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I’ve Found It: The Worst Possible Take on Clarence Thomas’ ‘Friendship’ With the Nazi-Collector Billionaire

Clarence Thomas gives a tight-lipped smile.

In case you haven’t been following, Clarence Thomas has a friend, Harlan Crow, who takes him on lavish trips, and who also happens to enjoy collecting Nazi paraphernalia. According to one op-ed writer, Scott Douglas Gerber at The Hill, this is a perfectly normal thing, and it’s us who should be ashamed of ourselves for not allowing Thomas the simple pleasure of friendship. Never mind, I guess, that his friend is a man who clearly uses his extreme wealth to influence Republican politicians and Supreme Court Justices (although Crow swears he and Thomas never talked about any cases, wink wink), or that this is a man who likes Nazi stuff. Ok. I seem to recall my grandfather being haunted his entire life after fighting a war against those monsters, but sure, Gerber, tell me why.

In the op-ed, which is titled—and I wish I were kidding but I am absolutely not—”Supreme Court Justices Are Allowed To Have Friends,” Gerber writes:

Supreme Court justices are allowed to have friends, even if a particular friend is rich and a particular justice is conservative. Clarence Thomas has written a lot of important Supreme Court opinions during his three decades on the bench. I recommend that we spend our time addressing those and leave his personal life to him.

Look, making friends as an adult is hard! That’s also not what this is about. I should have known which way this op-ed was going to go when it opened up with the author whining about how everyone else who writes about Thomas focuses on how he came to the bench under valid and credible accusations of sexual harassment but he wanted to focus on Thomas’ “jurisprudence.” This is an author who is simply unserious, and here we have a major political outlet, platforming his whinging about Thomas being associated with a man of questionable morals and large influence as if it has any bearing on the matter. Life in America is grand as long as you’re a billionaire with paintings created and signed by Hitler, I guess. For everyone else? It kinda sucks!

So sure, everyone is allowed to have friends, but let’s not gloss over the fact that Thomas is appointed for life to the highest court in our country, making decisions that affect all of us, and is hanging out with a man who is not a good guy, and has bought access to one of the most powerful people in this country. Now, we do not know for sure if Crow himself is a Nazi, but I’m going to paraphrase Andrew Gillum here and say: I’m not saying he’s a Nazi, but I bet other Nazis think he is, what with his collection and all.

In case you’re wondering, the writer of the piece has also met Crow and speaks fondly of him, so take that under consideration. Per the above source:

I met Crow once. I was on sabbatical at another university at the time and that university had given him an autographed copy of my book about Justice Thomas. He thanked me for it, and it was clear to me from how he thanked me – genuinely, effusively, warmly – that he was very close friends with Justice Thomas.

Geez Louise. So Gerber is a Thomas fanboy, and Crow has been showering Thomas and his family with extravagant gifts and vacations for a very long time, but they’re “friends” so it’s OK. Nothing has consequences anymore, so they’re all very comfortable talking about it in the open because you know how you remove a Supreme Court Justice? You have to impeach them, just like you do the President. So it’s basically impossible. If it seems like Gerber is talking about criminal things out in the open as if it’s normal and benign, you’re not alone. This is not going unnoticed!

Again, we can’t ignore the fact Harlan Crow has signed Hitler paintings:

We’ve been stuck with Thomas, his terrible ideology, and his awful insurrectionist wife for over 30 years. They’re most likely not going away. What’s particularly insulting is that his lackeys are so comfortable waving away his clear corruptions as if it’s nothing.

This is not OK. Hanging out with billionaires and not disclosing the immense financial implications of your relationship is not OK. Collecting Nazi artifacts? Not OK! Having a wife who actively participated in the Jan 6 insurrection while you’re a Supreme Court justice?! Not OK!

The fact that a publication that ended with a .com domain (and not like a .biz or a .party) spent the time, energy, and resources to actually print this op-ed is beyond flabbergasting. I wish I could be surprised, or even outraged, but when you live in a country where the people in power see no consequences for this long, I guess nothing is that shocking anymore. I’m just glad I have real friends, and not whatever Thomas, Crow, and Gerber, have.

(featured image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and politics for five years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She has probably seen Cliffhanger more times than you. Team Edward 4-Eva.