Clarence Thomas is the lone African American justice on the Supreme Court, but liberals are so troubled by his conservative leanings that he's often hit with the charge of not being truly black.
That attitude was apparent again on Al Sharpton's Sunday show PoliticsNation, when Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.) said people wanted to see an "African-American voice" on the Supreme Court to replace late Justice Antonin Scalia that isn't there with Thomas.
"I think many people would like to see an African American on the Supreme Court," Bass said. "We don't really need to go into Clarence Thomas' background or his behavior on the Court, but I think to have an African-American voice that has definitely not been there since Thurgood Marshall would really be an incredible contribution to our country."
Bass went on to say Senate Republicans, who have said they won't act on a nomination by President Obama in this election year, should do their job.
Sharpton was embarrassed enough by Bass' comment that he reminded his audience at the end of their interview that he and Bass weren't suggesting Thomas wasn't actually a true African American.
"I might note neither you or I is suggesting Clarence Thomas is not African American," Sharpton said. "We just may [disagree] with how he has used his–"
"It's an African American voice," Bass said.
"That's right, I just wanted to clarify that," Sharpton said.
Thomas has been vilified by many on the left since he joined the Supreme Court in 1991 after a particularly contentious nomination fight, with some even throwing the racial slur "Uncle Tom" at him for being conservative.