Jamie Holt over at Best Internet News and Politics weighs in on the decision by Justice Thomas to seek a conference vote on Donofrio v. Wells, and in what has become the norm from the Party of Tolerance and Open-Mindedness®, she brands him an Uncle Tom for doing so.
All Barack Obama had to do was challenge Justice Clarence Thomas in public once, just once, and you had to know he would get a legal challenge out of it.
“I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time, for that elevation, setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretations of a lot of the constitution.”
As you can probably imagine, that really infuriated Uncle T(h)om(as) who has spent his entire life ingratiating himself to the powers that be to get to his Supreme Court decision.
I wonder if Ms. Holt has actually ever read the book, or knows a thing about the man who inspired it?
“Uncle Tom”, in one of the fifteen definitions for the term found listed at Urban Dictionary, is described as an “African American male who kisses the white mans ass”, and in another as “…a term used by black people to try to convince other black people that working, education, living well, and setting a good example for their children is selling out.”
So then, who (and what) was ‘Uncle Tom”?
The obvious is that Uncle Tom is the principal character in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly”, a realistic depiction of the “cruel reality” of the South’s “peculiar institution.” Penned by ardent abolitionist and preacher Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” not only became the best selling novel in the world during the 19th Century, but the second best selling book of that same period of time behind The Bible.
The novel is credited with fanning abolitionist fires, and intensifying the conflict leading to the Civil War. On meeting Stowe at the onset of hostilities, President Lincoln is quoted as saying, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
In the story, Tom is a man of deep-seated Christian beliefs and steadfast convictions, whose determination and willingness to stand up for his beliefs earns him the begrudging admiration of his enemies. He shares his faith with his masters, and as a result they undergo changes in their attitudes toward slavery. Tom is beaten to death by Simon Legrees’ overseers, for refusing to disclose information about an escaped slave, and in his final act of Christian love, he forgives them. The overseers are so moved by the character of the man they have just killed, that they become Christians themselves.
Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Tom as a noble hero, a Christian of unwavering faith, not as the weak fool who bows down to whites. That stereotype was propagated by “Tom Shows”, unauthorized stagings of the play that bore little resemblance to the novel. The plays (many of them little more than minstrel shows) were extremely popular during the latter half of the Century, and more Americans of the time became familiar with the story via these unauthorized stage adaptations, than by reading the novel.
Stowe partially based the Tom character on Josiah Henson, an escaped slave who “founded a settlement and laborer’s school for other fugitive slaves” in Canada, whose autobiography was published in 1841, eleven years before the publication of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”
Ms. Holt does a great disservice to this novel, to the writer, and to the man who inspired it by using the term to denigrate a black man who will not march in step in the rest of the race. Yes…Clarence Thomas is a Conservative, but isn’t it the idea here that individuals are free to form their beliefs, and advance them within our system?
Perhaps it’s time to rethink what constitutes an “Uncle Tom” in our day and age.
The first 16 Black Americans who came to Capitol Hill after the Civil War (two of them Senators) were Republicans…the party of Lincoln. Two decades later, with Democrats back in control of the Southern State legislatures, laws were passed restricting the rights of black Americans to vote, in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. By the 1960’s, after the passing of the Voting Rights Act, the majority of Black Americans are registered (and vote for) Democrats.
After 43 years of loyalty to the Democratic Party, black Americans continue to have the highest rate of unemployment, the highest arrest rate, and the lowest pay rates. An overwhelming number of black Americans live in the neighborhoods with the highest crime rates, attend the worst schools, and have the lowest median income per household.
Why is this?
Is it those evil Republicans and their house Negroes working against the little people and the poor?
As video blogger Macho Sauce reminds us, the notion that Democrats are for the poor, and Republicans are for the rich, is one of the tools used to fool the American people.
He explains how this works:
If Republicans are for the rich, then they need the rich to keep their power, and if they need the rich to keep their power, then they need to keep the rich RICH in order to stay in power. If that’s the case, and Democrats are for the poor as they claim to be, then that must mean that they need the poor to keep their power, and if they need the poor to keep their power, then they need to keep the poor POOR to stay in power. So far, it appears to be working.
Jamie Holt calls Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” from within the antebellum confines of the Democrat plantation, where the vast majority of American blacks have been toiling in thankless devotion for nearly half a century. Time will tell Ms. Holt, but if the past is the precursor to the future, we may come to find out that Barack Obama is not the savior you expect, and like in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle T(h)om(as)” will achieve more via his faith and unwavering Conservative beliefs, than the Obamessiah ever will.
There is a temptation to call people like Ms. Holt “Uncle Toms”, considering black America’s standing as long-suffering house slaves to their Democratic overseers, but in light of what we know about Mrs. Stowe’s immortal character, the comparison would be an undeserved compliment, and an insult to a fictional character possessed of more substance and moral strength than our current President-elect.