Ginni Thomas, conservative lobbyist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, hired an assistant who once wrote “I hate blacks,” according to a new report by Mediaite’s Caleb Ecarma.*
Thomas, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump who frequently shares far-right conspiracy theories on social media, hired Crystal Clanton after she left the conservative student group Turning Point USA. Clanton served as second-in-command at TPUSA but departed the organization after she sent a text to a colleague that read: “I hate black people. Like fuck them all … I hate blacks. End of story.” The New Yorker later published the message; Clanton told the magazine, “I have no recollection of these messages and they do not reflect what I believe or who I am and the same was true when I was a teenager.”
Clanton assisted Thomas with her “Leadership Series” videos for the Daily Caller, including an interview with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Hotel. The Trump interview took place about a month after the New Yorker published Clanton’s racist texts.
Ecarma reports that Clanton also attended this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference with Thomas, and joined Thomas’ trip to TPUSA’s Young Women Leadership conference in Dallas. (Thomas serves on TPUSA’s advisory board.) At the conference, Thomas and Clanton posed with a “DRAFT JIM JORDAN FOR SPEAKER” sign. On her Facebook page, Thomas has repeatedly urged the Republican congressman to run for speaker of the House. When multiple victims accused Jordan of doing nothing to stop the sexual abuse of wrestlers at Ohio State University during his years as a coach there, Thomas claimed they had made “false accusations” because Jordan “threatens the elite.”
Clanton has also socialized with Clarence Thomas, regularly spending time with the couple at their house in Virginia.
According to Ecarma, Clanton’s “I hate blacks” text is not the extent of her racist writings. In one message he reviewed, Clanton shared a picture of an Arab man with a caption she’d written: “Just thinking about ways to do another 9/11.” She and her friends also exchanged Islamophobic messages like “a bacon a day keeps the Islams away” and “Ramadan bombathon.” And they sent each other pictures of their heads wrapped in towels to mock Muslim headwear.
It is not entirely surprising that Thomas would hire a known racist to aid in her activism. Since Trump took office, she has drifted toward the conservative fringe in support of the president and his agenda. Thomas has alleged that Barack Obama tried to rig the election by wiretapping Trump; accused Democrats of engaging in a “silent coup” funded by George Soros; and asserted that Robert Mueller will “fabricate whatever fake scandals [are] needed to take down Trump.” She has also shared memes attacking John McCain, Andrew McCabe, Charles Schumer, the Girl Scouts, the American Civil Liberties Union, and DACA beneficiaries. She has called Parkland survivor and gun safety advocate David Hogg “a special kind of stupid” and described Hogg and Emma González as “radicalized Democrats” who are “dangerous to the survival of our nation” because of their “total, shameless hypocrisy!” (Thomas later deleted that post.)
TPUSA routinely deploys this kind of extreme language, as the New Yorker detailed in the investigation that revealed Clanton’s texts. So it makes sense that Thomas would hire an ex-TPUSA staffer to assist with her pro-Trump work. But it is disturbing to see a sitting Supreme Court justice fraternizing with a known racist. Thomas, the intellectual godfather of the Trump administration, frequently refuses to acknowledge or remedy racism in America, describing institutional racism as a “conspiracy theory.” Yet if he wants to see evidence of invidious racism today, he apparently need look no further than his own backyard.
*Correction, Sept. 7, 2018: This post originally misspelled the name of the news outlet Mediaite.