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Invitation doesn't sit well with all

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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has agreed to attend the dedication of Augusta's new Judicial Center and Judge John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse in the spring, according to a local judge, but not everyone is happy about it.

J. Carlisle Overstreet, the Superior Court chief judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit, said that he has been in contact with Thomas' staffers and that they have accepted. Overstreet said he first conferred with City Administrator Fred Russell, who then spoke to Mayor Deke Copenhaver about the invitation.

Overstreet said the city "hit pay dirt" with Thomas' acceptance.

Some blacks disagree with Overstreet, however; they oppose the choice of Thomas and question why it was made with little input from others.

"I feel Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' judicial philosophy contradicts Judge Ruffin's judicial philosophy and works," said Quincy Murphy, the chairman of the Richmond County legislative delegation. "And I would have hoped that some consideration would have been given to the person they named the courthouse after -- Georgia Appeals Court Chief Judge John H. 'Jack' Ruffin."

Retired educator Tracy Williams said Thomas is a hypocrite because he benefited from the very things he opposes -- affirmative action, the public-accommodations law of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the integration of public schools.

One of Ruffin's close friends, Mallory Millender, said he knows of no one whom Ruffin held in greater contempt than Thomas.

"I know of no way we could dishonor John Ruffin more than to have Clarence Thomas speak for this occasion," he said.

Russell said it is fairly common to ask the Supreme Court justice who is from the district to attend dedications of judicial facilities.

"He seemed like a logical choice," he said. "He's the Supreme Court justice. That's pretty classy. I didn't realize that would be a problem."

The mayor said that he had written a letter of support for his invitation at the request of U.S. District Court Judge Dudley Bowen, because it was protocol for the Supreme Court justice from a district to speak, but that he had not been part of the decision.

"I'm not a member of a committee," he said. "I'm not aware of a committee. I just sent a letter at the request of Judge Bowen."

Bowen, likewise, said he was not involved in the decision because that would be the role of state officials, such as Overstreet.

"I'm delighted Justice Thomas is coming, if he is," Bowen said.

Mayor Pro Tem Alvin Mason, who was contacted in Washington, said that if it was protocol he would support it, but not as keynote speaker.

"I wouldn't disrespect him because of his position," he said. "But I wouldn't think Clarence Thomas would be the best choice. I really wouldn't support him being the guest speaker."

Former Richmond County State Court Solicitor Harold Jones said Thomas is a fine choice.

"He is a Supreme Court justice. He's from Georgia. He pulled himself up with his own bootstraps," he said. "I think it's a great choice. I think he shows what a justice should be."

Williams said he had sent e-mails to 58 people seeking their opinions concerning the Thomas invitation and received 22 responses. Older respondents oppose it, and younger ones don't, he said.

No dedication has been set, but it is expected to be in May.

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Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 09/16/10 - 12:56 am
0
0
Must everything be about

Must everything be about politics?

Nightwing
0
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Nightwing 09/16/10 - 02:42 am
0
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Not everyone would be happy

Not everyone would be happy no matter who was comming. Justice Clarence Thomas is much to be admired, he worked hard for what he has gotten and will demonstrate that work ethic to the young people of Augusta. Put politics and race aside, give it a rest.

johnston.cliff
2
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johnston.cliff 09/16/10 - 07:50 am
0
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"de black man what know his

"de black man what know his place still chant da message dey massa say dem to." (The Continuation of Slavery)

Justice Thomas is a black conservative ... many blacks don't feel he knows his place and call him Uncle Tom.

Justice Thomas is a constitutionalist, not a judicial activist...many blacks don't feel he knows his place and call him Uncle Tom.

Justice Thomas is a fine example of what can be accomplished when one pursues the American dream and all Americans should be raised to respect this type of effort. Unfortunately, not everyone is raised in this manner and call him Uncle Tom.

chascush
0
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chascush 09/16/10 - 05:28 am
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cliff, I agree, some blacks

cliff, I agree, some blacks refer to Justice Thomas as being 'white'
which is the phrase when preaching 'Social Justice'.

Batman
18
Points
Batman 09/16/10 - 06:02 am
0
0
The old black guard in

The old black guard in Augusta is disgraceful and simply has no class. I guess they would have preferred Al Sharpton give the keynote address. It will be a much better day when those 'younger ones', that Tracy Williams spoke of, finally rise to power in large numbers and stop reliving the yesterdays of life. I'm happy the 'old' black leadership in Augusta continue to show what they really are.

Deke's lack of a political backbone is embarrassing. He always wants to deflect criticism. I'd sure hate to be in a political fight with him and needed his support. He has no courage. C'mom man...

Thank you... Judge Overstreet, Judge Bowen, and Harold Jones.

joebowles
104
Points
joebowles 09/16/10 - 06:24 am
0
0
This should be titled the

This should be titled the article of hatred if you and I don't agree on politics.

juantez
254
Points
juantez 09/16/10 - 06:29 am
0
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@johnston.cliff.....Justice
Unpublished

@johnston.cliff.....Justice Thomas was not adopted by white parents.

Little Lamb
48873
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Little Lamb 09/16/10 - 06:33 am
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Retired educator Tracy

Retired educator Tracy Williams said:

Thomas is a hypocrite.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Tracy.

Southern_Patriot
0
Points
Southern_Patriot 09/16/10 - 06:35 am
0
0
Ignorance is temporary,

Ignorance is temporary, stupid is forever. Small minded Augusta politicians and "the old black guard in Augusta is disgraceful and simply has no class " says it all.

My Take
0
Points
My Take 09/16/10 - 06:45 am
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The black leaders are up in

The black leaders are up in arms because a successful black republican is coming to town to honor Judge Ruffin, now isn't that just great. Seems like all the black politicians are against him and I wonder why.

Black politicians are against anything or anybody they can't control.
Wouldn't it be terrible for Judge Thomas to inspire just one black child to stay in school and try to be successful on his or her own, but that would mean an educated black would no longer need the government hand outs and the black politicians and democrats in particular could no long count on an uneducated vote to keep them in power.

Blacks constantly blame slavery for their poor status in life, but forget that this is the land of opportunity, nobody is trying to get out of this “unfair” country, but hundreds of thousands are trying to get in.

I’m sick of this wore out slavery excuse for their lack of success. Please tell me the difference between slavery of the 1800’s and the government slavery now perpetrated on uneducated blacks and whites today. In the 1800’s the slaves had a place to live and food to eat and an intact family unit. Today the government provides a place to live (section 8) and food to eat (food stamps) and an income to boot. The family unit has been abandon,
children don’t know who their father is in too many cases.

Oh, but they were abused in the 1800’s, well I say what do you think all the black on black crime is today. Only when poor whites and blacks realize that they are nothing more than slaves to big government the sooner they will embrace a successful black man and follow his example and not be told what to do by the government anymore.

Little Lamb
48873
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Little Lamb 09/16/10 - 06:47 am
0
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Look at the title of this

Look at the title of this newspaper story. Nightwing's comment is the absolute truth:

Not everyone would be happy no matter who was coming.

Dismiss the comments of those in the article above who preach hate and division

confederatelady319
0
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confederatelady319 09/16/10 - 06:48 am
0
0
This should be in the whine

This should be in the whine line.

slippery 25
0
Points
slippery 25 09/16/10 - 06:50 am
0
0
Anyone who opposes having a

Anyone who opposes having a member of the Supreme Court speak in Augusta needs to have his motives questioned

Little Lamb
48873
Points
Little Lamb 09/16/10 - 06:51 am
0
0
Mallory Millender said he

Mallory Millender said he knows of no one whom Ruffin held in greater contempt than Thomas.

It is dangerous and disrepectful to attribute words and thoughts to dead people. None of us can know whether Millender is telling the truth or not.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 09/16/10 - 07:03 am
0
0
In my 3 years of following

In my 3 years of following these comments and forums, This is one of the few times I am in agreement with johnston.cliff. He is a Supreme Court Justice for goodness sake and one of the most veteran justices on there. I hope they open it to the public. I want to meet him.

nerthus
2
Points
nerthus 09/16/10 - 07:05 am
0
0
Justice Thomas is in deed a

Justice Thomas is in deed a U.S. Supreme Court Justice and because of that should be respected. In my opinion Justice Thomas is a disgrace to the black heritage that he comes from. He has forgotten his roots. I am not black I am an older white male and I still say this.

maggiemae
0
Points
maggiemae 09/16/10 - 07:55 am
0
0
He was appointed by G H W

He was appointed by G H W Bush, that pretty wells explains the objections.

chascush
0
Points
chascush 09/16/10 - 07:14 am
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nerthus, ‘In my opinion

nerthus, ‘In my opinion Justice Thomas is a disgrace to the black heritage that he comes from.’
You should read Justice Thomas’ book ‘My Grandfather's Son’ then you would understand him much better and would not speak with ignorance.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 09/16/10 - 07:29 am
0
0
Justice Thomas is the

Justice Thomas is the selected guest speaker, period. Who are all these "city fathers" putting their 2 cents in? They had an opportunity to respond to the inquiry and only 22 of the 58 replied---so shut up and accept the fact that Thomas will participate in the dedication ceremonies. At least these "city fathers" should show some manners and hospitality instead of mouthy inhospitable ill-mannered remarks.

mommie2
2
Points
mommie2 09/16/10 - 07:31 am
0
0
George H.W. Bush appointed

George H.W. Bush appointed him in 1991.

southernguy08
532
Points
southernguy08 09/16/10 - 07:34 am
0
0
Let an African-American say
Unpublished

Let an African-American say he is liberal, and he is accepted as a "brother." Let an African-American say he is conservative, and he is crucified for "acting white." Watch, we'll have Anita Hill making her unproven accusations of harassment again. Judge Thomas, you deserve better, but probably won't get it.

Justin4466
43
Points
Justin4466 09/16/10 - 07:46 am
0
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Once again the issue at hand

Once again the issue at hand is being misrepresented. Justice Thomas is to be commended for his accomplishments. He is to to highly regarded and respected as a member of the highest judicial body in the land. The concern is that his past views and writings are in direct contrast to what the late Judge Ruffin stood for. If he was coming to speak to a civic club, hit the first ball at the Master's, or some other cosmetic appearance no one would be concerned. It is the principal of the matter, similar to of a mosque being built at ground zero. It may be protocol, politically correct, and of course those making the decision have every right to bring who they want but it just does not pass the smell test.

maggiemae
0
Points
maggiemae 09/16/10 - 07:57 am
0
0
If Ruffin was so biased that

If Ruffin was so biased that he would disapprove of Clarence Thomas as a speaker, then what is his name doing on a public building?

confederatelady319
0
Points
confederatelady319 09/16/10 - 08:00 am
0
0
The Surpreme Court is a joke

The Surpreme Court is a joke away,we the people do not need a small group of judges telling all Americans what we have to do.It should be approved are disapproved by the American people with a vote.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 09/16/10 - 08:03 am
0
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Justin4466, do think Ruffin

Justin4466, do think Ruffin should be criticized for his wrongheadedness ?
Why would a building be named after someone who everyone says disagrees with America's constitution?
Maybe Ruffin supported the constitution, as Thomas does, and all of this nastiness is just lefties following script.

americafirst
1001
Points
americafirst 09/16/10 - 08:21 am
0
0
The building is not named

The building is not named after Judge Ruffin, only the main courtroom inside.

GAterp
2
Points
GAterp 09/16/10 - 08:23 am
0
0
Justice Thomas had better go

Justice Thomas had better go to the Courthouse first before stopping at Judge Overstreet's place. You never know what might happen there! The judge does have a little Roy Bean thing going on!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/16/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
Why does race have to brought

Why does race have to brought into every single stinking issue? *Sigh*

americafirst
1001
Points
americafirst 09/16/10 - 08:30 am
0
0
confederatelady319, ever hear

confederatelady319, ever hear of checks and balances. It is the framework on which this country was founded.

peonynut
2
Points
peonynut 09/16/10 - 08:31 am
0
0
I'll say one thing for Deke

I'll say one thing for Deke he can CYA with the best of them.
Does no one remember Anita Hill?

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