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Reluctant Witness

Reluctant Witness

I would be shocked – shocked I tell you – if Brett Kavanaugh turned out not to be a rapist. Brett Kavanaugh's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was erratic and belligerent. It was the kind of behavior one might expect from an alcoholic rapist. He displayed very poor judgment, which should be a deal breaker when one is applying for the position of judge.

In his opening statement Judge Kavanaugh named all the women he hasn't raped. Because I guess, we're supposed to give him extra credit for that. He was then moved to tears while describing his father's method of keeping calendar records. It was a truly heart wrenching moment for the Republican senators who seemed to be really fond of rape and calendars.

He then screamed something about a Clinton conspiracy. It was as if he'd secreted some weird pheromone that only affects GOP members. All the Republican senators began ranting incoherently. It was like the hearing had been overtaken by a gaggle of alcoholic rapists.

Their dramatic display of outrage seemed especially odd following Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony earlier in the day. Dr. Ford's testimony was credible and heartbreaking. In fact, she was so credible the Republicans aren't denying she was raped, only the identity of the rapist. They claim she was raped by another student who kind of looks like Brett Kavanaugh. And yet, completely without irony, they feign outrage over an “innocent” man being accused while literally accusing an innocent man.

The Kavanaugh/Ford hearings have led to many obvious comparisons to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings. It should be noted some of the senators guilty of idiotically defending Kavanaugh and treating Dr. Ford like dirt are the very same senators who idiotically defended Clarence Thomas and treated Anita Hill like dirt. The only thing the senators learned from the Anita Hill hearing is that they didn't come off looking so good. To avoid making that mistake again, Senator Grassley hired a lady prosecutor to interview Dr. Ford on behalf of the GOP senators. It was weird. The Clarence Thomas confirmation was twenty-seven years ago. Remember that if you have any hesitation about voting in the mid-terms. Twenty-seven years. Same rape-y senators.

I shall now tell the story of Anita F. Hill for those too young to remember. For those too old to remember. And for those who simply weren't paying attention. The story takes place in 1991. I was fourteen years old in 1991. I have pieced together this history through my adolescent recollections, YouTube clips and the HBO movie Confirmation starring Kerry Washington.

Reluctant Witness: The Anita Hill Story

In 1991, Thurgood Marshall, the first African American justice on the Supreme Court, decided it was time to retire as he was quite old. President George Herbert Walker Bush figured he should replace a black judge with a black judge so as not to seem racist. Finding a conservative black judge proved to be difficult as republicans tend to be super racist. They searched high and low until they found a black judge with the whitest name possible, Clarence Thomas. George said, “He'll do,” and promptly nominated him.

Meanwhile in Oklahoma, Professor Anita Hill was minding her own business when, out of the blue, she received a phone call from an aide or something who worked for Senator Joe Biden.

Aide or Something: Professor Hill, we understand Clarence Thomas sexually harassed you when you worked together at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Anita: How did you find out?

Aide or Something: We have our ways.

Anita: I don't want to talk about it.

Aide or Something: You want this guy on the Supreme Court?

Anita: No, but I was sexually harassed while working on sexual harassment cases at the EEOC. Women who come forward are treated like dirt. The men beat up on these women like a gaggle of alcoholic rapists.

Aide or Something: We'll protect you.

Anita: I want to remain anonymous.

Aide or Something: Cool.

The next thing you know an aide or something leaked Anita Hill's story to the press and she was subpoenaed to testify before Congress. With all of three days to prepare, she got her crap together and hired some lawyers.

Meanwhile back in D.C., Clarence Thomas made a statement, variations of which, all men accused of sexual harassment will use to this very day. “While I don't remember doing anything that can be construed as sexual harassment, I'm sorry if she misinterpreted my actions.”

Anita Hill flew to Washington and prepared to testify in front of all white male senators. This group of senators included such notables as:

Super Predator Senator Ted Kennedy who once got drunk, drove his car into a lake, saved himself and left his mistress to drown. Then went back to his hotel to sleep it off without calling for help.

Super Racist Senator Strom Thurmond who, with his back against the wall, was forced to choose misogyny over racism.

Super Dirtbag Senator Orrin Hatch who believes Anita Hill should apologize for being sexually harassed. Or, I guess, just snitching about it. Honestly, I don't know why she should apologize, but Orrin Hatch is adamant she should.

Senior Super Dirtbag Senator Chuck Grassley who offered Dr. Ford a Coke when she asked for something to drink. That may seem innocuous, but it's going to seem super creepy in the next paragraph.

Anita Hill began her testimony by recounting the many instances of sexual harassment perpetrated by Clarence Thomas. What sticks out from my adolescent memories are something about pubes on a Coke can (told you it was super creepy) and a porn star named Long Dong Silver. However, at fourteen, I confused him with the character, Long Duk Dong, from the movie, Sixteen Candles and I couldn't figure out how Molly Ringwald got involved in all this.

Professor Hill was then treated like dirt by the senators. In fact, it was as if the hearing had been overtaken by a gaggle of alcoholic rapists. Since there is really no difference between them, I shall refer to each senator as Strom Thurmond.

Strom Thurmond: Isn't it true you wanted to date Clarence Thomas and you're basically just a scorned lover?

Anita: No.

Strom Thurmond: Professor Hill, are you horny right now?

Anita: No.

Strom Thurmond: I went to the library and told the librarian to bring me every book that mentions a pubic hair. She told me they don't catalog books that way. I said, “Dammit, bring me a book with a pubic hair.” She said, “I think there was something in The Exorcist.” I said, “Do you know what page? I don't want to read the whole book.” She said, “No.” So, I read the whole book and right here on Page 229 is an alien pubic hair. Professor Hill, what say you to that?

Anita: I don't understand the question.

Strom Thurmond: Have you read The Exorcist?

Anita: No.

Strom Thurmond: I find that hard to believe. Page 229.

Anita: Is that a question?

Strom Thurmond: Were you drinking?

Anita: I'm sorry. Is the question - Was I drinking when you read The Exorcist?

Strom Thurmond: Were you drinking when you had dinner with Judge Thomas?

Anita: No.

Strom Thurmond: Did Judge Thomas ask you to watch the Long Dong Silver movie with him?

Anita: No, he said I should watch it.

Strom Thurmond: Well then, how is that sexual harassment?

Anita: My boss described pornography in graphic detail.

Strom Thurmond: Why did you wait so long to come forward?

Anita: I didn't come forward. I was subpoenaed.

Strom Thurmond: Why did you wait to be subpoenaed to come forward?

Anita: I'm not sure what you're asking.

After several hours of harassing a sexual harassment victim the committee dismissed Anita Hill. Clarence Thomas was then brought in to testify. He opened with a statement that went something like: “I'm a black man. This is some racist nonsense. This is a public lynching. Deal with that, Whitey.”

The white senators all looked at Super Racist Strom Thurmond and realized they didn't have a lot of credibility in the racism department. Oddly enough, none of the senators looked at Super Predator Ted Kennedy and realized they didn't have a lot of credibility in the misogyny department.

And that is how Clarence Thomas became a Supreme Court Justice.

All is not lost. For every time someone says the words, “Justice Clarence Thomas,” everyone is thinking “Anita Hill.” Suck on that, Clarence.


Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America | CC-BY-SA-2.0

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