Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part II

Another of the many women who had worked with Thomas and who testified against Anita Hill:
I am Patricia Cornwell Johnson, and I currently work as the Director of Labor Relations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. I received my bachelor's degree from the American University here in Washington, and my law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. I am a member of the bar of the District of Columbia, the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, as well as the majority of other U.S. Courts of Appeals.

I received my labor relations training at the National Labor Relations Boards. I moved from there to corporate America, then to a major transit authority, before going to the EEOC. I work in an area that is dominated by men and I have never met a man who treated me with more dignity an respect, who was more cordial and professional than was Judge Clarence Thomas.

Shortly after joining the Commission--and I must apologize to my mother for making this statement on worldwide TV, and I am grateful that she is asleep--then Chairman Thomas became aware that I used profanity in some exuberant exchanges with union officials. Chairman Thomas made it clear to me that that was unacceptable conduct which would not be tolerated. I was shocked because up until that time, such language had indeed been acceptable, almost expected--it made me "one of the boys." Chairman Thomas insisted that his managers conduct themselves in a manner that was above reproach and he held himself to that same high standard.

I had occasion to meet with Chairman Thomas alone to discuss labor relations and strategies. He was always professional. As a labor attorney with approximately 15 years of experience, I have drafted policy statements concerning sexual harassment, I have trained managers concerning what constitutes harassment, how to deal with such allegations.

Furthermore, with a previous employer, I was a victim of sexual harassment. It was the most degrading and humiliating experience of my professional career. I confided in friends and family concerning the best manner to confront it. I did confront it and I eventually left that position. But I must tell you that, during the time I had to continue to work with the perpetrator, I avoided contact, especially one-on-one contact with him, and since leaving that position I have never had any further contact with that man.

I do not believe these allegations that have been leveled against Judge Thomas. Moreover based on my professional experience, as well as my personal experience, I do not believe that a woman who has been victimized by the outrageously lewd, vile and vulgar behavior that has been described here would want to have, let alone maintain, any kind of relationship with a man that victimized her.
See also Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part I.

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