Tuesday, October 26, 2021

U.S. Judge Bill Pryor and new law clerk Crystal Clanton prove blatant racism is a good career move for advancement in postmodern Republican circles

Crystal Clanton, with Clarence and Ginni Thomas


Reporters around the Web still seem to be shaking their heads at the story of U.S. Circuit Judge Bill Pryor and his decision to hire an avowed racist for a prestigious clerkship. Let's check out some of the reaction since the story broke about two weeks ago:

(1) Daily Beast, "She Said ‘I HATE BLACK PEOPLE’—Now She’s a Rising GOP Star": 

If you are young, white, ambitious, and hoping to become a prominent conservative, openly declaring your racism seems like a way to hasten your ascent.

It’s worked so far for Crystal Clanton, who back in 2017 briefly made headlines for a text stating, simply but emphatically, “I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all...I hate blacks. End of story.”

When that message and others like it she’d sent were made public, Clanton was in her fifth year as second-in-command at the right-wing campus group and hotbed of bigotry Turning Point USA; TPUSA head Charlie Kirk had previously called Clanton the organization’s “best hire” and claimed that “Turning Point needs more Crystals; so does America.” Her next stop was a highly visible media position with Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theorist. This spring, Clanton will graduate from law school at George Mason University School and step into her most prestigious role yet, clerking for federal appeals court judge William Pryor.


(2) Raw Story, "‘I hate blacks’: Disgraced activist lands prestigious clerkship after Ginni Thomas gave her a second chance": 

Crystal Clanton left the conservative Turning Points USA organization in 2017 after her racist texts -- "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like f*ck them all...I hate blacks. End of story" -- surfaced, but she soon landed a job assisting Ginni Thomas with her right-wing media ventures and then went on to George Mason University's Antonin Scalia Law School. She will now clerk for federal appeals court judge William Pryor, reported The Daily Beast.

"It defies belief that Pryor — or Ginni Thomas or [TPUSA head] Charlie Kirk for that matter — was unaware of Clanton's views,"wrote columnist Kali Holloway. "Thomas hired Clanton right after her stint at TPUSA and kept her on, gushing about her on social media, despite negative coverage. Kirk suggested he was outraged after Clanton's racist texts leaked, but subsequent reporting showed she 'would exchange racist remarks regularly with other TPUSA staffers.' Federal clerkships like the one Clanton just landed with Judge Pryor are highly coveted and prestigious stepping stones and applicants are thoroughly vetted before being selected."

Pryor, who was on Donald Trump's shortlist to replace Scalia, is an outspoken opponent of abortion and voting rights and favors executing the mentally disabled and brutally harsh treatment of prisoners, chose Clanton over numerous candidates despite her clear racist views.

"Clanton didn't cloak her racism in language that could later be disguised in any way; she made a statement that was deliberately clear about her hatred for Black folks," Holloway wrote. "Not only is Pryor cool with that, news of Clanton's selection hasn't seemed to upset anyone in the conservative sphere. If you need proof that conservatives across the board are OK with anti-Black racism and Islamophobia ... their deafening silence is exhibit A."


(3) Lawyers, Guns & Money, "Racism as an affirmative job credential":    

 If you want to get ahead in the conservative legal world, some racist trolling is a good idea:

I’d say Crystal Clanton just keeps failing upwards, but given that outrage is currency in right-wing circles, it is more accurate to say that her career is progressing on schedule. Do you remember why Clanton first became a news story? It’s been a minute, so I’ll cover the deets. 

In December of 2017, the New Yorker reported that Clanton, who at the time worked at the conservative student group Turning Point USA, texted co-workers with this hateful message: "I HATE BLACK PEOPLE. Like fuck them all . . . I hate blacks. End of story."

Awful, right? And this was far from a one-off incident, as reported by Mediaite

Well, even though Clanton was forced out of the right-wing nonprofit, her career prospects were far from damaged. Shortly after she left Turning Point USA, Ginni Thomas — yes, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s wife — hired Clanton to assist with her media ventures. And Clanton lapped up her connection to the powerful jurist.

But that wasn’t the end of Clanton’s ambitions. She was admitted to ASSLaw — that’s George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, for the uninitiated — and is scheduled to graduate this spring. And now we know that her post-graduation plans include an incredibly prestigious clerkship with Eleventh Circuit Judge William Pryor for 2023-24.


Anonymous said...

It speaks volumes that no one in the Republican hierarchy has spoken out against this hire.

legalschnauzer said...

The GOP can't govern, so they have to embrace racism. It's the first chapter in the playbook, and there aren't many chapters after that.

Anonymous said...

Crystal Clanton might be young, but she isn't stupid. She probably realized the road to GOP riches was paved with racist intentions. It sells to the base, even to white women who are married to black men.

legalschnauzer said...

This story looks bad for the GOP hierarchy, but looks especially bad for Pryor's colleagues on the 11th Circuit. Their silence indicates that they are fine with their court being a haven for racists -- and the public (in Alabama, Georgia, Florida) doesn't seem to mind.

Anonymous said...

Ginni Thomas is the one who saved Clanton's bacon, rehabilitated her career. Wonder what Mrs. Thomas is getting in return. Hmmmm . . .

legalschnauzer said...

It might be worth noting that Clarence Thomas has administrative oversight for the 11th Circuit, which might help explain why is so crooked and so disdainful of legal precedent. It's a true political swamp.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible Ginni Thomas doesn't realize she's married to a black man?

Anonymous said...

Clarence Thomas will go down in history as Joe Biden's greatest mistake.

legalschnauzer said...

Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) also won't look so good for his role in the Thomas nomination. Danforth once had a sterling reputation. Not so much anymore: