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Anita Hill Finally Got A Direct Apology From Joe Biden, But It’s Really Too Little, Too Late

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Source: Wally McNamee / Getty

Anita Hill’s name was again tied to Joe Biden’s on Thursday when the former Vice President announced his presidency bid for 2020, and it should remain that way.

Hill and Biden have a storied and complicated past, stemming from the 1991 Capitol Hill hearings when Hill was called to testify about the sexual harassment and sexual misconduct allegations she made in reference to her former boss Clarence Thomas, who at the time, was a candidate for the Supreme Court. Thomas was later confirmed.

Let the record show that Biden, who at the time was a senior Senator in Congress, served as the Senate Judiciary Committee chair, and was also in charge of the proceedings. The optics of a Black woman attempting to explain the years of sexual harassment she suffered at the hands of Thomas was palpable and also significant to our nation’s history in the participation of sexualizing Black women’s bodies.

On Wednesday Hill spoke to The New York Times about the private conversation she shared with Biden sometime earlier this month when he reached out to apologize to her for his lackluster effort in seeing that Hill was not only seen, but seen, believed and heard.

At the core of her conversation with the Times, Hill believes that Biden is not in full understanding of the role he played in the trajectory of her life, and of the larger reaching effects of his actions after several women have come forward to allege improper touching.

“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” she said. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”

Last month Biden made news in reference to Hill during an event honoring student who were victims of sexual violence.

“She faced a committee that didn’t fully understand what the hell this was all about,” Biden said. “To this day, I regret I couldn’t give her the kind of hearing she deserved. I wish I could have done something.”

His statement at the event is still hollow, and shows a true disconnect in how much power he had, or how much he is willing to take accountability for.

Yet and still, Hill remains mostly unmoved.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose,” she continued.

“The focus on apology to me is one thing,” she said. “But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”

It’s time that we stop expecting Hill to have anything other than dust for Uncle Joe.



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