WACO, Texas — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says “elites in the North” have said far worse about him than any prejudice he encountered growing up as an African-American in the segregated South.

Thomas told an audience Thursday at McLennan Community College in Waco that he was never called a racial slur at his Georgia high school where he was the only black student.

The conservative jurist, appointed to the court in 1991, told a panel that circumstances such as poverty and lack of education are difficult to overcome. But that those circumstances “know no race … know no geography.”

The Waco Tribune-Herald reported that Thomas later joked that people can identify themselves as a progressive if they read a “Stop” sign and believe the message applies whenever they want.


Information from: Waco Tribune-Herald, http://www.wacotrib.com