Anita Hill Gets Wacky Message from Justice Thomas's Wife: "Apologize"
It had the tone of a college-age drunk dial, a passive aggressive "reconciliation" effort that fanned the flames of conflict all over again. Over a decade after Anita Hill riveted the country by accusing Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, she got an odd message on her phone. It was Thomas' wife Ginni--a conservative power broker in DC attracting controversy for her anonymously-funded right-wing advocacy--asking that Hill say she was sorry. The message was left early in the morning. on the answering machine at Hill's Brandeis campus office--she's currently a professor there. Its text follows:
“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. “ 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 hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day.”Hill believed the call was a prank. She eventually turned the message in to authorities a week after receiving it, and it was confirmed to the New York Times by Thomas's spokesperson. Needless to say, Hill said she found its delivery "inappropriate" and its content "offensive." Thomas's phone message, with its implication that speaking up about sexual harassment is the aggressive action (rather than, say, sexually harassing someone), is indeed deluded and despicable. Either she's completely out of it and in thrall to her husband's side of the tale, or as Nancy Goldstein at WaPo suggests, she's trying to create a diversion from her own scandalous political behavior. And the mainstream media's focus on Hill's refusal to apologize is equally offensive and misses the juice of this story. It's Ginni Thomas's erratic and bizarre behavior, and our un-evolved attitudes to sexual harassment nearly 20 years after the Hill-Thomas hearings, that are the real headline-makers. In the meantime, a bunch of enterprising progressives on Twitter came together to imagine what Anita Hill's apology should look like with the #AnitaHillApology hashtag.