By Albert Lin
Eleven-term Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) is not backing down from a radio interview in which he called Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Uncle Tom.”
In a subsequent interview with CNN, Thompson told Dana Bash, “If you look at [Thomas’] decisions on the court, they have been adverse to the minority community, and the people I represent have a real issue with an African-American not being sensible to those issues.”
Asked by Bash whether “Uncle Tom” is a racially charged term, Thompson replied: “For some it is, but to others it’s the truth.
Bash went on to say that the phrase “wouldn’t be appropriate” coming from a white person. To which Thompson answered: “But I’m Black.”
Thompson made his original comment Sunday on a New Nation of Islam radio show. Even the show’s host appeared taken aback by Thompson’s use of the phrase, shaking his head and saying, “Oh, brother, oh, brother. You said that, I didn’t.”
Later on, Thompson elaborated on his reasons for labeling Thomas this way. “When I look at the decisions he’s been part of on that court, it’s almost to the point to say this man doesn’t even like Black people. He doesn’t like being Black,” Thompson said. “Because every decision where color has something to do with it, he went against it.”
Thomas wasn’t the only target of Thompson’s ire on the radio show. Thompson also accused Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of making a racist comment (“Now if that’s not a racist statement, I don’t know what is”) and says that opposition to President Obama is “all about race.”
“Now all of a sudden, government is the worst thing in the world since a Black man became President,” Thompson said.
Earlier this year, Thomas made some headline-grabbing comments of his own, telling a group of students that Americans are overly sensitive about race.