Whiteness is Un-American: Ginni Thomas and the covert plot to destroy the country
OPINION: It turns out Ginni Thomas, Madison Cawthorn and the so-called 'conservative patriots' claiming to love America are a bigger threat to the country than Marxism, critical race theory and all the “radical un-Americans” combined.
Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.
It is the sum of all white fears.
The notion of radical, anti-American, non-whites secretly plotting against innocent, God-fearing Americans is an idea so scary it forms the premise of movie plots, preposterous conspiracy theories and real-world politics.
It’s why 84 percent of people polled in 1965 believed communists were behind the civil rights movement. It’s Barack Obama’s imaginary madrassa education and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Marxist training and the myth of a Manchurian Candidate. It constructed a Sugar House in Charleston, S.C., internment camps across America and a counterintelligence program inside every Black movement for freedom and justice—from the Freedom Riders to Black Lives Matter. It murdered Denmark Vesey and Fred Hampton. It is Colin Kaepernick’s knee and Stacey Abrams’ illegal immigrant voter registration plot and police brutality protests.
The revolution probably won’t be televised, but every day, Fox News broadcasts the ongoing white genocide featuring Hispanic voters and Black grassroots organizers and Muslims dancing on rooftops during 9/11 and the George Soros and “radical Islamic extremists” and critical race theorists. Anyone who isn’t a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant is probably up to something. They’re all hellbent on destroying America. Ask Tucker Carlson. Or the FBI. Or the Karen dialing 911 on a “suspicious person.”
And all this time, it was white people.
If Virginia “Ginni” Thomas weren’t white, the calls for her husband—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—to step down from the Supreme Court would be deafening. The 30-year veteran of the nation’s highest court would be accused of violating the judicial norms and associating with anti-American extremists. But Ginni is white, so few people have openly suggested that she is radicalizing her supposedly apolitical husband. Even her rabid right-wing tendencies are characterized as fervent patriotism, even when they rub against domestic terrorism, insurrection and ethical standards.
Ginni wasn’t up to anything when she attended the infamous Stop the Steal rally-turned-domestic terrorist attack. She claims she left early because she was uncomfortable. Apparently, after walking past the Confederate flags, Nazi attire and a hangman’s gallows, it was the chilly weather that made her leave the opening ceremony for the attempted coup d’etat.
“I played no role with those who were planning and leading the Jan. 6 events,” Ginni Thomas told the Washington Free Beacon. Therefore, Ginni’s membership in the Council for National Policy, the organization that distributed a memo outlining “strategies to make the Capitol riot more palatable” and amplifying the legitimate concerns of the “mostly peaceful protesters,” is of little importance.
Can you imagine the fury that would follow if this happened to a Black leader? A non-white political figure would probably be accused of consorting with terrorists or hating America. Of course, I’m just speculating. Oh, wait…
“Our opponent is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country,” Sarah Palin said of Barack Obama in 2008, long before Republicans wanted to make America great again. But Barack Obama is Black, so Ginni Thomas’ connection to alt-right leader Steve Bannon is not quite the same as when right-wing outlets touted Obama’s ties to Bill Ayers, a 1960s “radical, leftist, small-‘c’ communist,” organizer.
Jeremiah Wright’s “God damn America” sermon is totally different from Clarence Thomas’ keynote address at a fundraiser for the Manhattan Institute—the right-wing think tank that wrote the template for anti-critical race theory legislation in 20 states. Even if the judicial code of conduct forbids federal judges from being “a speaker, a guest of honor or featured on the program” at fundraisers. These are two separate issues.
Even though Ginni Thomas is a longtime right-wing activist who believes “America is in a vicious battle for its founding principles,” a member of the Supreme Court participating in extreme partisan politics is inconsequential. It also doesn’t matter that, according to Ginni, she and her husband “share many of the same ideals, principles, and aspirations for America.” Emails connecting the two with Great Value Donald Trump–Florida Governor Ron DeSantis—would be scandalous if Ginni were Black, but she is not.
That’s why I don’t think Ginni’s activities mean Clarence Thomas should step down from the Supreme Court.
After all, this probably has nothing to do with race. It’s not like white women such as Marjorie Taylor Greene can cozy up to the Nation of Islam when it suits them, but Black politicians must collectively disavow Louis Farrakhan even if they have no connection to him. I’m still waiting for Republicans to censure Rep. Lauren Boebert’s Islamophobia like they did with Ilhan Omar. Any day now.
Would a Black politician face consequences if they gave a “thumbs up” to an aspiring lynch mob shortly before they tried to hang the vice president to prevent him from carrying out his constitutional duties? Is Josh Hawley still a senator? Did Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) lose his job after he sneaked “multiple weapons” into the Capitol on the day he was supposed to certify the 2020 election? There’s a federal law against anyone who “incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof.” So Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is going to jail, right?
Of course not.
No one will accuse Ginni Thomas of being connected to terrorist organizations or chant “send them back” as the MAGAmuffin horde chanted about The Squad. Even when they attack elections, democracy, free speech or the Constitutional right to choose, white people are rarely accused of hating America. As long as they say they love their country, they can fly the flag of traitors and condemn peaceful protests and try to destroy the very fabric of their nation. It has nothing to do with partisan politics or conservatism. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are as disinterested interest in democracy as Mitch McConnell or Kevin McCarthy. To be clear, this clinging to power is not about white people.
It is whiteness.
These cock-and-bull accusations against non-white, non-Protestant Americans are meant to cement white power. For Trump, Hawley, Thomas et al., racism is just a tool. Whiteness is the only thing that aligns them with their blue-collar base. It’s how they managed to dupe flag-waving, pickup truck-driving rubes into defending a system that gives white people just enough economic, political and social capital to keep them ahead of the “others” but not enough power to actually make America great.
And that’s why Ginni Thomas is a perfect undercover agent for this anti-American cause. She is married to a Black man, so she can’t be racist. She holds no official position, except for the ear of one-ninth of the country’s highest judicial authority. But here is the thing:
Denmark Vesey didn’t make enslaved people want to be free. Communists didn’t introduce the idea of equality to Martin Luther King Jr. The Black Panthers didn’t turn Black people against the police. Whether Ginni Thomas has radicalized Clarence Thomas or not is of no importance. Christian values, the Constitution, conservatism, the founders or Ginni Thomas didn’t turn Clarence Thomas into a water carrier for white supremacy.
There is only one thing more important than America, and Ginni Thomas is just one of many true believers who is always up to something.
They only believe in whiteness.
And trust me, it will eventually destroy America.
Michael Harriot is a writer, cultural critic and championship-level Spades player. His book, Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America, will be released in 2022.
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