U.S. Supreme Court

Justice Thomas: Society is more race- and difference-conscious than in the 1960s


Justice Clarence Thomas told college students in Florida on Tuesday that society today is more conscious of racial and other differences than when he grew up in segregated Georgia.

Yahoo News covered Thomas’ remarks, delivered during a chapel service at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school,” Thomas said. Thomas said he believed he was the first black youth in Savannah, Ga., to go to a white school, yet the issue of race rarely came up.

“Now, name a day it doesn’t come up,” Thomas said. “Differences in race, differences in sex, somebody doesn’t look at you right, somebody says something. Everybody is sensitive. If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah. Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them—left them out. That’s a part of the deal.”

Thomas said his worst instances of poor treatment were in the North, rather than the South, according to the Yahoo News account. “The worst I have been treated was by northern liberal elites. The absolute worst I have ever been treated,” Thomas said.

Palm Beach Atlantic University also covered Thomas’ visit to the school here.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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