No Affirmative Action for Clarence Thomas?

Imagine what the justice's life would have been like without the civil rights program he detests.

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(The Root) -- Something occult was taking place at the Home for Retired Racial Stereotypes. Smoky incense filled the air of a darkened room where Kingfish, the Frito Bandito, Charlie Chan, Tonto and the rest of the crew were gathered in a circle, chanting to the sound of exotic music. In the middle of the circle stood Buckwheat, dressed in a turban and long robes covered with strange symbols, waving a wand over what looked like a glowing crystal ball.

"What are you stereotypes doing in here?" I demanded. "Holding a séance?"

"Oh, there you is, White," Buckwheat squeaked in reply. "This here ain't no regular séance. We is using the Wayback Machine."

"The Wayback Machine!" I exclaimed. "Isn't that the magical device that allows you to go back in the past and see how history might have played out if you make little changes?"

"That's the one," Buckwheat squeaked. "We using it to look back in time to see what would have happened to Clarence Thomas if there had never been no affirmative action!"

"You mean Clarence Thomas, the only black justice of the U.S. Supreme Court?" I inquired. 

"Precisely," squeaked Buckwheat. "He done grew up poor down in Georgia, but he got to college and Yale Law School because of affirmative action. Now he on the Supreme Court issuing opinions (pdf) saying that affirmative action is unconstitutional and holds black folks back instead of helping them!"

"Well, what would have happened to him?" I asked.

"Gaze into the Wayback Machine and see for yourself," Buckwheat commanded, flourishing the wand over the glowing orb.

As I looked into the sphere, an oddly familiar image of a silver-haired white woman began to form.