We Should Thank Sen. John Kennedy for This 8-Minute Clip of Democrats Being Shamed Into Condemning Racism (And Keith Ellison)

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, is probably one of the most entertaining figures in Washington, D.C. He also happens to be my Senator, and if you read this, Senator, I want to thank you for what is possibly the greatest eight minutes of pure enjoyment (if you like watching Democrats squirm when confronted with their own permissive racism).


A couple of days ago, my colleague Nick Arama referenced Kennedy’s almost Herculean efforts to get Democrats to condemn the multiple racist attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas coming from their own party. One specific attack was attributed to Keith Ellison, Minnesota’s Attorney General. Ellison had called Thomas a “house slave” just days ago.

Kennedy posted the clip from this part of the hearing, in which he entered and ultimately got unanimously passed an amendment condemning those racist attacks. If you have not watched the nearly 8-minute clip, please take a moment now to do so. You will not be disappointed.

Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat senator who has been at the heart of attempts to undermine the entire judicial branch it seems, asked his colleagues not to support the amendment. That prompted a response from Kennedy, who held his cool just long enough to request a moment for discussion before tearing into Sheldon’s statement.


“How can you not condemn a statement calling Justice Clarence Thomas a house slave,” he asked incredulously. “Come on, folks, that’s all this amendment does! I mean, does anybody here support that kind of rhetoric? I don’t. I don’t think you do.”

But he added, “And this kind of rhetoric hasn’t been directed toward John Roberts. It hasn’t been directed toward Neil Gorsuch. It’s been directed toward Clarence Thomas. And it’s un-American. It’s unconscionable. And I can’t believe we wouldn’t condemn it.”

Whitehouse again played lawyer, saying his disagreement was with the amendment also asking the Biden administration to enforce the law when it comes to attempts to intimidate judges and justices.

Supreme Court Nomination
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

“It’s a real simple amendment,” Kennedy again retorted. “If you support the racist things that have been said about Justice Clarence Thomas, vote against this amendment.”

And he asked Ted Cruz to re-read the portion of the amendment that referenced what Keith Ellison had said. Specifically, the part about calling Thomas a “house slave from ‘Django Unchained.'”

When the dust settled in the hearing room, every member of the judiciary committee voted for Kennedy’s amendment, condemning the racist attacks on Clarence Thomas and specifically condemning Keith Ellison’s offensive (and dumb!) attack on the Justice.


There is a reason Kennedy is the most popular elected official in Louisiana, winning a higher percentage of voters than any other official in the state in 2022, and maintaining such a hold over the voters that the threat of him running for governor is enough to make other people stay out of the race until he says for sure he isn’t. Kennedy will have that job in Washington, D.C., until he decides to retire and not a moment before.

And, God bless him, what a delightful moment it was for Democrats to cross the aisle and join with their Republican colleagues in condemning racism. Truly, we as a country are finally healing.


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