On partisan lines, the Georgia State Senate voted on Tuesday to approve a proposal to erect a statue of Clarence Thomas on the grounds of the State Capitol in Atlanta. This decision sparked racist criticism from Dems. and several media outlets.
State Senator Emanuel Jones (D-10th district), who spoke out against the statue by calling Thomas an “Uncle Tom,” was one among the opponents.
“When discussing a person of color who has a long history dating back to the days of slavery and who betrays his own community,” Jones said, “In the black community, we have always had an expression. I do not really wish to use this label too strongly here because I’m only trying to tell you about what we have in the African American community. That phrase we employ is known as ‘Uncle Tom.’ I don’t fully know the roots of “Uncle Tom,” but it talks about a guy who, during the era of slavery, gave his soul to his slave masters. An “Uncle Tom” is either a fictional or non-fictional character.”
It’s interesting that Jones is unaware of the term’s etymology, which can be traced back to Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, published in 1852. But I suppose it’s not that unusual for a Democrat to try to talk about something they don’t completely comprehend. Georgia Democrats argue that Thomas is too controversial to have a statue placed on the grounds of the Capitol, yet Jimmy Carter, a controversial former Georgia governor, and one-term president, also has a statue there.
State Senator Jason Anavitarte (R-31st district) stated, “There are those who have an issue with his policies during his time as governor or president, probably members of this body, but we respect history.” Clearly, controversy is not the problem. Democrats find it difficult to praise a black guy who does not remain firmly on the Democratic plantation, which is why Jones attacked Thomas and called him a “Uncle Tom” for not supporting the left.
The law now proceeds to the state house, where Republicans hold a commanding majority, after passing the Senate.