Monday, January 21, 2008

Hung (In More Ways Than One)

"[Clarence Thomas] compared milquetoast Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to an angry mob armed with firearms and strong rope.

Irony notwithstanding, it's possible that race did play a role in validating Hill's accusations. These charges had an ugly racial overtone, intended or not: the black man as sexual predator. That's how many of Thomas's colleagues and much of the nation would receive them. The people who advanced the charges and pressed the issue had to have known this. These charges were probably more believable to many people and certainly much more damaging psychologically to Thomas because of his race. Mightn't an embattled Thomas reasonably have suspected that part of the reason so many believed her and not him, part of the reason her story, tarnished by the passage of time, gained the luster of plausibility and for many the gleam of Truth, was that her account confirmed one of the most pernicious of racial stereotypes?"


- Richard Thompson Ford, writing on the Anita Hill Hearings and the possible role of the race card, for Slate.com.