African American Museum Must Be More Ideologically Inclusive

An institution that purports to tell a comprehensive and inclusive story about the history of African Americans should not have a politically motivated bent. Yet, it seems, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has just that.

The new Smithsonian museum, which opened in Washington, D.C. in September, excludes several prominent conservative African Americans in its narrative. Is this a simple oversight? I think not.

For example, Clarence Thomas, a well-known conservative and only the second black man to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, is mentioned only in connection with Anita Hill, failing to reference any of his accomplishments.

Hill grabbed national headlines in 1991 when she accused Thomas, a Supreme Court nominee at the time, of sexual harassment. Thomas was never charged with a crime, much less convicted of one, but his hearings proved to be a trial.

Thomas is arguably the second most powerful African American man in government today after President Obama, yet the Smithsonian neglected to even include a single photograph or item that speaks to the historical significance of his sitting on the bench.