Virginia Thomas left a voicemail for Anita Hill asking her to apologize for her charges of sexual harassment against now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Virginia Thomas has a lot to learn about extending olive branches.
In her voice mail to Anita Hill, Virginia Thomas said she wanted to reach out and ask for an apology. Professor Hill turned the message over to authorities at Brandeis University who turned it over to the FBI. Thomas still thinks she didn’t do anything offensive and claims she was just extending an olive branch.
I was working at a nonprofit civil rights group in DC that virtually shut down to watch the televised Thomas hearings almost 20 years ago. I hadn’t thought about them recently until Virginia Thomas’ bizarre phone call made the news today.
For a brief second, I thought Thomas was apologizing. Now, the whole thing seems like a parody of 12 step programs where you contact people and demand they apologize to you. Possibly that would make the programs much more fun in the short term, but hardly spiritually uplifting.
Plus, if your relationship with someone has deteriorated to the point where the Senate Judiciary Committee gets involved, voice mail is not a good vehicle for you. If Thomas had anything sensible to say, she should have gotten an intermediary to contact Hill privately.
Then again, there’s no indication that Virginia Thomas or Clarence Thomas have anything sensible to say. Clarence Thomas usually appears to be imitating a potted plant on the bench but broke his silence to publish a book in 2007 trashing Hill as a mediocre employee. I mercifully missed any news about its publication until today when I saw the title My Grandfather’s Son. I think it sounds like some kind of Chinatown confessional. Hopefully, the whole tea party thing will keep Virginia Thomas busy so I don’t get a voicemail about that. Oh, and given that she has nothing to apologize for, Anita Hill has confirmed that she has no intention of issuing an apology.