2017

STRONG IN THE FACE OF BIASED ADVERSITY

THE CLARENCE THOMAS CONFIRMATION HEARING
by William Santy

Written in 1991 and appeared in newspapers throughout the 1990's

There was too much of the hand of God involved in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings to lay that emotional event to rest without first looking at it from a Christian perspective. Many things happened during those dramatic hearings which clearly suggest that something was stirring in the supernatural realm that had a definite guiding influence on the outcome.

Before the hearings began it had already been determined which U.S. Senators would cast their votes, for, or against Clarence Thomas' acceptance as a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Senate appeared to be split down the middle on this controversial issue.  The determining tie-breaking vote would be cast by a block of undecided Democratic Senators from Southern states who, on one hand were intimidated by powerful liberal pressure groups to vote against Thomas, and yet whose constituencies back in their home states consisted of a large percentage of black voters who wanted their Senators to vote in favor of Thomas.

On day one of the hearings the liberal establishment, complete with the mainstream media, certain prominent U.S. Senators and powerful special interest groups, took on the characteristic of a great white shark with each tooth representing a powerful individual or group within the white liberal establishment.

But as the hearings progressed over a week long period, Satan craftily pieced together a situation where the "great white" facing off against Thomas appeared more like a "great gray" as members of the national media ran themselves breathless searching the four corners of the nation seeking any black leader who was willing to deliver a negative statement about Clarence Thomas on the nightly news.

In addition to this, a celebrated key black witness was brought forth to testify against Clarence Thomas, and this is precisely what was needed.  Satan, the master framer, had reframed the issue against Thomas by creating a situation where the much sought after block of moderate, undecided Democratic Senators from the South could now cast their votes against Clarence Thomas' acceptance to the U.S. Supreme Court without being considered a racist.

When the hearings drew to a climax and it was time for Thomas to sit before the Senate Judiciary Committee, some of the most humiliating accusations had been leveled against him.  There was a distinct feeling that the momentum was on the side of the liberal establishment, and that Thomas had already been judged and condemned by the contemptuously confident opposition.  What he was about to say in his defense would not be taken seriously.  His testimony would be a formality allotted to him before the majority of the body of U.S. Senators would vote against his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.  It appeared that there was nothing left to say.

At approximately 2:30 in the afternoon of October 15, Judge Clarence Thomas began his offensive against the "great gray" as he sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  He had fire in his eyes.  He appeared "unhumble" in his deliberation before the powerful opposition.  Thomas insinuated in front of millions of Americans who were watching the hearings on TV that he was sitting in front of a pack of bullies.  This apparent defiance on the part of Thomas was a departure from the decorum of other conservatives who sat before congressional hearings.

Conservatives across the nation who hung on every word Thomas spoke had reason to wince, feeling that he had now surely engaged the full wrath of the opposition who were known for their vengeance, and who were likely at this point to be salivating in rage. It appeared that Clarence Thomas realized that he was going down and that he chose to go down in open defiance of the liberal establishment.

But, as Thomas proceeded in his testimony, unflinchingly, in full face of the "great gray", he suddenly made a confident declaration which addressed the underlying struggle.  Clarence Thomas declared that "God is my judge!"

In a single breath he nullified any notion that he had been prejudged and condemned.  Thomas had engaged the enemy in the supernatural realm, in the arena where the actual conflict was brewing.  This declaration was made with such clarity and conviction that it would have stunned some of the Senators on the committee who opposed Clarence Thomas and who had enough religion to realize that something outside of the secular realm had been suddenly and unexpectedly introduced into the debate which was beyond their means to control and subdue.

Thomas put the coalition of modern day Pharisees on hold in front of millions of Americans and called upon another authority to appraise his character, and this appraisal was forthcoming from on high.  Clarence Thomas appeared confident.  He was not quite judged yet.

Thomas, who appeared to be a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, was now joined by countless thousands of brothers and sisters in Christ.  Up to this point, Christians in the viewing audience were given reason to feel that Thomas was a fellow Christian, but were not certain.  It was confirmed.  Clarence Thomas was not only a conservative, but a man of God.

Only God knows how many thousands of Christians in the viewing audience locked in prayer on behalf of their newly discovered brother in Christ as they joined him in his suffering and entered the arena with Clarence where he stood fast against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Clarence Thomas no longer seemed outnumbered.  With the tide of sentiment suddenly shifting in his favor as a result of the bold statement he made, it appeared that the struggle was now going well for the people of God.  but what had taken place so far was merely a skirmish.  The full force of the Holy Spirit fire-storm that was about to fly into the face of the great and evil gray was just gathering.

Enter Leola Williams, unbridled, God-loving, born-again Christian and mother of Judge Clarence Thomas.  In an interview with the Boston Herald Leola Williams expressed deep concern that false accusations "hurt my child."  She harbored no animosity against individuals who leveled accusations at Clarence.  Leola stated, "I cannot hate people and be a Christian."

Leola Williams became emotionally distraught and fell ill over the humiliating charges brought against her son, and could not bring herself to watch the dramatic weekend hearings when Clarence Thomas' chief accuser was called to sit before the committee.  Leola prayed instead.  When the day came for Thomas to give his testimony, Leola Williams confided in her son just before he left for the hearing, "I know God is going to have the last say-so."

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.  Clarence Thomas knew what he was ultimately struggling against and so did his mother who had joined her son in battle.  As Thomas continued his offensive against the opposition, with the tables now turned, he appeared to be a formidable, unmovable warrior. . .even so, Clarence Thomas was still some mother's child, and this mother was causing a commotion "backstage" which, we can be certain, shook the heavenlies.

When Leola Williams crashed into the throne room of almighty God and stood boldly before the throne of God, unbridled by pride or decorum, and fervently petitioned her Heavenly Father to intercede on behalf of her child, Clarence, who was struggling with the serpent, are we to think that this act in itself was not sufficient to cause the standard to be raised against the enemy who had rushed in against Clarence like a flood?  We must not underestimate the power of a righteous mother fervently seeking the hand of God to intercede on behalf of her child.

As the hearings continued, Clarence Thomas' testimony was reinforced by Senators Orrin hatch of Utah and Arlen Spector of Pennsylvania who weighed in on the side of Thomas.  The time lapse from the moment Clarence Thomas began his offensive together with the concluding remarks of the two Senators who joined him, was approximately one hour and fifteen minutes.  This combined testimony fell together on a whirlwind that seemed to rip a hole through the wall of arrogance which was thought to be impenetrable and which Thomas faced in opposition.

A commentator for one of the major networks stated, "We have just heard some of the most poignant testimony in these chambers that has ever been recorded."

But something else was taking place.  Thomas' countenance was flowing brightly as is the case when people of virtue come under attack by the virtueless.  The veil of darkness over Clarence Thomas was lifted.

For those who have eyes that see and ears that hear, that which is spoken of in Isaiah 60:1 enveloped the chamber:  "Arise and shine, for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you."

The powerful opposition that was poised and ready to kill Thomas' confirmation suddenly developed problems of their own.  Their image of innocence and forthrightness took a direct hit as a result of the poignant testimony which revealed their gross imperfections in front of millions of television-viewing Americans.

A sense of shame jolted them as though the lights were suddenly turned on and they were caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar.  One prominent Senator and chief antagonizer of Clarence Thomas appeared to want to dive under the table in disgrace.

At this point in the fierce battle where ideas and words are weapons, the enemy that stood before Thomas was now in a state of confusion.  Their weapons were now pointed at each other as they began to accuse one another of improprieties in the way they had gathered information that they could present against Thomas.  The scene was reminiscent of the battle which took place in the valley of Jezreel when the Spirit of the Lord interceded on behalf of Gideon and his tiny army.

When the Spirit of the Lord descended upon the mighty army that was poised to destroy Gideon (which were "as numerous as locusts" Judges 7:12), they became confused and turned their swords against each other, slaying one another.

With the crestfallen chief antagonizers of Clarence Thomas now appearing as disorganized, whitewashed hypocrites, their credibility in the eyes of discerning viewers was reduced considerably.  Clarence Thomas was no longer seen as treading in dangerous waters before the great and evil gray, but one born of living waters.

The issue had been reframed with the help of the Lord, and the moderate Democrats from the south were once again back on square one, caught between a hard place and a rock.  The rock this time was the Jesus factor.  They had to choose between facing the sting of liberal pressure groups or their fired-up black Christian constituencies back in their home districts, which would be like sailing into a tidal wave.

The moderate Southern Democrats chose to face the liberal pressure groups and voted in favor of Clarence Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.  They chose wisely.  One of the leading stories the following day read: "Thomas' winning margin--the slimmest in more than a century--came from a block of swing votes, mostly moderate Southern Democrats."  Boston Herald, October 16, 1991

Many things took place during the Clarence Thomas hearings that were important to conservative Christians which were not reported in the news.  The day before Clarence Thomas sat before the Senate Judiciary committee, Phyllis Berry, a young wife, mother, and co-worker of Clarence Thomas, delivered her testimony which was geared to uphold the honor of Thomas.  Although the liberal establishment took great measures to build the status quo against Thomas, Phyllis Berry appeared eager and unintimidated.  Her demeanor was striking and her testimony witty, delivered with an air of confidence.

It is by design that black teenage girls are kept from seeing positive, wholesome role models worthy of emulating, and featured in the mainstream media. . .it is not by accident.

Phyllis Berry's presence before the Senate Judiciary Committee gave black teenage girls a rare opportunity to see a selfless, successful and morally strong role model and key player in a real life drama.  It was as though Satan had been outflanked and hood winked on his own turf.

In the aftermath of Clarence Thomas' victory, Abraham Famble, a boyhood friend of Thomas, described the scene in Thomas' hometown in Georgia:  "People were really glued to their TV all day long.  They were really praying and screaming and singing songs.  People felt really inspired."

With a great deal of success over the past thirty years, Satan has managed to keep out of public view "disobedient" blacks who refused to be polarized, isolated, and poisoned by his sweet hemlock.  Blacks who sought to be successful according to biblical principles were routinely ignored in the mainstream press and very likely subjected to name-calling by Satan's emissaries within the black community.

But the second week of October 1991 would prove to be a terrible time for Satan who came face to face with sing-minded Christians who would not shrink back into disgrace, and who were not prone to spiritual double-dipping, but who sought God and His righteousness on Sunday and every day of the week.  If Satan had his way he would have edited out the Christian witness and pieced together one of his lying wonder tapestries to present to the viewing public. . .but he couldn't.  The Christian witness came to the public arena in a live broadcast to the multitudes who were transfixed to their televisions during the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings.

A sudden, unexpected and inspirational display of courage by a handful of black American Christians who were engaged in a high profile struggle with the enemy of man was presented before the eyes of America.  It was a real life passion drama where a remnant of the body of Christ conducted themselves smartly and admirably.

Their desire to adhere to the truth overrode any desire they might have harbored to be accepted by the world.  They did not shrink back, but trusted in the Lord Who is Truth, and the Truth prevailed.
 


U. S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

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