Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wife of Clarence Thomas to Anita Hill: Can We Talk?

The weird (and presumably dead) Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill saga came back to life recently. The New York Times reports that Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Thomas, recently telephoned Hill and left a message on her Brandeis University voicemail. Thomas has acknowledged that she left the message.

In her message, Thomas says:
“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.”
"Ginny" says that she is trying to extend an "olive branch" and that her offer to talk with Hill remains open. Hill, however, forwarded the message to the Brandeis Department of Public Safety, and the university has sent the message to the FBI. The New York Times does not indicate how the voicemail might constitute criminal activity, warranting FBI involvement.

In 1991 Hill offered very dramatic testimony during the Thomas confirmation hearings. Hill accused Thomas of sexually harassing her while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education. Thomas denied the allegations and described the Senate hearings as a "high-tech lynching." The lynching analogy, however, was grossly ahistorical because the lynching of black men did not involve claims of sexual assault by black women.

The hearings captivated the nation, and the Senate subsequently confirmed Thomas to the bench. Nearly 20 years later, his wife seeks to re-open the drama.


L said...

We have heard little of Mrs. Thomas till recently when the NY Times ran an article about her right wing political activities and potential conflicts of interests as it relates to cases before the Supreme Court. The timing is strange to say the least. Surely Mrs. Thomas knows no apology is forthcoming, so what was the point other than intimidation?

Roger said...

I wonder if she has a book coming out? This is the kind of stunt to spark curiosity that typically precedes a book signing tour.

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