Thomas' journey, from poverty in rural Georgia to the United States Supreme Court, proceeded in unplanned chapters, each one emerging from the one before as a result of his assessment of what the right thing was to do at that moment. This was no career planning exercise, but rather a hard fought crystallization of an inner sense of mission and ideals.
Third, for whatever reason, it is beyond the ken of any liberal to accept that a black individual can arrive at conservative principles as a result of his or her own struggles and deliberative processes. This is so unfathomable to liberals, black and white, that they are convinced that behind every black conservative is a white Republican who has made it worth his or her while. This is, of course, obscene.
Thomas' conservatism began to formally crystallize, from his own thoughts and experiences, when he was an undergraduate at Holy Cross. This was long before he had anything to do with the Republican Party.
In fact, his real grounding in the values of self reliance, hard work, and faith started with his grandfather, Daddy, who raised him, and for whom he names the book.
Daddy started his own fuel oil business when he decided that a man shouldn't work for someone else. He raised his grandson with an iron hand, and taught him that "Any job worth doing is worth doing right."
Needless to say, the book gives an account of Thomas' confirmation hearings and the tawdry and sickening Anita Hill affair. That an unsubstantiated accusation, submitted in confidence to a Senate committee, and then leaked to the press, can be transformed into a carnival-like public hearing that can threaten and defame a Supreme Court nominee, should concern every citizen about the state of our government.
Struggles and suffering are not without purpose. The parade is starting to catch up to Clarence Thomas and black conservatism is taking root. Ironically, simultaneous with the appearance of Thomas' book is Bill Cosby's new book, in which Cosby argues it is important for blacks to replace dependence and victimization with personal responsibility.
"My Grandfather's Son" is an important story by an important American. It should be read.