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The Conservative View of Race in a Nutshell


Shorter Jeffrey Lord: Accusations that a conservative African-American engaged in sexual harassment is lynching, whether or not he is guilty. Extralegal killings of African-Americans, of course, are not lynchings.

One thing to add is that the “high-tech lynching” nonsense implies that Thomas was innocent. While we cannot know to an absolute certainty what happened between Hill and Thomas, thanks to Mayer and Abramson’s superb book on the subject we know that Hill’s accusations are credible, coherent, and backed up by contemporaneous sources, while Thomas’s story generally lacks these qualities. Being fair and balanced, however, I must acknowledge this rigorous evaluation of the evidence by Roger El-Simon, another right-wing hack willing to grotesquely misuse the term “lynching”:

Back in 1991, during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, I believed Anita Hill. Years later, my life had changed, and I came to meet Thomas himself at a social gathering. He turned out to be a delightful, unassuming person — it was hard to believe a Supreme Court justice could be so down to Earth and decent to be with on a social level.

I liked him a lot and am now skeptical that I was right about Hill. Maybe it had been just a high-tech lynching.

Well, I’m convinced!

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  • Bob

    One of the nicest, smartest, most competent people I’ve ever worked with or known was convicted of child molesting. Now that I know “I liked him a lot and am now skeptical that I was right about Hill” is a legitimate standard I will go my grave decrying this gross miscarriage of justice.

    • L2P

      Maybe there’s something to all that legalese about not using character evidence to prove conduct. Just because somebody is a really, really great guy in lots of awesome ways doesn’t mean they can’t do a really terrible thing.

  • Note that the pajamas are off. Or on. Or rebranded* or something.


    • Scott Lemieux

      Are they Open Source Media again?

      • Only if you count the ass-flap.

    • laura

      What I find awesome about this is that Roger L Simon is STILL rehashing the details of the OSM kick-off fiasco, right down to the size of the party they threw for it. I suppose The PJ people are to be commended for having successfully hived off enough of the traffic to Free Republic/Hot Air to continue funding their d-grade video interviews with Glenn Reynolds’ friends. But surely Roger must be the only person left in the world who gives a s**t at this point about Pajama Media’s debut, inauspicious or otherwise. Fortunately, he gives a big enough s**t to make up for everybody else.

  • DrDick

    I should point out that, at the time, Anita Hill was a untenured professor at the University of Oklahoma Law School. I had recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma and had friends who went to the law school there. At that time (I cannot speak for the present), the Law School was very much a moderately conservative, white, old boys’ club with a reputation for at least mild racism and sexism. For Anita Hill to testify as she did under those circumstances adds significantly to her credibility in my mind.

    • Scott Lemieux

      She taught at the law school connected to Oral Roberts University too. There is less than no evidence that she had any ideological axe to grind.

      • Rick Massimo

        There’s also the fact that (to turn the Thomas-apologist talking point on its head) he hired her. Twice.

  • wiley

    I never met anyone that I couldn’t imagine just about anything about if I bothered (but why bother—talk to them, read about them, whatever), and I have never thought of a legal position or job a person might have that would make me think it “hard to believe a(n) X could be so down to Earth and decent to be with on a social level.” And using that as “evidence” in an “argument.” Sheesh. I might think that of a hit man or a serial killer—sociopaths and psychopaths aren’t naturally sociable and I don’t think anyone really wants either one of them being really “down to earth”.

    • Rick Massimo

      To repurpose Charlie Pierce: Um, Roger? “I liked him a lot and am now skeptical that I was right about Hill” is not the point. Herman Cain’s problem is not with anyone named Roger.

    • H-Bob

      It might be a reasonable argument had Clarence been trying to get into Roger’s pants.

  • MEMO

    To Roger Hell Simon

    From Actor212

    Hitler loved dogs.

    • c u n d gulag

      But, but, but, also, he was also so compassionate towards Jews that it was THEM he put to sleep!

  • Uncle Kvetch

    The Conservative View of Race in a Nutshell

    I think Ann Coulter managed to do it even more concisely when she referred to “our blacks.”

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    It’s worth recalling that it was Roger Simon who prompted Michael Berube’s most famous quip:

    I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick

    • That’s so 2005. Now it’s “I used to believe Anita Hill, but after 9/11 and meeting Clarence Thomas in person, I’m beginning to think Roy Bryant and J. W. Milam were innocent.”

      • We bow at your feet sir.

        • pete

          This is another of those Annie Hall McLuhan moments, isn’t it?

  • David B.

    Well that’s obviously stupid on Simon’s part. But note this: “I liked him a lot and am now skeptical that I was right about Hill. Maybe it had been just a high-tech lynching.”

    Thomas wasn’t upset just that Hill made the accusation, he was furious that Joe Biden took it seriously enough to let Arlen Specter insult Anita Hill for three days straight. The implication wasn’t just that Anita Hill was making it up, but that Senate Democrats were putting her up to it because they didn’t have the balls to take Thomas on directly. In retrospect, the Hill accusations were sufficient to derail his nomination, but they weren’t necessary.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I agree that Anita Hill’s account, while certainly sufficient to deny Thomas the nomination, shouldn’t have been necessary.

      But I’m not sure I buy that Thomas was upset that Specter went after Hill.

      The Democrats should be ashamed that they didn’t consider Thomas’s views and professional record (even without the Hill accusations) sufficient cause to turn down his nomination. But I have a hard time believing that Thomas was upset about this.

      • mark f

        Saying he was upset might’ve been a smart play to the rubes, however.

  • In retrospect, the Hill accusations were sufficient to derail his nomination

    What does “derail” mean in your culture?

    • Njorl

      I think the problem is with “were”. It should have been, “should have been”.

  • chris

    He turned out to be a delightful, unassuming person

    Many abusers and other complete assholes can be pleasant when they choose to be. Yet, somehow, even people who are aware of this fact rarely have it come to mind when meeting a pleasant-seeming person.

    • Bill Murray

      I had a grad student whose family needed some help when Dick Cheney was in the House, and in her view our Dick was a very nice person, with considerable personal charm. This was back when he had a heartbeat, though.

  • HMS Glowworm did 9/11

    Wouldn’t a “high-tech lynching” be an extralegal killing of an African-American with a Laser/Robot/unusually aggressive iPhone app?

  • Jim Lynch

    Many will hoist a can of coke, and toast that defense of Thomas.

    But not me.

  • Delightful, unassuming, and completely dismissive of established precedent. What’s not to love?

  • hmm

    Hang on a minute, “lynching” doesn’t imply innocence, does it? It means that the accused is executed by a group of private citizens without the benefit of a trial (and in its original sense did not have racial implications, although I don’t think it could be used that way anymore). The fact that so many victims were innocent obviously makes it worse, but it’s not like their guilt would have made it okay.

  • Slocum

    If you met me at party you’d think that I am a mass-murdering sociopath who uses a kitten-skull as a sex toy, but, in fact, I’m a delightful, unassuming person who is down to Earth and decent to be with on a social level.

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