It is black history month, and Amazon is all over it. But, it turns out, highly selectively. Mark Paoletta explains:
Amazon Prime created an entire Amplify Black Voices page on its site that “feature[s] a curated collection of titles to honor Black History Month across four weekly themes (Black Love, Black Joy, Black History Makers, and Black Girl Magic).” There are scores of films available to stream, including four films available on the Amazon Prime site to stream (two docudramas and two documentaries) on Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a liberal icon and our nation’s first black Supreme Court justice. There are even two films (one docudrama and one documentary) on Anita Hill, who came forward during [Justice Clarence] Thomas’ confirmation hearing to claim that Thomas had sexually harassed her.
But one documentary title is notably absent:
Recently, Amazon Prime dropped Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, an acclaimed and popular PBS documentary on Justice Clarence Thomas, making it unavailable to stream during Black History Month.
I haven’t watched Created Equal except for a few clips, but everyone I know who has seen it thinks it is great. With rare unanimity, audiences agree:
The Created Equal DVD is still available for purchase on Amazon, and it is in fact number 38 of all documentaries on that site. In contrast, the RBG documentary on liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is not even in the top 100 but is still streaming on Amazon Prime.
Created Equal was nationally broadcast on PBS last April and has a 99 percent audience approval rating on the popular movie rating website Rotten Tomatoes. … On the Amazon website, the film has received a spectacular 4.9 star rating (out of 5 stars) from customer reviews, with 1,243 ratings.
But there is no place for Justice Thomas during Black History Month.
Thomas is not just a conservative icon, he is one of the most consequential intellectual leaders on the Court in modern times. He is a vastly more significant justice than Thurgood Marshall, and of course Anita Hill has zero significance other than the fact that she falsely accused Thomas in what turned out to be a futile attempt to block his nomination to the Court. How ironic that Amazon features a documentary about her, but not about Justice Thomas. Pathetic, but one more sign of the times in which we live.
As noted above, Created Equal is still for sale on Amazon, here. While I haven’t seen the film, I have read Thomas’s autobiography, My Grandfather’s Son. It is fantastic. You can buy it here, and I strongly recommend it.