In a rare interview given by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, television journalist and lawyer Jan Greenberg doesn't shy away from asking incisive questions during this revelatory conversation recorded in front of a live audience, in New York City, in October of 2007.
Candid and well-spoken, Thomas waxes eloquently on a diverse set of topics ranging from his radical political leanings in the 1960s, to the criticism surrounding his opinion on affirmative action, to his motivation for writing his best-selling memoir.
This fascinating listen sheds light on this complex and controversial figure in contemporary American history.
Jan Crawford Greenberg is a legal correspondent with ABC News and author of Supreme Conflict: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Control of the United States Supreme Court.
©2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association; (P)2007 92nd Street Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Association
I would probably be classified as a liberal (what's up with these labels anyway). I really wanted to understand the mindset of an African American 'Ultraconservative' being African American myself and somewhat successful. Well, I have come to the conclusion that the end result is determined by the journey - and what a journey it was for Justice Thomas. He has a place reserved on my study wall right next to Truman, Obama, Einstein and yes Malcolm x.
Clarence Thomas gave a brilliant and moving interview to a progressive blockhead, Jan Greenberg. Jan is a liberal ideologue of the first water, and was unable to process most of what Justice Thomas was saying. In spite of that, the interview is well worth hearing. No doubt, Justice Thomas had plenty of experience with this kind of thing and navigated it with grace and charm. It's frustrating because Jan misses most of Justice Thomas' points and her follow-up questions come from the echo chamber in her head rather than the person sitting across from her. After hearing this, I went out and bought "My Grandfather's Son" immediately. I just wish there was an Audible version of that, read by Clarence Thomas.
I love his down to earth view of life. I am a white guy with a black son living in Georgia and I listen to this message at least once a year. ( I grew up in a totally different environment where at least in my circle we seemed to be color blind) It reminds me of how it was and that someone from modest beginnings with the right attitude and drive can be extremely successful.
There is so much to get out of this interview, it is hard to pick just one scene. I love the way he talked about the way the court does its business without impuning others opinions.
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