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In 1975, when Thomas read Race and Economics by economist Thomas Sowell, he found an intellectual foundation for this philosophy. The book criticized social reforms by government and instead argued for individual action to overcome circumstances and adversity. He was also influenced by Ayn Rand, particularly The Fountainhead, and would later require his staffers to watch the 1949 film version. Thomas later said that novelist Richard Wright had been the most influential writer in his life; Wright's books Native Son and Black Boy "capture[d] a lot of the feelings that I had inside that you learn how to repress."
He also asserted in 1984 that black leaders were "watching the destruction of our race" as they "bitch, bitch, bitch" about President Reagan instead of working with the Reagan administration to alleviate teenage pregnancy, unemployment and illiteracy.
said that when meeting white Democratic staffers in the United States Senate, he was "struck by how easy it had become for sanctimonious whites to accuse a black man of not caring about civil rights
high-tech lynching of an uppity black.
But the worst possible tactic in the outrage wars is for Sotomayor's defenders to begrudge or belittle Clarence Thomas.