Here’s one thing that’s got to be noted, I think, regarding the recent dust-up between Gin Thomas and Anita Hill.
As you will recall, the wife of U.S. Justice and Alleged Porn Freak Clarence Thomas called Anita Hill and asked her this, as quoted in a previous post here at KIAV:
Good morning, Anita Hill, it’s Ginny Thomas, 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. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. Okay have a good day.
Thing is, this request does what conservatwats are fond of doing: It ignores what actually happened.
Anita Hill didn’t jog up to Capitol Hill in her stilettos screaming WAIT! WAIT! HE’S A PORN FREAK AND A SEXUAL HARASSOR! WAAAAAAAAIT!
Here’s the timeline from the New York Times of yore (Oct. 7, 1991):
The accusations were first reported today by Newsday and National Public Radio. NPR said Professor Hill had first made them to the Judiciary Committee the week of Sept. 10, while members of the panel were questioning Judge Thomas in public hearings.
In an interview broadcast this morning on NPR, Professor Hill said she had initially decided that she would not tell the committee of her accusations but changed her mind as the hearings were about to begin because she felt she had an obligation to tell what she believed to be true. “Here is a person who is in charge of protecting rights of women and other groups in the workplace and he is using his position of power for personal gain for one thing,” she said. “And he did it in a very ugly and intimidating way.”
Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Delaware Democrat who heads the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement today that when Ms. Hill first contacted the committee, on Sept. 12, she insisted that her name not be used and that Judge Thomas not be told of her allegations. He said this effectively tied the committee’s hands.
Only on Sept. 23, Mr. Biden said, did she agree to allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate the allegations. The report was finished by Sept. 25, he said, and all committee members were notified of it by the next day. On Sept. 27, the committee deadlocked 7 to 7 on the nomination.
Anita Hill was reluctant to testify. She was on the fence for some time about whether or not to testify. As Time Magazine of yore stated:
It was hard to imagine two more unlikely or reluctant witnesses.
I think that Gin Thomas’ voicemail indicates that Hill testified out of sheer vindictiveness and eager spite. I think her reported reluctance to testify signals otherwise: No way no how would Anita Hill have come forward, I think, if she didn’t think it was important.
Important, how? Remember, Hill was no slouch. Yale Law, class of 1980. D.C. Bar the same year. Assistant secretary in the DOE by 1981. Hill was a smart, motivated woman, a character who strikes me as the type to whom this kind of thing mattered. They’ve nominated WHO to be a United States Justice? That creep?
I think there are other things to assess when debating the credibility of these various players. Remember, there was a book written about Anita Hill, called The Real Anita Hill. Its author, David Brock, has since recanted the entire project and now does work for Media Matters for America. An entire book smearing Anita Hill was so egregious that its own author recanted it and changed his entire ideological bent based on its horribleness.
Then there are a few other externalities. Like the four witnesses who testified on Hill’s behalf at the hearing. Like that Thomas himself fell on the old “high-tech lynching” saw rather than just allowing his denials to stand on their own. And, oh yes, there’s this: Clarence Thomas is a male.
Which do I find more believable, that a male human being is capable of acting like a complete hog, or that an attractive female ivy-leaguer who makes it to a major federal department job by age 24 is delusional enough to make up conversations her boss forced her to have about penis?
Sure, Gin, you’re owed an apology. And I’m Long Dong Silver.