Democratic Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison last week compared Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas to the villainous house slave from the movie Django Unchained and called for him to be impeached.
"Anybody who’s watched the movie Django—just watch Stephen and you see Clarence Thomas," Ellison said. "Clarence Thomas has decided that his best personal interest is siding with the powerful and the special interests regardless as to who they’re going to hurt."
In the movie Ellison referenced, Django Unchained, the antagonist character Stephen, played by Samuel L. Jackson, is a house slave who considers himself above the other slaves and is loyal to the cruel plantation owner.
Ellison has made similarly inflammatory comments before. The Minnesota attorney general in 2022 blamed the police for damage from the 2020 George Floyd riots, saying their misconduct made them responsible for the "cost of civil unrest." A law school classmate in 2017 recounted Ellison saying Jews wanted to "oppress minorities all over the world," calling them "slave traders."
Ellison and other Democrats have criticized Thomas for his recent votes on key cases before the High Court, including last month's ruling ending the use of race in college admissions. Thomas wrote a concurring opinion emphasizing the importance of "equality under the law" and seeing "individuals as individuals."
"It’s a lesson to us as African Americans," Ellison said. "What is the lesson? We all thought, ‘Well, he’s a black man raised in the deep South. He knows what racism and segregation is. He knows what affirmative action is. He’s going to come around one day. Understand that it's not a matter of pigment. It’s not what’s on your skin—it’s what’s in your mind."
Ellison said Thomas is "abdicating his responsibility" and called for him to be impeached.
"Clarence Thomas is illegitimate and has no basis in the job that he is in," Ellison said.