Culture Wars/Current Controversies

What the reactions to Clarence Thomas post-Roe reveal about white liberals

There were six Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade last week. The majority opinion was authored by Justice Samuel Alito. However, in the aftermath of the ruling, there has been an intense and particular focus on a different justice: Clarence Thomas.

Soon after the court handed down its decision, some pro-choice advocates began hurling outrageous and overtly racist remarks in Thomas’ direction (including liberal evocations of the “N-word” on Twitter) — often to the acclaim of some other left-aligned whites.

Thomas’ embrace of the Republican Party is consonant with a deep mistrust of white liberals, the institutions they control and the policies they try to advance in the name of “social justice.”

The remarks were so ubiquitous that “Uncle Clarence” began trending on Twitter, a reference to the eponymous character of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” who has emerged as a symbol of Black men who are too subservient to whites.

In practice, the term is primarily deployed against Black people who strike positions that elite liberals find distasteful. For instance, “Uncle Tim” previously trended on Twitter after Black Republican Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal of President Joe Biden’s inaugural address to a joint session of Congress.

Then again, in other cases, minorities who violate the preferences and sensibilities of liberals are literally declared to be white instead. At least insofar as Thomas and Scott are branded as race-traitors, critics still recognize their race.


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