Read this New York Times blog post and the comments that follow. I realize it’s not a representative sample of Americans, but the overwhelming majority of commenters are vicious. What is it about Clarence Thomas that enrages people? Is it that he has a mind of his own? Many progressives seem to think that skin color determines one’s beliefs and values. But why should this be? White people have different beliefs and values; why can’t black people have different beliefs and values?