm... [However], I assert my right to think for myself, to refuse to have my ideas assigned to me as though I was an intellectual slave because I'm black.
The Constitution does not vest in Congress the authority to protect society from every bad act that might befall it....[I]f followed to its logical extreme, [this approach] would result in an unwarranted expansion of federal power.
The thing that bothered me when I was in college was that I saw myself rejecting the way of life that got me to where I was.
I was smart enough to use pot without getting caught, and now I'm on the Supreme Court. If you were stupid enough to get caught, that's your problem. Your appeal is denied. This 40 year sentence just might teach you a lesson.
Today, now, it is time to move forward, a time to look for what is good in others, what is good in our country. It is time to see what we have in common, what we have to share as human beings and citizens.
Perhaps some are confused because they have stereotypes of how blacks should be and I respectfully decline, as I did in my youth, to sacrifice who I am for who they think I should be.
Unfortunately, the reality was that, for political reasons or whatever, there was a need to enforce antidiscrimination laws, or at least there was a perceived need to do that.
I actually think that I have been fortunate to have had misfortune, because the response, in responding to the misfortune, you develop in your own life, you develop sort of the tools you need to continue on, or to do better.
The Constitution, in addition to delegating certain enumerated powers to Congress, places whole areas outside the reach of Congress' regulatory authority. The First Amendment, for example, is fittingly celebrated for preventing Congress from "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion or "abridging the freedom of speech." The Second Amendment similarly appears to contain an express limitation on the government's authority.
I would walk into the Carnegie Library and I would see the pictures of Booker T.
and pictures of Frederick Douglass and I would read. I would go into the Savannah Public Libraries in the stacks and see all of the newspapers from all over the country. Did I dream that I would be on the Supreme Court? No. But I dreamt that there was a world out there that was worth pursuing.
The only people who have quick answers don't have the responsibility of making the decisions.
To define each of us by our race is nothing short of a denial of our humanity.
[T]he courts are so willing to assume that anything that is predominantly black must be inferior.... The mere fact that a school is black does not mean that it is the product of an unconstitutional violation.
You didn't think of angels as white or black. They were angels.
Religious liberty is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.
In my humble opinion, those who come to engage in debates of consequence, and who challenge accepted wisdom, should expect to be treated badly. Nonetheless, they must stand undaunted. That is required. And that should be expected. For it is bravery that is required to secure freedom.