Oct 29 2010

Anita Hill: I Will Apologize to You…

When Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, called and left a voice mail message asking you to apologize, I was shocked, but not surprised.

Like many others, I wondered what in the world she was thinking. Then I realized she probably believes what her husband testified under oath and then wrote in his book…that you are a liar.

Really, does anyone else believe Clarence Thomas besides his wife?

I know there were opinion polls showing that many people did believe Clarence Thomas at the time, but I understand how power works.

The Bush administration saw it’s appointment of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court failing, so they threw integrity aside and did everything they could to destroy you personally and professionally.

Watch this YouTube video of Senator Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania, as he spitefully bullies you in his transparent attempt to do what he claims to have done at the end, “demolish” your credibility.

How unbelievable is that? Anyone watching those televised hearings knew you were more courageous, articulate, and ethical than those challenging and degrading you in the room.
And why would you lie? Certainly, it would have been much easier for you to sit back and remain silent.

We know that silence seems like the safest place for all victims and anyone fearful of being victimized by others who are more powerful…a boss, parent, politician, or priest.

You and other courageous victims coming forward help us understand we can’t naively trust others to respect us and do no harm.

Clarence Thomas made a choice. He chose to attack and degrade you. He probably thought he had no other options. He wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice and wasn’t going to allow you or anyone else to stop him.

You gave detailed descriptions of the types of harassment you received from Clarence Thomas.

All he did was deny everything and call the hearings, “a national disgrace…a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves.”(See Museum of Broadcast Communications)

I like to analyze the language people use, especially under stress.

If you permit me to do this here, I think it is entirely plausible Clarence Thomas’ message is as follows:
“Anita Hill is an uppity Black woman who thinks she can derail my path to the Supreme Court. Well, there are no other witnesses coming forward, so I am going to use the dominant white power structure to destroy her. How dare she do this to me!”
Obviously Clarence Thomas wasn’t being lynched, his appointment was merely being challenged. It happens in America, and when the going gets too tough, the nominee simply withdraws their name and takes a vacation.

Clarence Thomas missed his real opportunity at greatness. He could have stepped down when he found out you spoke honestly to the FBI about his harassment of you.

Instead, he will go down as the Supreme Court justice got his position by degrading and abusing a good woman.
I believed you then and believe in you now.

Just like I believe the other sexual harassment and abuse victims who have the courage to speak up and accuse their offender.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2008 survey on sexual violence shows that 10.6% of all women reported forced sex at some time in their lives. This is more than 1 in 10 women experiencing forced sex.

More (CDC) data documenting the pattern of sexual violence of women by men is that 20-25% of women in college reported an attempted or completed rape.

Our sisters, daughters, mothers and wives are not only at risk, but a large percentage of them have already been victimized by the narcissistic entitlement of a dominant male culture holding onto the belief that they “own” women and can do whatever the hell they want to them.

I can hear my own mother saying, “don’t you think Clarence Thomas tried too hard to deny something…?”

He did try too hard. The fact that he goes to the extent of writing his denials in his memoir just adds to his abuse of you.

For all of this, I apologize to you.

I am really no one special. Just someone out there who respects you and wants you to know most of us know the truth when we hear it.

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