Let's say twenty years ago, you testified before Congress. Under oath. Heck, let's even say the most well-known part of your testimony was capable of being interpreted either as harassment or crudely self-deprecating ethnic humor and you took it as the first; a subjective assessment, the truth of which only you can know.
...And let's say the fellow you testified against got the job anyway, with your own testimony generally held to be politically motivated at worst, overly thin-skinned at best.
All of that happened nearly twenty years ago. You've moved on, you have a high-prestige job with decent pay and benefits and then, out of the blue, the wife of the man you've testified against calls up early one weekend morning and leaves voicemail asking you to think about apologizing and explaining.
A. Shrug and ignore it.
B. Call her up and give her the what-for.
C. Forward the message to your employer's Security service, who forward it to the FBI.
If your name is Anita Hill, "C," and without a blink.
We'll never know the facts; the accusations against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that don't involve jokes about a hair on a soft-drink can strike me as unlikely and by all accounts, he has conducted himself with utter probity since being confirmed.
So, what we're left with is a concerned spouse and a reaction that appears disproportionate, conveniently as we head into elections in which there's a good chance Ms. Hill's party may lose their House majority to Mrs. Thomas's party. And we're left with it all over television and computer screens.
Online, we say "Stop feeding the trolls." It's good advice, Mrs. Thomas. No matter how appalling the troll.
6 months ago