Speaking Sexual Harassment Truth versus the Corruption of Power

How does someone become a US Supreme Court Justice? The President nominates a candidate for the US Supreme Court, and the Senate votes whether to confirm or reject the nomination. Before the Senate confirmation, there is a mandatory FBI background check. If the candidate is confirmed by the Senate, he or she is appointed to the US Supreme Court.

This post is a result of watching “Anita Speaking Truth to Power”, a powerful 2013 documentary that was released to DVD June 24, 2014.

When the FBI questioned Anita Hill in 1991 about Clarence Thomas during the routine background check, Hill decided to tell them what had happened to her when she worked for Thomas.

When it leaked that she had accused U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment while he was her supervisor at the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Anita Hill became a national figure.

Hill agreed to take a polygraph test, and the results supported her claims. But Thomas refused to take the polygraph test. Instead, Thomas played the race card and denied everything. He then said that he was being subjected to a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks” by white liberals who were seeking to block a black conservative from taking a seat on the Supreme Court.

After extensive debate, the United States Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court by a vote of 52–48; the narrowest margin since the 19th century.

After interviewing a number of women who alleged that Thomas had frequently subjected them to sexually explicit remarks, Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson wrote a book which concluded that Thomas had lied during his confirmation process.

In addition, during the Senate hearing, four female witnesses were waiting to support Hill’s claims, but they were not called, due to what the Los Angeles Times described as a private, compromise deal between “aggressive, gloves-off” Republicans and the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Democrat Joe Biden.

In 1991, Democrats made up 58 percent of the Senate and 62.1 percent of the House of Representatives. There was no way that Thomas could have been confirmed by the Senate if some Democrats had not voted for his nomination. There were also three women Senators.

Jocelyn Burdick, a Democrat, voted against Thomas

Nancy L. Kassebaum, a Republican, voted for Thomas

Barbar Mikulsi, a Democrat, voted against Thomas

A total of forty Republican Senators voted for Thomas but two did not, while 47 democrats voted no to 11 who voted yes. Jim Jeffords and Bob Packwood were the only two Republicans who had the courage to vote no.

Before Anita Hill spoke up, sexual harassment in the workplace was not yet a national concern. That changed.

Then there is the U.S. Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was written in 1923 by Alice Paul. After the women’s right to vote was guaranteed by the 19th Amendment in 1920, she proposed the ERA as the next step in confirming “equal justice under law” for all citizens.

In brief: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. These simple words comprise the entire text of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), affirming the equal application of the U.S. Constitution to both females and males.

The ERA has been introduced into every Congress since 1982. Three states are needed to add the ERA to the U.S. Constitution.

The 15 states whose legislatures have not ratified the Equal Rights Amendment are Alabama (Republican—GOP— majority in both state legislatures), Arizona (GOP), Arkansas (GOP), Florida (GOP), Georgia (GOP), Illinois (Democrats), Louisiana (GOP), Mississippi (GOP), Missouri (GOP), Nevada (Democrats), North Carolina (GOP), Oklahoma (GOP), South Carolina (GOP), Utah (GOP), and Virginia (GOP).

Can anyone explain why so many woman still vote for Republican candidates?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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2 thoughts on “Speaking Sexual Harassment Truth versus the Corruption of Power

  1. There is a book by the name of “Bellwether,” by Connie Willis. It’s funny, erudite,and witty. It’s about fads, Why some lead and others follow. I read and re-read it frequently. When the world doesn’t make any sense, it offers an answer I can accept. I think it would work for you too.

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