Letter: Consider Clarence Thomas for Black History Month


Letter writer Ryan Hurley advocates for Clarence Thomas, a Republican Black leader, for Black History Month. 

Ryan Hurley

In these cold coronavirus times, many students at Iowa State have spent much more time in their dorms than ever before. Whereas you would usually see groups headed to make snowmen on campus, you now see a few solitary students marching from hall to hall, focused on escaping this bitter-cold weather.

During my time inside, I have seen many of the community advisers putting up boards that discuss Black History Month. The boards often tell the reader about prominent African Americans such as Malcolm X. I have seen several recurring figures on these boards of famous Black Americans such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ibram Kendi. Seeing these boards in every hall, I have noticed that not once have I seen Clarence Thomas mentioned.

For those who do not know, Clarence Thomas is a Supreme Court justice for the United States, having been appointed in 1991 by George H.W. Bush. He has since become a highly respected figure in judicial law. Often described as an “originalist,” Thomas is sure to consider the Constitution’s importance in all of his decisions. It did not take me long to realize why exactly Justice Clarence Thomas is not featured on the boards created by these CAs: his politics. Thomas is often considered amongst the Supreme Court members’ most conservative, primarily due to his reading of right-wing libertarian authors such as Ayn Rand.

During the Trump administration, Donald Trump appointed many lower-court justices who had formerly clerked with Thomas. He has often voted against radical leftist ideas, which has led to particularly harsh criticism from the left. This does not mean CAs should ignore his importance during Black History Month, as many have celebrated far-left extremists such as Ibram Kendi.

Suppose you are a young student reading this. In that case, I encourage you to use this time we are all spending inside to read more than what many biased professors, administrators, journalists and CAs tell you what to think. Whether it is reading about prominent thinkers such as Russell Kirk or Edmund Burke, listening to what others who oppose you have to say or even just looking at biographies, we are all in college to learn, and having a limited pallet of ideas will only serve to limit yourself.

Ryan Hurley is a junior in marketing and the president of Iowa State College Republicans.