Following the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to gut college-based affirmative action, The View’s Whoopi Goldberg tore into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, saying he’s “full of it” for claiming he “doesn’t know what diversity is.”
In a landmark ruling that will likely impact affirmative action policies across the United States, the high court ruled by a 6-3 conservative majority that universities could no longer consider race as a factor in admissions. According to the court, race-based admission policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
In his concurring opinion, Thomas—who is Black—blasted fellow African-American Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s dissent, in which she called the ruling “let-them-eat-cake obliviousness” from a majority that “pulls the ripcord and announces ‘colorblindness for all’ by legal fiat.”
Thomas, saying he “strongly” disagrees with Jackson, argued that colorblindness was actually the whole point. “As she sees things, we are all inexorably trapped in a fundamentally racist society, with the original sin of slavery and the historical subjugation of black Americans still determining our lives today,” he wrote.
During the court’s arguments in the case last year, Thomas also questioned the actual definition of “diversity,” saying, “I don’t have a clue what it means.” On Thursday, Goldberg didn’t hold back in unleashing on the conservative jurist.
“He doesn’t know what diversity is. That’s what he said, and so he doesn’t get it,” she exclaimed.
“Well, let me pose this question to you, Justice Thomas: Could your mother and father vote in this country?” Goldberg rhetorically asked. “Because had the 14th Amendment actually had us on equal footing, they would’ve been able to vote. And you know why that changed? Because people got out and made a change. If we didn’t have to, no one would do it!”
Invoking the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, Goldberg continued to criticize Thomas’ remarks about diversity as it related to affirmative action.
“Who wants to get hit by water from a water hose? Nobody,” the Oscar-winning actress declared as the in-studio audience cheered. “But that’s what people did in order to get the vote. So when you say you don’t know what diversity is, I say you’re full of it.”
Moments later, Goldberg concluded the show’s opening segment by not only taking additional shots at Thomas but also wondering if the ruling could lead to colleges imposing discriminatory admission policies.
“When you have a justice who says something as ridiculous as ‘I don’t get it,’ it just makes a kid, an Asian kid, a Native American kid, and a Black kid feel like you don’t matter,” she fumed. “Like you don’t understand why my struggle is hard. Or your struggle, or yours. Is this leading to no women in colleges soon? Who knows?”