Republicans have focused on comments made by the Minnesota Attorney General in an interview with the Michigan Chronicle conducted last Thursday (July 13). In discussing the Supreme Court’s recent decision on affirmative action, Ellison took aim at Thomas and the controversy surrounding his motivation for siding with the conservative majority, calling for him to be impeached. “Anybody who’s watched the movie ‘Django,’ just watch Stephen and you see Clarence Thomas,” he said.
Not missing a beat after comparing Thomas to the infamous house slave character played by Samuel L. Jackson, Ellison continued: “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.”
Figures aligned with the GOP swooped in to show their anger at Ellison. Florida Representative Matt Gaetz chimed in on Twitter, writing: “Keith Ellison clearly hasn’t had enough DEI training.”
Former Georgia Democratic politician-turned-Republican Vernon Jones also attacked Ellison, writing on Twitter that “There’s nothing a racist Democrat hates more than a Black conservative!”
The right-wing uproar does seem to fall on the hypocritical side, as just this week two GOP members made blatantly racist remarks. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky complained that college basketball players will turn into “rap stars” because of NIL deals they’re signing. And Arizona Representative Eli Crane turned back the clock on the House floor in a speech calling Black Americans “colored people.” He would later apologize, claiming he “misspoke.”
All of this comes weeks after Thomas’ controversial siding with the other conservative justices to cripple affirmative action in one of the last decisions before the Supreme Court. The 75-year-old is also under heavy fire for apparently accepting lavish gifts from Republican billionaire backer Harlan Crow for decades.
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