It’s been 20 years since Anita Hill courageously spoke truth to power and exposed Clarence Thomas as a sexual harasser during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
And now Thomas’ wife, a right-wing Tea Party advocate, in a move as brazen as it is offensive, has asked Anita Hill to apologize to her abuser.1 Hill said no. We say it’s long past time for Clarence Thomas to apologize to Anita Hill.
Sign our petition telling Clarence Thomas it’s time for him to apologize to Anita Hill.
Twenty years ago, Professor Hill described how the now Supreme Court justice subjected her to descriptions of pornography he had watched, bragged about his own sexual prowess in graphic terms and famously reached for a soft drink in her office and remarked, “Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?”2
Dismayingly, Anita Hill was savaged in a sexist spectacle that shocked the nation, and Clarence Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52-48, succeeding the legendary Thurgood Marshall.
Amidst the controversy, conservatives rushed the swearing in of Thomas. On the very day of his swearing in, the Washington Post had amassed damning evidence that corroborated Hill’s testimony, including eyewitness accounts about Thomas’ porn consumption from the manager of his local video store. Jeffrey Toobin reported that the Washington Post decided to drop the story since Thomas had already been sworn in to the court.3
Virginia Thomas is asking the wrong person to apologize. Demand Clarence Thomas apologize to Anita Hill.
Virginia Thomas is a well known Tea Party activist who founded a shadowy right-wing organization in the wake of Citizens United.4 Her agenda in approaching Anita Hill with her outrageous request is unclear. But it’s yet another example of brazen attempts by Tea Party adherents to rewrite history and claim victimhood for the powerful even as they launch attack after attack on minority groups — be they women, gays, African Americans, or immigrants.
We shouldn’t ignore this bizarre incident. We should accept Virginia Thomas’ challenge and defend history as we know it.
We believe Anita Hill. It’s Clarence Thomas who should apologize.