Even those who faulted Anita Hill for her devastating sexual-harassment testimony against Justice Clarence Thomas at his 1991 confirmation hearings are "baffled" by the latest development — an early-morning call from Thomas' wife, Virginia, to Hill, suggesting she apologize for "what you did to my husband." Hill, now a Brandeis University professor, insists she "testified truthfully about my experience," but the Thomases have vocally dismissed her allegations that Clarence hit on his then-employee, using pornographic language, as lies. After 19 years, should anybody be apologizing? (Watch an AP report about Virginia Thomas' request)
Hill should apologize: Virginia Thomas wants an apology? asks Joe Carter in First Things. "Good for her." Hill probably "owes the entire country an explanation" for her attempt to "subvert the judicial nomination process for political reasons," but she definitely owes a "sincere apology to Justice Thomas." And so what if it comes 19 years too late? "There is no statute of limitations when you slander a man's reputation."
"No statute of limitations on slander"
It's Clarence Thomas who should seek forgiveness: It isn't slander if you're telling the truth, as Hill did 19 years ago, says Robert Reich in Politico. And given the way Thomas and his wife have "repeatedly dredged up" those hearings to smear Anita Hill, "if anyone owes anyone an apology," Thomas should be apologizing to Hill. Of course, if he didn't know about his wife's "latest foray," then it's Virginia who "owes an apology both to Hill and to him."
"Anita Hill owed the apology"
Both women owe us apologies: For those who have never believed Hill, her decision to pass along Virginia Thomas' voicemail to Brandeis security, the FBI, and the media looks like "another way to embarrass Clarence Thomas," says Doug Mataconis in Outside the Beltway, something that "Anita Hill has a history of doing." But Virginia deserves blame, too: Her "bizarre" decision to call Hill at 7:30 a.m. has forced us to "relive October 1991 all over again."
"Clarence Thomas' wife seeks apology from Anita Hill"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- What if The Purge was real?
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
Subscribe to the Week