CREDO Action wants to turn the tables on the Thomases. In the wake of Virginia Thomas’ bizarre “reach across the airwaves and the years” to solicit an apology from Anita Hill, the online petition-maker launched a campaign to demand a belated apology from Clarence Thomas. As the petition reads,
Clarence Thomas: It’s time for YOU to apologize to Anita Hill.
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.
As of today, just under 90,000 people had signed.
Meanwhile, Maureen Dowd’s scathing weekend column is making the Web rounds. Dowd pointed out that there’s more than enough blame to go around in the ugly affair that was Thomas’ confirmation. The justice’s 1980s girlfriend, Lillian McEwen, has broken her 20-year silence to say, yeah, all that stuff Hill said sounds right to me and, moreover, I offered to speak up at the time. But McEwen, who had worked for the Judiciary Committee and as an assistant U.S. attorney, was never called to testify. As Dowd writes, that’s not coincidental,
Years later, some of the Democrats on that all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee told me they assumed there must have been a consensual romance between the boss and his subordinate. McEwen assumed so, too, because Clarence took Anita with him when he changed agencies. Hill has made it clear she felt no reciprocal attraction.
Joe Biden, the senator who ran those hearings, was leery of the liberal groups eager to use Hill as a pawn to checkmate Thomas. He circumscribed the testimony of women who could have corroborated Hill’s unappetizing portrait of a power-abusing predator.
For the written record, Biden allowed negative accounts only from women who had worked with Thomas. He also ruled out testimony from women who simply had personal relationships with Thomas, and did not respond to a note from McEwen — a former assistant U.S. attorney who had once worked as a counsel for Biden’s committee — reminding him of her long relationship with Thomas.
It’s too late to relitigate the shameful Thomas-Hill hearings. We’re stuck with a justice-for-life who lied his way onto the bench with the help of bullying Republicans and cowed Democrats.
This article was originally published on ColorLines.