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
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Why the Chinese military is only a paper dragon
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Christian conservatives have a terrifying new bogeyman: The Christian leftist
- 10 innovative furniture designs that brilliantly save you space
- Confronting our twisted relationship with food
- Eric Holder blew it as attorney general. His replacement will, too,
Subscribe to the Week