Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2007.
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
- Thomas in a new book blasted an “arrogant” reporter who questioned his mother about the number of children she had.
- “How can you be so arrogant to tell a woman how many kids she had?” he told filmmaker Michael Pack.
- The jurist discussed the media scrutiny he faced after Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment.
When Clarence Thomas was going through the Supreme Court confirmation process in 1991, he knew there would be questions about his legal record, especially as he was a sitting judge on highly influential United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
However, after Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment while working with him at the US Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the media firestorm prompted reporters to explore more of the judge’s background.
Thomas in a newly-released book recalled how some in the media doubted the existence of Pin Point, Georgia, the small community outside of Savannah where he was born, with a reporter even questioning his mother about how many children she birthed.
In the book, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” co-edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta, the conservative jurist sat down with Pack for over 30 hours between November 2017 and March 2018, in what became an expanded companion to the 2020 documentary of the same name.
Thomas in the interview questioned why he would mislead anyone about his birthplace and spoke of how his mother asked one reporter to leave her home.
“Initially when the media were told I was from Pin Point, they said Pin Point didn’t exist. And that was really funny,” he told Pack.
He continued: “These guys know so much. They said, ‘You’re a liar.’ Who would lie about where you’re from? That’s easy to prove, and who would lie about it?”
Thomas was incredulous at the behavior of one of the reporters looking into his mother’s background.
“One of the reporters went to Savannah and argued with my mother about the number of kids she had. How do you argue with a woman about the number of kids she had?” he said. “She eventually had to tell them to leave.”
Thomas added: “He said they can only find records for two kids. How can you be so arrogant to tell a woman how many kids she had? But I think that it is similarly arrogant to tell people what their views ought to be just because of their race.”
Thomas was eventually confirmed by the Senate in a 52-48 vote, but not after a heated set of hearings, where he defended himself vigorously against Hill’s claims.