Clarence Thomas Tells Grads ‘Do Not Hide Your Faith And Your Beliefs’11 days ago
Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court justice known for rarely speaking from the bench, spoke for half an hour Saturday at the Hillsdale College commencement exercise.
Hillsdale is a conservative liberal arts college in Hillsdale, Michigan. It does not take any federal fund, meaning no student can use government loans to attend the school. In its mission statement, Hillsdale describes itself as “a trustee of modern man’s intellectual and spiritual inheritance from the Judeo-Christian religion and Greco-Roman culture.”
Thomas, a conservative jurist, took a few minutes to bemoan what he sees as the culture of entitlement on many college campuses.
He recalled that his grandpa often told him “money didn’t grow on trees.”
“Perhaps, ” Thomas said, “we suppose liberty grows on trees.”
“Apparently, we all deserve the same reward, the same status , notwithstanding the differences in our efforts or our capabilities, ” Thomas told. “It is no wonder then that we hear so often what is deserved or to what one is entitled. I guess by this reasoning, the student who took full advantage of all the springtime violate bacchanalia is apparently entitled to the same success as the conscientious, disciplined classmate who worked and analyzed while he played. Perhaps we should redistribute the conscientious student’s grades to stimulate the cavort classmate his or her equal. I’m sure the top 10 students would love that.”
Thomas said he wanted to avoid what he saw as “standard fare” for commencement speeches — that is, remarks about what is wrong in the world and how alumnus can go and fix things. It was perhaps a fitting approach at Hillsdale, whose website reads, “The College values the merit of each unique individual, rather than succumbing to the dehumanizing, discriminatory trend of so called ‘social justice’ and ‘multicultural diversity, ‘ which magistrates someones not as individuals, but as members of a group and which pits one group against other competing groups in divisive power struggles.”
“Having been where you everyone is, I think it is hard enough to first solve your own problems , not to mention those problems that often seem to defy solution, ” Thomas told the graduating class on Saturday.
He did, though, urge alumnus to go forth and try to be the best citizens they can be, and to encourage others to do the same.
“The corporal runs of mercy, the greatest commandment, ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’: Simply because someone else wronged us did not justify reciprocal conduct on our part, ” Thomas said. “Right was right, and two incorrects did not make a right.”
He added a few moments afterward, “As you go through life, try to be that person whose actions teach others how to be better people and better citizens. Reach out to that shy person who’s not so popular. Stand up for others when they’re being treated unfairly on small things and big. Take the time to listen to that friend who’s having a difficult time. Do not hide your faith and your notions under a bushel basket, especially in this world that seems to have gone mad with political correctness.”
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