Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) believes he can call Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom” because Thompson, like Thomas, is black.
Thompson initially called Thomas an “Uncle Tom” over the weekend because, he said, his decisions on the Supreme Court “have been adverse to the minority community, and the people I represent have a real issue with an African American not being sensible to those issues.”
CNN’s Dana Bash then mentioned to Thompson on Wednesday that such comments would not be appropriate if made by a white person:
Bash: Isn’t that a racially charged term?
Thompson: For some it is, but to others it’s the truth.
Bash: Because looking at that and hearing that kind of language, that certainly wouldn’t be appropriate if it was coming from somebody who was white.
Thompson: But I’m black.
When pressed further, Thompson said:
The people that I represent, for the most part, have a real issue with those decisions–voter ID, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act–all those issues are very important and for someone in the court who’s African American and not sensitive to that is a real problem.
Thompson also implied that opposition to Obama, especially by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), was due to Obama’s race.