Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas by Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson:
In February 1982, nine months after his arrival at the Department of Education, Thomas was nominated to become the next chairman of the EEOC. As Thomas had divined, the Republicans were eager to the point of desperation for black recruits. A full year after Regan took the oath of office, the White House had still identified so few qualified black conservatives for positions in the administration that it was having trouble filling vital posts. A particularly embarrassing hole was the chairmanship of the EEOC. Despite the administrations’s stance against affirmative action, it was widely understood that the White House had been looking for a black for the job in order to insulate itself against any charges of racism. A White House aide told Newsweek that the administration had approached ten or twelve black lawyers, but none wanted to implement Reagan’s plan to dismantle well-established methods of fighting discrimination in the workplace.