Star Trek celebrity and gay marriage activist George Takei told a Phoenix news station Tuesday that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a “clown in blackface.”
Takei, 78, was referring to Thomas’s recent dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 5-4 decision in which the Supreme Court found that there is a “fundamental” right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution. “He is a clown in blackface sitting on the Supreme Court. He gets me that angry. He doesn’t belong there,” Takei said.
Thomas wrote a separate dissent in which he said that the majority had erred because it “rejects the idea—captured in our Declaration of Independence—that human dignity is innate and suggests instead that it comes from the Government.”
In response to the argument that same-sex marriage provides “dignity” to gay couples, Thomas wrote: “The flaw in that reasoning, of course, is that the Constitution contains no ‘dignity’ Clause, and even if it did, the government would be incapable of bestowing dignity.”
Takei took particular exception to a statement by Thomas that even slaves had dignity that did not depend on government. Thomas had written:
Slaves did not lose their dignity (any more than they lost their humanity) because the government allowed them to be enslaved. Those held in internment camps did not lose their dignity because the government confined them. And those denied governmental benefits certainly do not lose their dignity because the government denies them those benefits. The government cannot bestow dignity, and it cannot take it away.
Takei told Fox 10 Phoenix (transcript via NewsBusters):
And for him to say, slaves have dignity. I mean, doesn’t he know that slaves were in chains? That they were whipped on the back. If he saw the movie 12 Years a Slave, you know, they were raped. And he says they had dignity as slaves or – My parents lost everything that they worked for, in the middle of their lives, in their 30s [in the Japanese internment during World War II]. His business, my father’s business, our home, our freedom and we’re supposed to call that dignified? Marched out of our homes at gun point. I mean, this man does not belong on the Supreme Court. He is an embarrassment. He is a disgrace to America.
Thomas rose from extremely humble origins in the segregated South. Because of his conservative beliefs, including his opposition to affirmative action, he is often subjected to racist abuse by liberals.
Andrew Breitbart, the founder of this website, said that the harsh way in which Thomas was treated during his 1991 confirmation hearings prompted his shift from liberal to conservative.