Professor Anita Hill, who told the world about Clarence Thomas’s unwanted and wanton ways, also gave an influential testimony against Brett Kavanaugh.
Anita Hill gave America warning words before, during, and after the Kavanaugh hearings.
Following her template, 1,600 men signed their names in a full-page advertisement in the New York Times to express their support for Anita Hill and Dr. Ford. The latest advertisement mirrored the one from 1991 signed by 1,600 Black women to support Anita Hill.
Before the hearings, Anita Hill suggested a nonpartisan entity — with subject experts — should investigate and report their findings about the allegations against Kavanaugh.
In her op-ed in the New York Times, Anita Hill advised lawmakers to not rush the hearings; she said the burden of persuasion is on Kavanaugh, and she said while we can’t redo 1991, we can “do better.”
Later, Anita Hill called what the senators offered an unfair disservice to everyone.
And now, the FBI, in a sudden move, will investigate the accusations against Kavanaugh. The credit for the shift goes to the rogue Republican senators and the persistent protesters.
But if America had listened to Dr. Ford and Anita Hill, there wouldn’t have been the delayed drama of a late-breaking FBI investigation.
The response is more sad evidence of an America that obstructs and resists the testimony and recommendations of original accusers, survivors, and victims.
Onlookers of the hearing also saw Anita Hill in the room in abstract ways.
Perhaps it was a coincidence that two professors, who both took polygraphs, testified in blue suits against a Supreme Court nominee with a Coca-Cola soft drink in the frame.
But there’s no doubt Anita Hill’s presence was in the room.
In 1992, Anita Hill ushered in the “Year of the Woman” that put Senator Dianne Feinstein in the place to question Kavanaugh.
In the Washington Post’s transcript of the hearing, Anita Hill’s name echoed eight times in the hall.
Senator Feinstein spoke about seeing Anita Hill in a blue suit, and other senators mentioned the FBI investigation into Anita Hill’s credible allegations as a standard to follow.
Senator Richard Blumenthal even threw an unanswered question at Kavanaugh:
“Do you believe Anita Hill?”
That question was the last time America heard Anita Hill’s name in the room, but she was still present.
For Republicans, Anita Hill was one reason they chose the awkward passive-aggressive strategy of questioning by proxy in a special prosecutor.
It’s reported that Anita Hill watched portions of the testimony with her students during a class on gender studies.
In a news report, one student shared how Anita Hill said, “Race is always at play,” and how service on the Supreme Court is “a privilege” and not a right.
In contrast, Kavanaugh assumes he can take a privilege by pointedly asserting his privileges.
After Brett Kavanaugh testified with a tantrum, Anita Hill spoke to a gathering of women and verbally held up Kavanaugh’s license to show his anger, aggression, and other emotions.
Anita Hill, who is also a graduate of Yale Law School, said how a female Supreme Court candidate could not do the same as Kavanaugh.
Anita Hill’s words about Kavanaugh’s license says America must share the license to show emotion across the sexes. She indicts, with physical evidence, the double standards of patriarchy and privilege.
When it’s over, the US Senate may follow the playbook of precedents by patriarchy, especially since it has the same and similar players. That result would be a recurring tragedy because we had a chance to listen and learn.
And today, Anita Hill is not only an ancestor or an antecedent; she’s still effective.
She’s much more than anybody’s anecdote or parable; Anita Hill is a compelling antidote.
In news reports, Anita Hill says she will continue to use her voice as she concentrates on systemic and cultural change.
But, if America had listened to Anita Hill years ago, this catastrophe and clusterfuck with Kavanaugh wouldn’t be this way.
If America had listened to Anita Hill a few days before Dr. Ford’s testimony, this catastrophe and clusterfuck with Kavanaugh wouldn’t be this way.
Surely, America can avoid a similar catastrophe and clusterfuck in the future if we listen to Anita Hill.
Anita Hill is still with us; she’s still heroic; she’s still writing and speaking.
And the same people are unwilling to see or hear.
Precursors blink in the background.
And this precursor blinks in the background with a gender and a race America wants to suppress in place.
While today Anita Hill blinks in the background, she’s doing more; she breathes too.
Maybe one day, while she’s still here, America will hang on her every word, rather than hang by her words.
White America ought to know “guilty until proven innocent” is nothing new
Cry foul when and where it counts
The horrifying position of wanting Jeff Sessions to keep his job
From don’t hire him to don’t fire him