Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Why Am I Not Surprised?

The U.S. Supreme Court made a decision yesterday that protects workers who report racial discrimination from retaliation by their bosses (see this). Does that seem like a no-brainer to you? It seemed that way to the lower courts, as well, that ruled in favor of Hedrick G. Humphries, a man who was fired by Cracker Barrel for bringing a legal complaint about the racially-motivated firing of another worker. Cracker Barrel, of course, appealed. The Supreme Court doesn't typically weigh in unless lower courts disagree, so there was real concern that the high court was going to roll back protections, remaining consistent with their now infamous ultra-conservative stance.

When it came to the vote, however, 7 of the 9 Justices agreed that the lower courts had been correct. I am, needless to say, delighted.

Who were the two Justices that voted AGAINST Humphries and FOR Cracker Barrel? Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Which is the reason for the title on this post. Clarence Thomas is an embarassment on so many levels, he reminds me of a poem by Richard Shelton:


his compass has no needle
he is everywhere at once
arriving at the wrong moment
dragging an embarrassed shadow

if he does not come by he will call
if he does not call he will come by
if he comes by he will not leave
and if he leaves he will return
too soon it takes several weeks
to spend an hour with him

he is the one subject of all
his conversations but his life
is garbled like a bad translation
his mind is a series of interruptions
his voice an insult to silence

he is needy he wants
to tell you about himself
wants to hang himself on your wall
like a coat somebody forgot
just hanging there you can't
wear it can't throw it away
and each time he returns for it
he will forget it again

at parties he violates your space
when you step back he steps forward
when you look down you feel guilty
his shoes are ashamed of his feet

ambition's blue vein twitches
in his eyelid he wants
to be famous for something
for anything to sign autographs
to be recognized wherever he goes
and eventually he is

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