Saturday, October 6, 2007

Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part V

Here's another one of the women who testified against Anita Hill:
[Statement of Ms. Saxon, former Assistant, Congressional Relations, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education]

MS. SAXON: I worked at the Department of Education in the Office for Civil Rights from September 1981 until September 1982. I was 24 years old at the time. I was the confidential assistant to Clarence Thomas. In that capacity, I handled congressional relations and public affairs. My office was just down the hall from Anita Hill's during her tenure at the Department of Education.

I never saw any harassment go on in the office. The office was run very professionally. Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill were always very cordial and friendly in their relations. There was never any evidence of any harassment towards any of the female employees. I dealt with Anita Hill on a daily basis in performing my duties. She was happy in her position and she liked working for Clarence Thomas.

Anita Hill never indicated to me that he was harassing her. Clarence Thomas generally left the door of his office open, so if he had any meeting with Hill or any other employees, they were in view. He operated with an open-door policy with every member of the staff, regardless of gender. I never saw him meet in private with a female employee, without someone else present. Unless it was a group meeting and there were many staffers present, the door would be open and his secretary would be right outside the door.

Anita Hill was the only special assistant who accompanied Clarence Thomas to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, upon his appointment in August of 1982. Anita told me that she was very excited about the opportunity to work for the Chairman of the EEOC. She related to me that she was pleased that Clarence was taking her with him.

I believe Anita Hill's statements that she felt pressures to accompany Clarence Thomas to EEOC, because of fears of losing her job, are simply untrue. I and the rest of the senior staff of the Office for Civil Rights found other positions within a few months. That is how the process of being a political appointee worked.

I was Clarence Thomas' confidential assistant for a year. My job required that I meet with him at least once a day. He never made an inappropriate advance, uttered an off-color remarks, or used coarse language in my presence. I was younger and more politically active than Anita Hill. I introduced him to my friends in Washington, the political community and very social settings. I was the first person to bring and introduce him to a luncheon with Thomas Sowell and others at the Capitol Hill Club. During this entire period, he never made any inappropriate actions toward me or any other female with whom I saw him.

I understand what women in this country go through in the area of sexual harassment. There is no place for sexual harassment in the workplace. I experienced perhaps a different kind of harassment, by being a victim of a violent crime. I know what it is to have one's face violated. I know what it feels like to feel helpless and humiliated.

Let me assure you in no uncertain terms that no harassment took place in the workplace at the Office for Civil Rights.
See also Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part IV, Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part III, Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part II and Women Who Testified Against Anita Hill, Part I.

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