Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said Americans are too sensitive about race, claiming the nation is more "difference-conscious" now than in the 1960s.
“My sadness is that we are probably today more race and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up,” Thomas said during a Tuesday appearance in Florida, according to Yahoo. “Now, name a day it doesn’t come up."
Thomas said "everybody is sensitive" about sex and race, or if "somebody doesn't look at you right, somebody says something."
"If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah," Thomas said. "Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them -- left them out."
“That’s a part of the deal,” Thomas added.
Thomas was later criticized for his statements by a panel on CNN that included HuffPost Live host Mark Lamont Hill.
“He’s had a long history of walking through doors and closing them behind him,” Hill said. “He acknowledges no part that affirmative action played in his life but he wants to close the door for others.”
“What’s so remarkable about this statement that it neglects the fact that in the mid-60s, when he was a kid, you could get killed if you were a black person for speaking about race,” CNN Senior Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin said.
Read more on Thomas at Yahoo News.