Set to be released in early 2020, Created Equal–Clarence Thomas in His Own Words is a two-hour documentary that allows viewers to get up-close and personal with Justice Clarence Thomas as he discusses firsthand the numerous hurdles he faced en route to the Supreme Court of the United States. The purpose of the documentary is to “tell the Clarence Thomas story truly and fully, without cover-ups or distortions.”
“Nearly everyone has an impression of him — and most are mistaken. For, if they knew Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas better, they’d most likely be celebrating and naming streets after him,” said a recent op-ed in the Washington Post concerning the documentary. Taken from over 30 hours of interviews, the film seeks to set the record straight on the life of perhaps the least understood Justice on the Court.
Justice Thomas joined the Supreme Court in 1991, replacing the late Thurgood Marshall as the second African-American Justice to sit on the Nation’s highest bench. While much of the documentary is dedicated to the Justice’s account of his harrowing confirmation process, the film gives unprecedented insight into Justice Thomas’ life prior to his Supreme Court nomination.
Justice Thomas is considered by many to be the most conservative member of the Supreme Court; however, viewers may be surprised to learn this was not always the case. The documentary sheds light on his radical shift from left-wing social justice revolutionary to conservative black Justice.
Justice Thomas discusses his radicalization in the documentary, as described in the Washington Post:
‘[The assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.] was pretty much the end of me. That was it,’ Thomas says in the documentary…When Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated a few months later, Thomas says he suddenly saw everything in terms of race and racism. Anger swiftly followed: ‘I’m angry with the church. If it’s a warm day, I’m angry. If it’s a cold day, I’m angry. I’m just angry.’
Justice Thomas describes how he forsook the traditional values he was raised on while in seminary and instead adopted the liberal ideologies of the social justice movement. But the Justice explains he ultimately rejected the left’s indoctrination because of how it helped impoverished African-Americans become nothing more than “demeaning failures.”
He further confesses that during his confirmation process to the Supreme Court “the biggest impediment” that held him back along his journey “was the modern day liberal,” not the “bigot, Klansman, and rural sheriff” he had anticipated.
The film’s director, Michael Pack, intends for the movie to be released on Jan. 31, 2020 in several cities across the United States. Its wide release is scheduled to air on PBS in May. Meanwhile, you can watch the trailer here.