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Justice Thomas Movie: Willing to Die

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Thanks be to almighty God, Clarence Thomas did not have to die nor was he silenced.

Drawing on the lessons instilled in him as a youth by his grandfather and as a student of America’s Founding Fathers, he was able to survive the “high-tech lynching” of his Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. Our nation and generations to come are better for it.


“Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” tells the compelling story of a common man who overcame great adversity and, in so doing, became a great man.

This powerful documentary, scheduled for release Friday, has the potential to breathe new life into any viewer who is oppressed, angry or lost.

Regardless of our age, vocation, social status or educational level, Justice Thomas teaches us how anger and hatred are killers — and how we find life by adhering to the truth as expressed in the “laws of nature and of nature’s God.”

This film has the ability to help heal the bitter political discord infecting our nation, caused by those who seek to control our speech, our thoughts, our very being.

The film reveals what an uneducated, illiterate black grandfather in the segregated South and the wealthy white guys who founded America have in common: A love for freedom, self-determination and hard work; an innate understanding that the God who created us created all of us equal.

The documentary, coupled with Justice Thomas’ outstanding 2007 memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son,” are perfect materials for the classroom, book clubs and anyone who seeks a better understanding of American history and the keys to overcoming adversity.

Reading the book and watching the movie have strengthened my own resolve to practice forgiveness, fight for freedom and shake off character assaults. They remind me that adhering to advancing timeless, biblical principles helps others to discover the transformational truth that every person is created in the image of God Himself.


Justice Thomas also explains how he overcame a period of consuming hatred as a young adult, and how he eventually fell in love with the vision of America’s Founding Fathers: “I was looking for a way of thinking, a set of ideals, that fundamentally, at its core, says slavery is wrong — at its core. Which natural law, of course, does.

“Thomas Jefferson had written, in 1776, ‘All men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.’ That’s natural law in a nutshell.

“How then could a country founded on these principles have permitted slavery and segregation to exist? The answer was, that it couldn’t, not without being untrue to its own ideals.”

Justice Thomas frankly shares his experiences of the pain of racism and how they were never more deadly or vitriolic than when he went through the shameful Senate confirmation hearings. 

“I felt as though in my life I had been looking at the wrong people as the people that would be problematic toward me. We were told that, ‘Oh, it’s going to be the bigot in the pickup truck, it’s going to be the Klansman, it’s going to be the rural sheriff.’ It turned out that through all of that, ultimately the biggest impediment was the modern-day liberal.”

Justice Thomas’ story and example provide a much needed salve for the American soul.


But to this day some still seek to destroy Clarence Thomas because he is not “their black man.” Their racism is openly practiced but seldom called out for what it is, as they deride and ridicule one of the greatest Americans that has ever lived. Unlike the slave, they can not control Clarence Thomas, so they seek to silence him.

Justice Thomas’ story must be told so that others may be free. Independent filmmakers Michael and Gina Pack have done the hard work to bring his moving story to life, so all we have to do is see the film and share it with others.

To view the trailer, buy group tickets for your church, a classroom or friends, log onto

Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at

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