Overall, Thomas comes off as one might expect of a person trapped in the shadows of two diametrically opposed cultures, struggling to make sense of it, but not quite sure he likes the picture emerging from the mist.
A sampling of some of Thomas' complaints include:
Conservatives – Thomas complains of how sequestered he felt during his period as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Reagan Administration's Justice Department. He writes: "...you were sort of in this no-man's land, where you didn't fit in...in either camp."
Thomas seethes over the direction, in 1981, of the Reagan Administration's civil rights initiatives. Thus, in his anger – quite amazing, considering the circles in which he travels -- he manages then, to squander a potential moment of serendipity. "I thought I could do some good," he laments. "Again, it's put up, or shut up,' he adds. "You play with the hand you're dealt."
Progressives/Liberals – Thomas is succinctly unequivocal: "These people who claim to be progressive have been far more vicious to me than any southerner. And it was purely ideological." And: "These ideologues that claim to be so warm toward minorities actually turn out to be quite pernicious."
As for his confirmation opponents in Congress; the mainstream media; and Hill and her supporters, Thomas had this to say: "I'd grown up fearing the lynch mobs of the Ku Klux Klan. As an adult, I was starting to wonder if I'd been afraid of the wrong white people all along where I was being pursued, not by bigots in white sheets, but by left-wing zealots draped in flowing sanctimony."- Advertisement -
Get the picture? It seems that Thomas is simply venting in a way that renders pointless, any effort on the part of his detractors to try to reason with him.
Like his presentation during his confirmation hearings, I find his memoir simply disingenuous, persecutory, and hyperbolic. Not that it lacks vividness and drama. But, nor do many of the cantankerous, older retirees I've known in my time.
But I don't take many of them seriously. And, neither should "My Grandfather's Son" be, based on the excerpts I've read of Thomas' venomous Ann Coulter-esque memoir.
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