Clarence Thomas quietly occupies a unique place in American life. Anyone who ascends to the nation’s highest court is, by definition, special, but that undersells Thomas. He’s been at the center of the culture war and the debate over the soul of the Constitution—not exactly two minor issues. If that weren’t enough, Thomas’s life growing up black in Georgia gives him the quintessential American success story, even as he has been vilified by the American elite. And in a period characterized by reevaluating racism and its legacy, Thomas has been uniquely targeted with racist smears.