White people love to invoke the imagery of Black trauma to get a point across—especially when it furthers their political agenda. Case in point: Texas Republican Louie Gohmert’s latest remarks regarding the treatment of Clarence Thomas. It happened during a House Judiciary Committee hearing called “Building Confidence in the Supreme Court Through Ethics and Recusal Reforms,” which took place Wednesday afternoon.
Gohmert expressed his disapproval of Thomas’s treatment. “Justice Clarence Thomas knows what all of my very conservative, dear Black friends know is nobody is treated more brutally in this country than a conservative Black,” he said. He also stated that the “abuse” of Thomas is “further contributing to the same high-tech lynching.” It was only a matter of time before a Black woman had to set him straight. Ifill hopped on Twitter to voice her disdain.
“Few things rile me up more than the claim by political men accused of wrongdoing that they are victims of lynching. So hearing the revival of the “high-tech lynching” claim today I feel compelled to resuscitate this piece I wrote in 2011.” Ifill then shared her Guernica essay “Dear Camp Cain: Stop Calling It a Lynching.”
The piece addressed supporters of the late Herman Cain who then faced sexual harassment allegations. She drew parallels between Cain and Thomas, stating: “Whatever one thinks of either Thomas or Cain, neither is the victim of a lynching, and their deliberate invocation of the most hideous and grotesque of racial crimes to shield their own conduct from scrutiny profoundly misrepresents the significance of lynching in the racial history of this country.”
Despite the grotesque nature of Gohmert’s remarks, Black people know what took place yesterday was yet another racist ass day in America.