Wednesday night, Joe Biden hosted a glitzy reception at the vice president’s residence celebrating Black History Month.
Make that Liberal Black History Month.
This is the same Joe Biden who as a chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee 22 years ago presided over the public humiliation of black Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas (which this writer covered) – a process so racist that Thomas called out Biden’s committee for staging a “high-tech lynching.”
But such historical details were conveniently forgotten last night as Biden dined on Peking Duck Crepes and preened before a who’s-who list of Washington’s liberal black establishment. Democratic Rep. John Lewis of the Congressional Black Caucus hailed Biden as “tireless warrior” and a “fighter” for civil rights. Biden aw-shucks’d his way through his own remarks lamenting that he didn’t participate in civil rights marches as a kid and then telling his black guests that “I love you guys.”
Too bad the love doesn’t extend to Justice Thomas who was not in attendance.
Thomas’s remarkable life story brought him from dirt-poor poverty in the segregated south of Pin Point, Georgia to Yale Law School, to Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to Biden’s committee in 1991 as a nominee to the Supreme Court. But Biden voted against Thomas’s nomination after his committee leaked unsubstantiated claims that Thomas was a sexual predator and porn addict (how’s that for black male stereotyping?), then put him on public trial by hearsay that featured testimony by Anita Hill, a feminist academic once in Thomas’s employ who vehemently opposed the nominee’s legal views.
“This is a circus. It’s a national disgrace,” said Thomas, seething with rage in his statement before Biden’s mob. “And from my standpoint, as a black American, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed, caricatured by a committee of the U.S. Senate rather than hung from a tree.” (Video here)
Despite Biden’s efforts, Thomas narrowly won a vote of the full Senate to become only the second black man on the U.S. Supreme Court. Thank you, Vice President Biden, for your contribution to black history.