It’s a top-selling study guide published by “the leader in test preparation” — giving itself a gold star as the “Students’ #1 Choice” — widely used by an untold number of high schoolers around the country.
Marketed as “in-depth preparation” for an AP [Advanced Placement] exam given to U.S. high school kids, the latest version of ‘Barron’s AP European History’ makes a remarkable and undeniably inflammatory statement about a prominent figure in American history — the second-ever black justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas.
The Education Editor of The Daily Caller, Eric Owens, reports that the book relied on by so many impressionable students as a respected reference work “identifies Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as a fascist and pairs him with the Ku Klux Klan.”
Here’s a photo of page 168 of the Barron’s publication, followed by a tighter shot of the section referring to Clarence Thomas as a fascist and associating him with one of the most notorious and objectionable hate groups in modern American history:
You’ll notice that the study guide places Clarence Thomas, a graduate of Yale Law School, to the right of the Tea Party on this political spectrum chart. Why the book’s authors thought it necessary or appropriate to include Thomas and the Tea Party in a study guide for the Advanced Placement European History exam is unclear.
Just in case there might be any confusion about the meaning of the “fascist” label applied to Justice Thomas by the Barron’s guide, the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines fascism as “a way of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government.”
Considering that definition — and taking into account the well-known philosophy of governance and history of judicial rulings by Justice Clarence Thomas — it would seem that Thomas could be described not as a proponent of fascism, but as a staunch opponent — one of the high court’s most vocal adversaries of an autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader.
By the way, according to the College Board overview of AP European History, students taking that Advanced Placement course might expect to find a professional future as:
– community organizers and activists,
– elementary, middle, and high school teachers,
– government executives and legislators,
– judges, and
– news analysts, reporters, and correspondents.
One might think it a real shame that such professionals would enter their chosen fields believing that tried-and-true conservative Clarence Thomas is a hard-line supporter of a big, centralized, dictatorial government.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.