Nearly 20 years after Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas's wife has called Ms. Hill, seeking an apology.Seriously, I don't even. I just. Whut.
..."Good morning Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas," [a voicemail message] said. "I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband."
Ms. Thomas went on: "So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day."
For those of you who don't remember, or never knew, or weren't born yet, Anita Hill was an adviser/assistant to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas back when he was working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) under Reagan. Hill alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her, and Hill was called to testify about those allegations after Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court by then-president George H.W. Bush. The hearing turned the issue of workplace sexual harassment into a (much-needed) national conversation, but it was also a total disgrace, as Hill was victim-blamed to hell and back in the media, and the Senate Judiciary Committee hastily dismissed her allegations as having no merit. Then-Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden made a total arse of it, to what ought toe be his eternal shame.
If anyone is owed apologies from that debacle, it's Anita Hill.
Anyway, Hill wasn't even certain if the voice on the machine was Thomas, or someone intending to harass her, so she turned the tape over to the Brandeis campus police. Thomas later "confirmed leaving the message, which she portrayed as a peacemaking gesture. She did not explain its timing."
"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago," she said. "That offer still stands. I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended."Hill (quite rightly) described Thomas' "olive branch" as "inappropriate" and "not invited. There was no background for it."
In response to Ms. Thomas’s statement, Ms. Hill said that she had testified truthfully about her experiences with the future Justice Thomas and that she had nothing to apologize for.
"I appreciate that no offense was intended, but she can't ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive," Ms. Hill said.
That's way more polite than Thomas deserves.
[H/Ts to Shakers Randomosity, Jewel, and eastsidekate.]