The Soft Bigotry and Hard Hubris of Justice Antonin Scalia
By almariam On December 18, 2015
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin showed his true colors during oral argument on December 9, 2015 in Fisher v. University of Texas. (Click HERE to read the full transcript.)
Scalia resorted to inflammatory blather to make his absurd point that African American students should attend “a less advanced school” because they are simply unable to compete successfully in the predominantly white universities (pp. 67-68):
There are — there are 11 those who contend that it does not benefit African-Americans to — to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less advanced school, a less — a slower — track school where they do well. One of — one of the briefs pointed out that — that most of the most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.
They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re — that they’re being pushed ahead in — in classes that are too — too fast for them.
I’m just not impressed by the fact that — that the University of Texas may have fewer. Maybe it ought to have fewer. And maybe some — you know, when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less. And — and I — I don’t think it– it — it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible. I just don’t think —
Did Scalia exceed the bounds of human with his demeaning, mean-spirited and gratuitous remarks about the intellectual deficits and inferiority of college-bound African American students?
Der Donald definitely thinks so.
Trump rejected what Scalia had to say. “I thought it was very tough to the African-American community, actually. I don’t like what he said. I heard him, I was like, ‘Let me read it again’ because I actually saw it in print, and I’m going — I read a lot of stuff — and I’m going, ‘Whoa!’”
When Übermensch Donald Trump, the putative builder of the “Great American Wall” on our southern border and the man who pledged to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S. if he becomes president, says Scalia is out of line, Scalia is out of line!
If Donald Trump, who needs a titanium bit and brittle to restrain his nonsense hemorrhaging mouth says, “Let me read it again. Whoa!”, there is something Scalia said that just ain’t right.
Tweedle Dee slamming Tweddle Dum is an exhilarating spectacle, I must confess.
The fact is, hell hath no fury than an unhinged Antonin Scalia during oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court!
Scalia wags his tongue like a dog’s tail and mauls lawyers who appear before him like a hyena ripping into an antelope.
When it comes to affirmative action, Scalia does not only maul; he stings and deposits his venom like an angry wasp (I did not say an angry WASP.)
Scalia says “most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.”
Of course, they don’t!
Everybody knows “most black scientists” come from Black Holes in the Andromeda Galaxy. Duh!
Where does Scalia think the most famous astrophysicist in America today, Neil deGrasse Tyson, an African American, came from?
Yeah! Yeah! Tyson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1983, the same university litigating the current case before the Supreme Court and all that.
But where did he really come from, if you know what I mean!?
Hint! Hint! They actually named an asteroid for Neil deGrasse Tyson – “13123 Tyson”, located somewhere between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter.
Since we are talking about where everybody comes from, I would like to know the name of the exoplanet Scalia spends most of his time on when he is not performing rites of Delphic Oracles at the Supreme Court.
By the way, does Scalia know that his buddy Clarence Thomas on the court was one of about 10 blacks in a class of 160 who had arrived at Yale Law School in an “affirmative action program” after the unrest of the 1960s? I am asking because Thomas don’t say nothin’ during oral arguments . Maybe he don’t say nothin’ in chambers too.
During oral argument, Thomas sits like a bronze statute staring at the ceiling. In January 2013, when Thomas made an utterance during oral argument, he made national news. Unfortunately, “Thomas’s exact comments apparently are lost to history” since no one could make out what he said.
Thomas once chafed he was rejected for employment by one “high-priced lawyer” after another because he got to law school on an affirmative action program. (Why didn’t hang his own shingle and build his own practice, I don’t know.)
Horse feathers! Of course, Thomas got to the Supreme Court strictly on the basis of his stellar legal scholarship and skillful court room advocacy.
George H.W. Bush was not even thinking of tokenism when he nominated him.
Revenge is best served cold on “high priced lawyers”.
Is Scalia’s (il)logic that since most white scientists come from the University of Texas and similar institutions, those institutions should be preserved for whites students only?
Scalia conveniently forgets (he is only 79 years old) that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously decided to desegregate education in Texas in 1950 in a case called Sweat v. Painter.
Heman Marion Sweatt, an African American, had to sue the University of Texas Law School at Austin, part of the same institution litigating the current case before the court, to gain admission.
It was the Sweatt case that opened the door four years later for the desegregation of public schools in Brown v. Board of Education, which became a death knell for the pernicious “separate but equal doctrine”. That doctrine was the law of the land for nearly 6 decades and lent constitutional legitimacy to the odious practice of maintaining racially segregated schools, universities, public facilities while creating the illusion of ensuring equal opportunities to all races.
Today in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, Scalia wants to turn back the clock to the good old pre-Sweatt days when African Americans knew their place not only on the bus but also in higher and lower education.
Stripped off its legal mumbo jumbo about the proper constitutional standard of review and whether precedent was followed, Fisher v. University of Texas is a challenge to a policy of the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) which considers race as one of various factors in its undergraduate admissions process.
UTA is committed to increasing racial minority enrollment to a point of “critical mass” (a situation where minority students feel comfortable expressing individual views and no longer see themselves as token members of their race at the university). The Texas State Legislature also sought to increase minority enrollment by enacting a measure known as the Top Ten Percent Law, granting automatic admission to any public state college, including the University, to all students in the top 10% of their class at high schools in Texas that comply with certain standards.
In 2008, when Fisher petitioner sought admission to the University’s entering class, she was 1 of 29,501 applicants. From this group 12,843 were admitted, and 6,715, a little over one-half, accepted and enrolled. Fisher was denied admission and she sued alleging the use of race in the admissions process denied her equal treatment (equal protection clause) under the Constitution.
It is against this background that Scalia spewed his venom of racial inferiority and intellectual feebleness of racial minorities seeking to attend higher education.
Scalia said African Americans should “go to a less advanced school, a less — a slower — track school where they do well.” Scalia appears to be echoing the so-called “mismatch theory” which suggests that African American students would be happier in colleges and universities where they are not rigorously challenged intellectually and can feel more comfortable in a learning environment of less well-prepared classmates. Put more bluntly, African American students should attend the University of Dumb and Dumber.
Which are the “less advanced schools” Scalia is referring to? Is Scalia using a code phrase to refer to the “historically black colleges and universities” (HBCU’s)?
Perhaps the “lesser schools” are community colleges and Scalia aims to consign African American students en masse so they can prove their intellectual capacity and readiness to join the 52 percent of students who accepted offers of admission from UT at Austin?
It seems to me that disadvantaged white students could feel just as “mismatched” and uncomfortable as African American students by stiff academic competition at the predominantly white universities. Should they be sent to the HBCUs?
Scalia believes African American students are slow learners at best and need “tracking”, not unlike mentally challenged students, so they are not lost in the desolate wilderness of higher education at the predominantly white institutions.
Scalia said, “when you take more, the number of blacks, really competent blacks admitted to lesser schools, turns out to be less.”
Does he mean to suggest that there are so infinitesimally few academically competent African American students available that the predominantly white schools must cast their nets far and wide to catch whomever they can get in their recruitment nets just to show magnanimous acts of charity towards the huddled masses of African American students?
Scalia said, “I don’t think it– it — it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”
“Reason”? Ha! Reason is to a bigot as the Scripture is to the devil.
Shakespeare wrote, “The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose.” The bigot can stand reason on its head for his own purposes.
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!”
How Justice Scalia “produced holy witness” when he maligned and disparaged African American college students.
Back in the pre-Sweatt days, it stood to “reason” that no “blacks” be admitted to the University of Texas. For that matter, it stood to reason that no blacks should be allowed to attend any elementary or high school where white children were enrolled.
George Bernard Shaw said, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
Well, I don’t much like to wrestling with a pig or a Tasmanian Devil. But I am liking this wrestling with Scalia.
This past June, I had a chance to poke at the “‘Jiggery Pokery’ Jurisprudence of Justice Scalia”.
I expressed deep concern over the long-lasting damage to the dignity, credibility and moral authority of the nation’s highest court caused by Scalia’s intemperate and off-the-cuff remarks and judicial temper tantrums.
If Scalia wants to drag the Constitution into the gutter, it is the duty of all citizens (certainly lawyers) who have taken an oath to defend and protect the Constitution to get down into the gutter and rescue the Constitution.
Scalia could not care less about affirmative action in higher education.
For Scalia, affirmative action is just one of the battlefields he can general in his larger culture wars over race, gender, reproductive choice and choice of partners while ensconced in his chambers.
Scalia aims to preach from the bench that white students are being victimized by affirmative action. He wants to give constitutional imprimatur to the false narrative that minorities are taking over everything. They are getting stuff for free, to borrow a line from Jeb Bush.
Raise the flag! (I did not say the Confederate flag.) Onward, Soldiers!
The fact of the matter is that significant numbers of African American students at the predominantly white institutions do not feel at home. Many find these institutions hostile learning environments in which they have to constantly fend off demeaning and patronizing comments about their intellectual capacities and achievements.
Last year, African American students launched the “I, Too, Am Harvard” campaign to register the fact that they “often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned.” If African American students at Harvard, many of whom are valedictorians and stellar academic performers, feel so alienated at the nation’s most selective university, what can be expected at the other institutions Scalia brays about as citadels of intellectual rigor and knowledge.
In the past few weeks, African American students from the University of Missouri to some of the ivy league schools have been protesting racism at their institutions. Recent studies show campus climate is significantly related to academic achievement of African-American students.
Truth be told, I have been wondering for a long time if Scalia has an undiagnosed psychological disorder which makes him spew hate and bigotry?
I believe Scalia suffers from “Hubris-Nemesis Complex”.
The “complex involves a combination of hubris (a pretension toward an arrogant form of godliness) and nemesis (a vengeful desire to confront, defeat, humiliate, and punish an adversary).”
The victim of “Hubris Nemesis Complex” also suffers from a related “destructive-constructive Messianism” syndrome, a condition in which the victim “presents himself as being—a virtual messiah or savior who is on a crusade and has a fate, destiny, or mission that is historic, both timeless and 7 time-changing in its implications. All is politicized in the name of the mission and the high principles it engages.”
In Greek mythology, hubris is the “pretension to be godlike, and thereby fail to observe the divine equilibrium among god, man, and nature.” The Greek gods lived and held court on Mount Olympus.
The U.S. Constitution created positions for Delphic Oracles, as it were, when it created the Supreme Court and invested them with all powers temporal and legal. The Greek oracles issued prophesies. The Supreme Court issues final edicts.
Scalia believes he is “godlike”, at least 1/9th godlike. There are 8 other gods and goddesses besides him. He exercises his godlike powers not far from a small mount called Capitol Hill. Like the judgment of the Greek gods, there is no appeal from the judgment of the Supreme Court.
The angry god Scalia is angry at black people in general and black students in particualr. I don’t know why.
I do not understand why Scalia would make in terrorem declarations and pronouncements denigrating the intellect of African American students and threatening to use his judicial power to send them back to “slower schools”.
I don’t know what Scalia gains by denigrating, humiliating, demoralizing and dispiriting young African Americans.
Does he even care how his words could impact the self-confidence, self-worth and self-image of millions of African American students and how they are perceived by the world?
I will be damned if I stay silent when Scalia trashes and demonizes an entire generation of young African Americans as feeble-minded and dim-witted.
I will raise my quill to tell Scalia and his disciples exactly how I feel.
How some of my African American students feel about Scalia’s statement is another story.
When I asked their reactions, they used colorful language which I choose to translate as, “Pity the fool!”
I should like to think a line from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline may describe in a dignified way how they felt about Scalia’s slanderous statements: “Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile.” Shakespeare, of course, was referring to the snakes of the Nile.
I have noticed Scalia always wears a black robe in the courtroom during oral arguments. I must confess I have always wondered about the color of the robe he wears in the privacy of his chambers, and if his hood has slits for him to see out.
Scalia questions the fitness of African American students to attend the larger predominantly white institutions. I question his capacity and temperament to serve as a justice on the highest court of the Republic of one nation, indivisible, promising liberty and justice for all.
It has been said that one ought not “judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him.”
Justice Scalia’s opinions have made him Judge Dredd.
How true it is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.