Amazon would apparently prefer we not know about the Justice's inspiring life story.
March 4, 2021
ITEM #1: Few public figures inspire resentment from the left the way U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas does.
We use the word “resentment” because it really gets at the heart of progressives’ problem with Thomas. He’s an African-American who dares to adhere to an originalist, constitutional approach to interpreting the law, and in so doing stands as a repudiation of how the left believes racial minorities are “supposed” to think, at least politically.
As such, he’s been the target of countless racist smears and other disgusting gestures of disrespect throughout his career, for no reason other than the fact that he’s both black and conservative.
The latest episode, brought to us courtesy of Amazon, is no less outrageous for its tiresome predictability. Mark Paoletta, writing for Breitbart, reports:
"Amazon showed it has its limits when it comes to its dedication to diversity and inclusion when it failed to continue streaming a critically acclaimed and popular documentary on the only black Supreme Court justice during Black History Month.
"Recently, Amazon Prime dropped 'Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,' an acclaimed and popular PBS documentary on Justice Clarence Thomas, making it unavailable to stream during Black History Month. Thomas is our nation’s only black justice currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, and one would think that between Amazon’s claim to ‘building an inclusive culture’ and the fact that it’s Black History Month, Amazon would want to stream this inspiring documentary on its platform.
"In fact, Amazon Prime created an entire Amplify Black Voices page on its site that 'feature[s] a curated collection of titles to honor Black History Month across four weekly themes (Black Love, Black Joy, Black History Makers, and Black Girl Magic).' There are scores of films available to stream, including four films available on the Amazon Prime site to stream (two docudramas and two documentaries) on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a liberal icon and our nation’s first black Supreme Court justice. There are even two films (one docudrama and one documentary) on Anita Hill, who came forward during Thomas’ confirmation hearing to claim that Thomas had sexually harassed her. (Hill’s story never added up and, and as reflected in a NY Times/CBS News poll after the Senate confirmation hearings, American men and women believed Thomas by a 2-1 margin.)
"Amazon has made a significant effort to celebrate black voices on its site during Black History Month, including films of Thurgood Marshall and even Anita Hill, but can’t find any space for a documentary on our only sitting black Supreme Court justice? This makes no sense at all, other than Amazon made a decision to not show this film because Justice Thomas is a black justice who has conservative views."
Given Thomas’ unmistakable prominence as a public figure and the instinct among the social-justice crowd to devour anything that doesn’t bend to its will, it’s impossible to believe this was some kind of harmless oversight on Amazon’s part.
It’s yet another insult to Justice Thomas, but also a real shame for those who will miss out on learning about his life story — which is about as inspiring as that of any American, of any race. Born into severe poverty in Pin Point, Georgia, in 1948, Thomas grew up without a father, who abandoned the family when he was just 2 years old. He was raised primarily by his grandfather, who instilled in Thomas the work ethic and moral character that would help propel him to one of the most impressive legal careers in our nation’s history.
For an excellent review of the Thomas documentary that also wonderfully pays tribute to his life story, see this piece from Kyle Smith, who writes:
"[T]his film should serve as a standard introduction to Thomas and what he has overcome. He reminisces about his poverty-scarred childhood in Georgia, his time preparing to be a priest, his disillusionment following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and his subsequent undergraduate turn to radicalism in the Black Power era. The story of how he became one of the most important conservative thinkers in American history doesn’t fit any path or pattern. Thomas is his own man. He blazed his own trail."
The suits at Amazon may not think you should know Thomas’ story, but fortunately, those who are interested in seeing the film can get information on how to do so here.
In the meantime, allow us to offer our own thanks to Justice Thomas. May your tireless work in defense of our nation’s constitution and its founding principles continue for many years to come.
ITEM #2: Writing for the American Mind, a publication of the Claremont Institute, Joel Kotkin offers an insightful look at what he believes to be the chief dividing line in our nation today.
While the tendency among the pundit class and many others is to view our divisions in terms of race, gender, ideological disposition, etc., Kotkin says this analysis gets it wrong. He argues:
“[I]t might be more accurate to see our national conflict as regional and riven by economic function. The schism is between two ways of making a living, one based in the incorporeal world of media and digital transactions, the other in the tangible world of making, growing, and using real things.”
He explores this phenomenon further in the context of the recent presidential election, and what has unfolded since:
“Donald Trump, the irascible New York developer, focused on the places where the tangible economy was strong, but President Biden convinced enough voters in heartland states that their economic interests would be taken seriously. Some parts of the Biden agenda — measures to reshore industry, restore supply chains, and improve basic infrastructure — could unify the country across regional lines.
“Biden’s early actions, however, focused on policies that are more popular in Manhattan and Malibu than Midland. This is painfully evident in the Administration’s early call for tight restrictions on fossil fuel development. President Biden has promised to spend $500 billion each year on abating climate change — about 13 percent of all federal revenue. Its economic impact, estimates economist Bjorn Lonborg, would reach $5 trillion, more than the entire federal budget.
“Other actions — like massive new transit investments or policies that force high-density housing and racial quotas on suburbs — may please his base and the media, but are certain to arouse opposition throughout parts of the country where people work in factories, warehouses, farms, mines and the energy sector, live in lower density neighborhoods, and value the notion of upward mobility for most Americans.
Great piece, and available in full here.
ITEM #3: “Florida got it right, and the lockdown states got it wrong!”
So said Sunshine State Gov. Ron DeSantis in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last weekend.
The facts, as the Washington Times’ Kelly Sadler shows, back him up.
“Florida has lower per-capita COVID-19 mortality than the national average and lower than 27 other states, including tightly lockdown California, despite having more senior citizens. Its unemployment rate is lower than the national average. Florida offers more in-person education than any other state, and it leads the nation in vaccinating those older than 65 years old. And its budget remains in good shape, with Mr. DeSantis declaring he hasn’t had to use a penny in Florida’s rainy-day fund to cover for pandemic-related expenses.”
The media, of course, not only willfully missed this success story, but went to great lengths to portray DeSantis as actually mishandling his response to the pandemic. The motive was nakedly partisan: We were in the middle of an election year, and all effort had to be made to portray Republicans as incompetent generally, so as to inflict the most damage on the Republican whose name sat at the top line of voters’ ballots.
And the press had to not only demonize GOP governors; it had to lionize their Democrat counterparts as well. As we’ll discuss in the next item, this has led to some rather embarrassing results …
ITEM #4: For months during the COVID-19 crisis, as we’ve pointed out before, the mainstream press could not say enough nice things about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. For the same reasons high-profile Republican executives like Florida’s Ron DeSantis (see the above item) had to be torn down, Democrats like Cuomo had to be built up.
It was all part of the effort to do whatever was necessary to ensure the failure of the GOP ticket — especially the top of the ticket.
The fawning “news” coverage of Cuomo never squared with reality. And now, the lie is becoming impossible to keep up.
Jeffrey McCall took to the pages of The Hill this week to offer a much-deserved takedown of our ostensibly objective press corps over their pathetic dereliction of duty in covering the New York Governor:
“Media credibility is now taking a hit in the wake of revelations that the Cuomo administration distorted and withheld data about nursing home deaths in New York. That’s what happens when members of the press curl up comfortably as lapdogs instead of being aggressive watchdogs. That Cuomo is finally now getting some scrutiny hardly excuses months of cuddly coverage.”
McCall adds: “Lack of press accountability for public officials has its consequences. Free-reining politicians get puffed up by flattering press accounts. They get drunk with ego and power and are encouraged to engage in even more audacious acts of authority.”
Meanwhile, the ones who actually do perform well, like DeSantis, spend months having to devote time to defending themselves against baseless smears and attacks. Which just makes the Florida Governor’s exemplary performance in serving his state’s citizens that much more admirable.
ITEM #5: The editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal this week offer up the latest chapter in the chronicles of “moderate” Joe Biden:
“Less than six weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden has made it crystal clear that government unions have the run of the White House over the next four years.
“It took just days in the Oval Office for Mr. Biden to frantically hit reverse on his pledge to quickly reopen schools. A few sweet nothings in the ear from the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association and the president was suddenly more interested in appeasing the entrenched education establishment than minimizing the damage the pandemic has wrought on the nation’s schoolchildren.”
But wait … there’s more:
“Then there’s the series of executive orders Mr. Biden signed in January that elevate members of the federal workforce over the taxpayers they serve. Donald Trump had implemented a handful of reforms intended to make it easier to dispatch poor performers and to give agencies more personnel flexibility. But Mr. Biden was having none of that ‘efficiency’ nonsense.
“Consider this gem from The Washington Post: ‘The Trump administration’s general view (was) that federal personnel policies should be more results-oriented, and that management should do more to hold employees accountable while limiting the role unions play in workplace decisions. In its early days, the Biden administration is setting a different tone.’
“Imagine: Asking federal workers to deliver results and be held accountable. Oh, the humanity!”
Bending over backwards to appease union bosses and federal-government workers? Yeah, sounds totally moderate to us.
ITEM #6: You’d think someone making the case for honoring our flag would be welcome among a group called “the U.S. Soccer Federation's Athlete Council.”
Alas, you’d be wrong.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos reports:
“A U.S. Soccer Federation's Athlete Council member was removed Sunday after giving a speech at a meeting voicing his opinion against the organization repealing the anti-kneeling policy.
“Seth Jahn, 38, was against the U.S. Soccer Federation’s decision to repeal the rule for players barring kneeling during the national anthem. The organization’s board voted to repeal the policy in June and it was affirmed in its annual meeting Saturday with more than 71% voting in favor of the repeal.”
It occurs to us that no one is forcing these athletes to represent our country on the field. If they have such a problem with America, perhaps they can at least display some integrity and give up their spot on the team to someone who will appreciate it more.
But that would mean relinquishing their moment of fame, wouldn’t it? Guess their principles go only so far.