Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Anita Hill's Testimony, Part I

I'm occasionally going to do posts that excerpt Anita Hill's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Any fair-minded reader will come away with the impression that, at best, Anita Hill wasn't telling the full truth.

Here is a short video with excerpts from Anita Hill's testimony. Towards the end, Senator Alan Simpson asks Hill "why in God's name" would she keep calling Thomas if he had really said all those things to her. Simpson could also have mentioned that out of all the jobs available in the world for Yale Law graduates, the one job that Anita Hill deliberately took after Thomas's supposed harassment was . . . to keep working for Thomas in a different government agency.

Hill's answer: "That's a very good question."

At that point, the video excerpt cuts off. But from the transcript, here's her full answer:
That's a very good question. And I'm sure that I cannot answer that to your satisfaction. That is one of the things that I have tried to do today. I have suggested that I was afraid of retaliation. I was afraid of damage to my professional life. And I believe that you have to understand that this response -- and that's one of the things that I have come to understand about harassment -- this response, this kind of response, is not atypical. And I can't explain. It takes an expert in psychology to explain how that can happen. But it can happen, because it happened to me.
Anita Hill was right about one thing: Her answer is not satisfying. Not at all. There was no earthly reason for Hill to keep contacting Thomas -- let alone to follow Thomas from one job to the next -- because of a fear of "retaliation." If she had just stayed in the same job at the Department of Education, which she perfectly well could have done, how could Thomas have supposedly retaliated against her? That makes no sense.

Simpson responded:
Well, I just -- it just seems so incredible to me that you would not only have visited with him twice after that period and after he was no longer able to manipulate you or to destroy you, that you then not only visited with him, but took him to the airport and then 11 times contacted him. That part of it appalls me. I would think that these things which you describe are so repugnant, so ugly, so obscene, that you would never have talked to him again. And that will -- is the most contradictory and puzzling thing for me.
It's still contradictory and puzzling, to anyone who gives it a moment's thought. Hill's behavior was never consistent with someone in fear of harassment. It was more consistent with someone who very much liked Thomas, so much so that she wanted to keep working for him and calling him up even when she didn't have to do so.

No comments:

hits counter