Justice Clarence Thomas Speaks Out
Jan Crawford Greenburg's in-depth interview with Justice Clarence Thomas.
Sept. 30, 2007 — -- After 16 years of relative silence on the subject, Justice Clarence Thomas is publishing an autobiography that addresses what he has called a "high-tech" lynching -- the confirmation process that followed his nomination to the Supreme Court by President George Herbert Walker Bush.
ABC Supreme Court correspondent Jan Crawford Greenburg conducted a series of wide-ranging interviews with Justice Thomas and his wife, Virginia.
Click on the links below for Greenburg's in-depth report on her interviews with the justice.
Part I: My Grandfather's Son
"These people who claim to be progressive … have been far more vicious to me than any southerner," Thomas says, "and it is purely ideological."
Part II: The Integrator
He is part of another great generation -- a generation of blacks who integrated a racist society, whose entry into those hostile white worlds was, in many ways, no less courageous than the bravery of the men who stormed the beaches of Normandy.
Part III: Going North
"I didn't have this view that I was going to go North. Ideologically, I wanted to be like the Northern kids who were no longer submissive. They were fighting back on the racial issues," Thomas says. "But I didn't want to go North. That was not a part of it. But it was the only option I had after I got kicked out of the house."
Part IV: A Conservative in Washington -- and the Personal Struggles
"I drank more heavily than ever before, and though I was careful not to let my drinking interfere with my work, I knew I was on the road to trouble," Thomas writes.
Part V: Finding Peace
"I sometimes wonder how I got through the summer of 1983 without falling apart," he wrote. "I was lower than a snake's belly ... and the mad thought of taking my own life fleetingly crossed my mind."
Part VI: Becoming a Judge
"That's a job for old people," Thomas wrote that he replied. "I can't see myself spending the rest of my life as a judge."
Part VII: 'Traitorous' Adversaries: Anita Hill and the Senate Democrats
Thomas wrote that he paced around the house "like a caged animal," not knowing what to expect but fearing the worst.
"Thanks to God's direct intervention, I had risen phoenix-like from the ashes of self-pity and despair, and though my wounds were still raw, I trusted that in time they, too, would heal," he wrote.
Click on the links below to watch highlights from Greenburg's series of interviews with Thomas.
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