WASHINGTON -- Clarence Thomas, chairman of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, says black leaders have 'essentially disenfranchised blacks' by refusing to work with 'a popular president' like Ronald Reagan.
Thomas, in an interview published in Thursday's Washington Post, said the result is that black leaders are 'watching the destruction of our race.'
He argued that black leaders should be working with the administration to solve such problems as teenage pregnancy, unemployment and illiteracy. Instead, he said, they go to the news media to 'bitch, bitch, bitch, moan and moan, whine and whine. That doesn't help anything.'
Although he has been head of the EEOC for 3 years, Thomas said, no major black leader has asked him, a fellow black, for help in influencing the Reagan administration.
'What they have successfully done is, they have essentially disenfrancished blacks,' he said. 'Blacks don't have clout in the Democratic Party. ... Look what happened to Jesse Jackson. And the black leaders have alienated blacks so badly from Reagan and the Republican Party -- made him into some evil person -- that there is no chance at this point for blacks to discuss the Republicans as an alternative to the Democratic Party.'
Thomas said his agency, which is responsible for fighting discrimination in the private sector, has had increased budgets under Reagan and has increased the number of cases it handles. But black leaders have shown no interest in obtaining his help, he said..
'It's a basic law of politics that you should always have access to people in power,' Thomas said. 'You don't alienate them at any cost. You don't call the judge reviewing your case a jackass; you don't call the banker reviewing your loan application a fool. But that's exactly what black leaders have done with this administration.'