Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thomas vs. Hill Round 2

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has reopened an old national wound with allegations in his new book that Anita Hill not only made up all those icky stories about his sexual harassment of her, but that she was a mediocre employee at best who pursued him. He dredges up old charges that she was a pawn used by the left in an attempt to block his confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Ms. Hill wrote something of a rebuttal in the New York Times but I found Ann Woolner's essay in to be one of the most empathic (to both parties) and well-reasoned reflections on who is probably telling the truth. In it, she reminds us that other female employees also said Mr. Thomas sexually harassed them, even though Ms. Hill was the only one allowed to testify at the confirmation hearings. Ms. Woolner also brings up a fact that Mr. Thomas conveniently neglects to mention: Anita Hill took and passed a polygraph test. Clarence Thomas refused to take one.

Sexual harassment continues to be a huge problem in the world. Whistleblowers are often humiliated and have their reputations impugned and their professional lives damaged if not destroyed. Sixteen years later, Clarence Thomas is at the top of his profession--the man cannot climb any higher--and yet he is still trying to destroy Anita Hill. Why? I'd still like to see him take that polygraph test.

1 comment:

bettie said...

Great post! I wish there was more discussion of all of the facts surrounding this case in the coverage of Thomas's book. The articles you linked to are a good start.