Test prep book publisher apologizes for comparing Clarence Thomas to KKK

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 2009.
(Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

The publisher of a standardized test preparation book has apologized for a section in one of their guides that compares Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to the Ku Klux Klan, and offers both the judge and the racist hate group as examples of “reactionary/fascist” ideology.

Barron’s Educational Series Inc. said it would stop shipping copies of the seventh edition of “Barron’s AP European History” and destroy remaining inventory, reports the Washington Post. In a statement posted on Twitter, the publisher apologized for the comparison, and blamed it on a formatting error.

“It was never our intention to malign Justice Thomas, nor to become embroiled in the right vs. left politics of the day,” the company said.

The passage, part of a chart that defines political ideologies, was first pointed out by the Daily Caller, a conservative news site. Eric Owens, the site’s education editor, criticized the chart as “convoluted yet crudely, embarrassingly simplified.”


“The definitions the authors use for the middle parts of their political spectrum (‘leftist,’ ‘liberal,’ ‘moderate,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘right wing’) are dubious,” Owens wrote, noting that the book defines “conservative” as “those against change/most Republicans.”

Those angered by the comparison have taken to the book’s Amazon page, where it is still available for purchase. The book now has 20 one-star ratings from people who call it “garbage liberal propaganda” and a “horrid, racist attempt at indoctrination.”

One reviewer commented: “History is important. Not something to be reshaped -- or, this case, totally twisted -- to suit a political view. It is hard enough to get right without purposely inserting one’s own political slant, but when you see the KKK and Clarance Thomas placed literally in the same box, run!”