“They Had 27 Years To Figure Out The Process” Anita Hill Says Kavanaugh’s Confirmation Was A Tragedy

October 12, 2018  |  

(Original Caption) Washington: Professor Anita Hill is sworn-in before testifying at the Senate Judiciary hearing on the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination. Miss Hill testified on her charges of alleged sexual harassment by Judge Thomas.

Before Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Anita Hill sat in from of the Senate judiciary panel and shared testimony of her own allegations of sexual assault against the then Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas.

Unlike Dr. Ford, Hill testified in front of a panel of all White men at a time when sexual harassment and assault were merely buzzwords, not fully fleshed out concepts, supported by research and study. 

While Dr. Ford had a different experience from Hill, she still testified only to have the man she accused be sworn into the highest court of the land. And in the process, her testimony and character were called into question by more than a few people, including President Trump mocking her. She couldn’t return to her home immediately because she was receiving death threats.

The whole process was painful for many of us watching but for Hill, I’m sure the experience was much heavier. In her first remarks since Kavanaugh was sworn in, Hill spoke at an event at the University of Pennsylvania.

Referring to her own Senate testimony on October 11, 1991, Hill said, “It’s like we find out it’s almost as though none of that took place.”

In an interview with the Daily Pennsylvanian, a student newspaper, she said, “Their framing of the process and their framing of the questions were not informed by facts and knowledge, and therefore they excluded a whole body of information that has been developed in the past three decades.”

Hill noted just how the process was damaging not only to a group of the population but to the country as a whole.

“What happened was not only a disservice to the people who were the principal witnesses, but was a disservice to the American public.”

She also noted the similarities between her testimony and Dr. Ford’s, saying that senators rushed the proceedings, failed to hear testimony from a range of witnesses, and demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding sexual misconduct.

“They had 27 years to figure out the process,” she said of the committee not having developed any type of protocol or procedure to handle claims of sexual misconduct when ti comes to judicial nominees.

She said, ““Christine Blasey Ford had no support. None. There was no organization that was on the inside or was connected with the inside, with the decision-makers, that was going to be able to help her. We need to really understand that what we are dealing with, when we talk about these kind of abuses … we are not just dealing with behavior, we are dealing with systems that protect it, and sometimes encourage it, and sometimes reward it, and that is what you saw.”

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