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Anita Hill on Joe Biden Clarence Thomas Trial

Anita Hill Says She Doesn't Want an Apology From Joe Biden — She Wants an Explanation

Anita Hill isn't waiting for an apology from Joe Biden; she's waiting for an explanation. Attorney and law professor Anita Hill recently spoke about sexual harassment in a discussion with Ellen Pao, a venture capitalist, at an event on April 20.

Hill, who became known to the nation in 1991 for alleging and testifying in the Senate Judiciary Committee that Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her, touched upon her life and legacy. During the audience-question portion of the event, one guest asked, "Has [former] Vice President Joe Biden ever apologized to you for the disrespectful way he treated you when he testified? If not, how do you feel about that and how did you feel watching him take on campus sexual assault as an issue?" Hill responded, "No, he has not apologized, but my feeling is the statue of limitations for his apology has run."

For Hill, it's not an apology for his behavior that she wants anymore. She said she'd rather have him explain why, as then-senator and chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he failed to call three other witnesses during Thomas's confirmation hearings — witnesses who also alleged Thomas harassed them. "My real concern was the failure to call for three witnesses, because again, that was not just disrespectful to me but an erasure of those women's experiences and validity," said Hill. "It just said again, 'These women don't matter and we will just ignore them.'"

She believes that after all this time, and Biden's recent involvement with campus sexual assault, he owes the world some reasoning. "You at least owe us an explanation," she said. ". . . An explanation and an owning of it is something that's different from an apology, and that's really what I'd be more interested in."

Image Source: Getty / Marla Aufmuth
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