Monday, August 14, 2006

Fun with John and Clarence

I'm reading Strange Justice - the Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson. I'm doing research for a possible play about the period based on this book, David Brock's Blinded by the Right and a few others.

There are some fascinating bits in the book, like this one:
Thomas liked to taunt another member of the office, who was prim and painfully shy, by making outrageous, gross, and at times off-color remarks. "Clarence was loud and boisterous, kind of the office clown. He couldn't help himself but to needle the guy - he just liked to get under his skin," Rothschild recalled in an interview.

The target of Thomas's taunting was John C. Ashcroft.

Terrel H. Bell, who was secretary of education at the time, recalled in his memoirs being "shocked at the sick humor and racist cliches" voiced by some Reagan appointees, who, for instance, referred to Martin Luther King Jr. as "Martin Lucifer Coon," called Arabs "sand niggers," and described Title IX, which prohibits sexual discrimination, as "the lesbians' bill of rights."