Nineteen years ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was barely confirmed by the Senate after a former colleague, Anita Hill, accused him of sexual harassment. So it's a little odd that Thomas' wife just called Hill to demand an apology.
Virginia Thomas, who, besides being the wife of the biggest jerkoff on the Supreme Court, is a Tea Party activist, must have been having a weird Saturday morning on October 9! Because around 7:30 a.m. she called up her old, you know, person whom she hates, at her (Hill's)
home office in Waltham, Mass., and left the following message in what The New Yorker's Jane Mayer calls "a singsong voice":
Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas. 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."
Uh. What? I mean: She was drunk, right? "Across the airwaves and the years"? Ginni Thomas was wasted at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday and got to drunk-dialing and for some reason she
has looked up Anita Hill's phone number. "Pray about it?" This is weird even to the people who thought Hill was lying, isn't it?
(Do you know The Ballad Of The Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings? It's a classic, in the sense that it is one of those things you should never, ever bring up unless you are completely aware of how everyone else in the room feels about it. In a nutshell, toward the end of Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court confirmation hearings in front of the Senate, testimony from his former colleague Anita Hill alleged that Thomas was, uh, basically, a huge pig who routinely did things like ask "Who has put pubic hair on my Coke?" Hill (who, full disclosure, was totally fucking right) was pilloried by the right-wing and treated terribly by, among others, Senator Arlen Specter, at that point a Republican; Thomas was confirmed 52-48, and now it is One Of Those Things We Don't Talk About At The Dinner Table, like Religion and Money and Aunt Nicole's Accident.)
Hill, who is a law professor at Brandeis, mulled over the weird message for a week and turned the phone over to the campus police. "Ginny"—who's publicly said that Hill should apologize, but never, uhm, called her—has confirmed that she did leave the message a statement given to The New York Times:
"I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago," she said. "That offer still stands. I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended."
Serious question: Maybe I am parsing the Ginny Thomas Saturday Morning Account-Settling a little too much, but what does she mean by "did with my husband"? This is like a Raymond Carver story, isn't it?! Though, Mayer says the message sounds "more adversarial than most peace offerings."