Chicken S@#%


Not only do Supreme Court justices usually avoid partisan political activity, they usually lay low.  Truthfully apart from Sandra Day O’Connor’s husband, the rest of the justices might be going back into test tubes at the end of the day.

As with former Vice President Cheney taking shots at the incoming administration where the tradition had been for former administration officials to avoid commenting on current White House policy, Virginia Thomas’ destroys a tradition that is well worth preserving.


Reportedly, Virginia (Mrs. Clarence) Thomas recently left a voicemail message for Anita Hill.

“Thomas identified herself and then said, “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day,” Thomas said.”

There were a few key principles that we lived by in my corner of Manhattan.  First, if you had something important to say to someone, you contacted them directly.  Sending messages via telephone messages, letters or intermediaries was considered chicken s@#$.  If you tried to break up with someone via their sibling, said sibling would quite properly tell you to tell them yourself.

Second key principle.  If you can’t let something go, you’re saying more about yourself than anyone else.

Finally, a personal observation.  Jowly, amiable, affables like the Thomases often harbor hostility and aggression under carefully constructed masks.  It’s why they can’t lose the smirk and the voice sounds so tight.

If the reports are accurate, how patronizing is this voicemail?  What’s the motivation for it?  Especially after all these years?  Trying to scrub history clean?  Intimidate?  Are the Thomases worried about Anita Hill’s salvation?  Her conscience?  They sure took their time.  Thank God Hill is still alive.

Thomas has called Hill a “mediocre employee” who was essentially duped by political forces.

I happen to believe that Anita Hill told the truth. After all her testimony, “[w]as the result of reports from friends and acquaintances who learned of the harassment when it occurred. Professor Hill only came forward to testify after she was interviewed and heavily lobbied by investigators from the FBI and staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

But even if you believe that Anita Hill lied, you have to recognize that this situation may never be resolved. It is much more likely that the Hill-Thomas controversy will continue orbiting the same surreal territory of other sex scandals.

The larger question is why can’t Justice and Mrs. Thomas let this go?  Inquiring minds want to know.


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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