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Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
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GoodOwl Offline
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Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
in theaters this week:
[Image: Created-Equal-Release-One-Sheet-27x40-30...2x2048.jpg]
link: http://www.justicethomasmovie.com/




Quote:Although Clarence Thomas remains a controversial figure, loved by some, reviled by others, few know much more than a few headlines and the recollections of his contentious confirmation battle with Anita Hill.

With unprecedented access, the producers interviewed Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Virginia, for over 30 hours of interview time, over many months. Justice Thomas tells his entire life’s story, looking directly at the camera, speaking frankly to the audience. After a brief introduction, the documentary proceeds chronologically, combining Justice Thomas’ first person account with a rich array of historical archive material, period and original music, personal photos, and evocative recreations. Unscripted and without narration, the documentary takes the viewer through this complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience.

n 1948, Clarence Thomas was born into dire poverty in Pin Point, Georgia, a Gullah- speaking peninsula in the segregated South. His father abandoned the family when Clarence was two years old. His mother, unable to care for two boys, brought Clarence and his brother, Myers, to live with her father and his wife. Thomas’ grandfather, Myers Anderson, whose schooling ended at the third grade, delivered coal and heating oil in Savannah. He gave the boys tough love and training in hard work. He sent them to a segregated Catholic school where the Irish nuns taught them self-discipline and a love of learning. From there, Thomas entered the seminary, training to be a priest.

As the times changed, Thomas began to rebel against the values of his grandfather. Angered by his fellow seminarians’ racist comments following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and disillusioned by the Catholic Church’s general failure to support the civil rights movement, Thomas left the seminary. His grandfather felt Thomas had betrayed him by questioning his values and kicked Thomas out of his house. In 1968, Thomas enrolled as a scholarship student at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. While there, he helped found the Black Student Union and supported the burgeoning Black Power Movement.

Then, Thomas’s views began to change, as he saw it, back to his grandfather’s values. He judged the efforts of the left and liberals to help his people to be demeaning failures. To him, affirmative action seemed condescending and ineffective, sending African-American students to schools where they were not prepared to succeed. He watched the busing crisis in Boston tear the city apart. To Thomas, it made no sense. Why, he asked, pluck poor black kids out of their own bad schools only to bus them to another part of town to sit with poor white students in their bad schools?

At Yale Law School, he felt stigmatized by affirmative action, treated as if he were there only because of his race, minimizing his previous achievements. After graduating in 1974, he worked for then State Attorney General John Danforth in Missouri, eventually working in the Reagan administration, first running the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Education and then the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1990, he became a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. His confirmation hearings would test his character and principles in the crucible of national controversy. Like the Bork hearings in 1987, the Democrats went after Thomas’ record and his jurisprudence, especially natural law theory, but also attacked his character. When that failed, and he was on the verge of being confirmed, a former employee, Anita Hill, came forth to accuse him of sexual harassment. The next few days of televised hearings riveted the nation. Finally, defending himself against relentless attacks by the Democratic Senators on the committee, Thomas accused them of running “a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.” After wall-to-wall television coverage, according to the national polls, the American people believed Thomas by more than a 2-1 margin. Yet, Thomas was confirmed by the closest margin in history, 52-48.

In his 27 years on the court, Thomas’s jurisprudence has often been controversial—from his brand of originalism to his decisions on affirmative action and other hot button topics. Critical journalists often point out that he rarely speaks in oral argument.

The public remains curious about Clarence Thomas—both about his personal history and his judicial opinions. His 2007 memoir, My Grandfather’s Son, was number one on The New York Times’ bestseller list.
(This post was last modified: 02-09-2020 02:56 PM by GoodOwl.)
02-09-2020 02:44 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
anyone go see it?
02-11-2020 07:09 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
I'm planning to go see it this weekend with a group of friends that support these kind of good movies.

The film is still playing across much of the country, worth checking out if you are looking for something to do on a cold winter weeekend.
02-14-2020 01:22 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
Documentaries are hard to find at the cinema. Will probably have to watch this one at home. But watch it, I definitely will.
02-14-2020 01:29 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-14-2020 01:29 PM)Native Georgian Wrote:  Documentaries are hard to find at the cinema. Will probably have to watch this one at home. But watch it, I definitely will.

let's just say this film isn't enjoying "Hollywood" distribution. The weblink in the OP above and website does allow an alternative way to find it in your area outside the mainstream media. Of course, you can just go see the normal lefty-looney pablum they serve up instead. I've got no dog in this hunt as far as connection, other than as an American citizen to support American movies about real American heroes. These days, it takes a little more effort to do that, though in the beginning of our country it was not so.
02-14-2020 01:34 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
Heard from a friend who saw it last week that it focuses a lot more on Clarence Thomas' early life and formation. he said he ended up enjoying the film more than he thought he would going in. Looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.
02-14-2020 09:53 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-14-2020 01:34 PM)GoodOwl Wrote:  let's just say this film isn't enjoying "Hollywood" distribution.
If only.

Quote:Of course, you can just go see the normal lefty-looney pablum they serve up instead.
About 98% of pop-culture (film, tv, music, books, magazines, online, etc) ranges from mindless trivia/nonsense at one end to outright filth and garbage at the other end. It’s the other 2% that is really wonderful and worth careful attention and reflection, if only we knew how to find it (quickly/affordably) and could make time for it.
02-14-2020 10:39 PM
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Fort Bend Owl Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
I watched the RBG doc on some streaming service a year ago or so (and I seem to remember many of you denounced it as pure propaganda) and I will probably do the same eventually with this one. They sound pretty similar.
02-15-2020 06:44 AM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-15-2020 06:44 AM)Fort Bend Owl Wrote:  I watched the RBG doc on some streaming service a year ago or so (and I seem to remember many of you denounced it as pure propaganda) and I will probably do the same eventually with this one. They sound pretty similar.
I saw an RBG documentary recently — I guess we’re talking about the same one but not sure — and enjoyed it. It was very well done and helped explain her life and how she got that way. Hopefully, Created Equal will be just as good.

The word propaganda is so misused and misunderstood.
02-15-2020 08:05 AM
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GoodOwl Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
Wow, great movie/documentary and not what I expected. Thomas went through so much in his entire life, and the movie focused primarily on his growing up a Democrat and how he was able to form his ideas and ideology by study and research, and his grandpa, who couldn't read or write but taught him important values and work ethic.

There was some stuff with footage of Sleepy Joe Biden acting like a buffoon, but there was only about 20 minutes or so on the Supreme Court nomination. Most of it was just a great American story of a kid who made some mistakes in life but did not quit or give up and fought hard against a system that told him black people were only expected/supposed to be and act one way. Thomas' story is more of a Libertarian freedom story than anything. And considering he famously doesn't talk much in court, but has written more than 600 opinions and more than 30% of them while he's been there, which is disproportionately a lot, it was fascinating to learn so much about this REAL hero.

Highly recommended.
02-16-2020 01:05 AM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-16-2020 01:05 AM)GoodOwl Wrote:  And considering he famously doesn't talk much in court, but has written more than 600 opinions and more than 30% of them while he's been there, which is disproportionately a lot, it was fascinating to learn so much about this REAL hero.
GO, when you say “more than 30% of them while he’s been there”, what does that mean?
02-16-2020 09:34 AM
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stinkfist Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-16-2020 09:34 AM)Native Georgian Wrote:  
(02-16-2020 01:05 AM)GoodOwl Wrote:  And considering he famously doesn't talk much in court, but has written more than 600 opinions and more than 30% of them while he's been there, which is disproportionately a lot, it was fascinating to learn so much about this REAL hero.
GO, when you say “more than 30% of them while he’s been there”, what does that mean?

for a moment, I struggled with that too....I'm guessing "dissenting"...
02-16-2020 11:25 AM
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Fort Bend Owl Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
It could be that he's written 30 percent of the opinions that are authored by Justices when they announce a decision on a case that the Court has heard an oral argument (since he's been on the court). Considering there are 9 Justices, you'd think that each one would author about 11 percent of the opinions (although don't they often have a majority opinion and minority opinion released in some cases - that might get the percentages up to closer to about 20 percent each).
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2020 11:39 AM by Fort Bend Owl.)
02-16-2020 11:39 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
I helped with an amicus brief for a case in the 2014-15 session. The case was Comptroller v. Wynne, don't have a cite but it will be published at some point. It was a state/local income tax dispute (thank goodness we don't have those things in Texas), and we took the anti-Obamacare argument--that it may have been a tax, but it had a negative impact on interstate commerce, and thus was forbidden to the states. Our side won, 5-4. The reason I mention it here is because of the unusual alignment of the justices:

For (5) - Roberts, Alito, Kennedy, Breyer, Sotomayor
Against (4) - Ginsburg, Kagan, Scalia, Thomas

All of the dissenters wrote separate opinions except Kagan, who joined Ginsburg.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2020 12:15 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
02-16-2020 12:12 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
(02-16-2020 11:39 AM)Fort Bend Owl Wrote:  It could be that he's written 30 percent of the opinions that are authored by Justices when they announce a decision on a case that the Court has heard an oral argument (since he's been on the court). Considering there are 9 Justices, you'd think that each one would author about 11 percent of the opinions (although don't they often have a majority opinion and minority opinion released in some cases - that might get the percentages up to closer to about 20 percent each).

Yes, that was my understanding of the statistic as stated in the film; IOW he's written or been willing to write more than his fair share of opinions. My understanding is that they are volunteered for, but assigned if no one steps up. not sure if that's actually how it goes. Earlier in the film, when he was working in the private sector, Thomas commented he was getting antsy because there was not as much work for him as he wanted/was used to. Thomas seems to like to work hard to very hard, and that appeared consistent with how his story was told of all he went through growing up and the stuff with his grandfather and all. He also seemed consistent in his philosophy of letting facts speak for themselves and not be colored by a person's personality, so to speak. Which makes sense for a person who believes all people are created equal. Hence, Thomas is against busing, quotas, unequal treatment under the law, even in the name of social engineering past mistakes, etc...on the basis it denigrates and diminishes people unfairly on the mere basis of their skin color, especially those which are purported to being "helped" by the discrimination and/or policy which Thomas does not believe does or should matter, unlike some others who seem to believe skin color is everything (most Dems and leftists).
02-16-2020 07:49 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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RE: Created Equal--the Clarence Thomas story Film
Thomas specifically cited how, as a new graduate of Yale Law school, he had a very difficult time getting hired for a job--because he was unfairly perceived to have been granted an unearned opportunity to go there just because he was black. Thomas learned that merely giving people spots in a group, if they did not actually earn them on merit alone, actually does two very negative and regressive things: 1) it hurts the people supposedly trying to be helped more than if they had to work harder and actually achieve their positions themselves without any extra help at all and importantly 2) it unfairly marks those who actually did achieve based on real merits with a shroud of doubt and illegitimacy from others which is more unfair than any racial discrimination in the first place. He was resentful of those policies supposedly designed to help him as a black man, but actually made things more difficult for him to function as an equal with other Yale grads. Hearing the whole story, and from Thomas in his own voice and words, I don't see how anyone could disagree with his viewpoint, as he is a model of consistency, and it bears out if you've ever read any of his court opinions. You may disagree, but he has strong and logical arguments, not emotional flailings as many who oppose his philosophy of liberty and equality for all actually seem to. You want insight into what makes a Supreme Court Justice worthy of the position go see the film, you'll be more surprised at what you learn beyond the media rhetoric. In addition, I think any young person can learn an awful lot from watching it.
(This post was last modified: 02-16-2020 07:59 PM by GoodOwl.)
02-16-2020 07:57 PM
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