Colleagues Who Supported Thomas: Thomas 12 – Hill 0
Every woman who worked with Hill and Thomas and testified at the hearings supported Thomas; many specifically stated they did not believe Hill. Not a single woman (or man for that matter) who worked with Anita Hill came forward during the hearings to support her allegations. Hill gave the FBI the names of two women, former EEOC colleagues Allyson Duncan and Nancy Fitch, who she claimed would corroborate her charges. They did not.
- J.C. Alvarez, Special Assistant to Thomas at the EEOC, colleague of Hill at EEOC: “As his professional colleague, I traveled with him, had lunch and dinner with him, worked with him, one-on-one and with others. Never did he ever lose his respect for me, and never did we ever have a discussion of the type that Ms. Hill alleges. Never was he the slightest bit improper in his behavior with me.”
- Nancy Fitch, Special Assistant Historian to Thomas at the EEOC, colleague of Hill at EEOC: “As I told the FBI agent who interviewed me on Tuesday, October 1, I trust Judge Thomas completely, he has all of my support and caring earned by 9 years of the most positive and affirmative interacting, not only with me, but with other staff and former staff, men and women….”
- Diane Holt, Personal Secretary to Thomas at the Dept. of Education and EEOC, colleague of Hill at both agencies: “At no time did Professor Hill intimate, not even in the most subtle of ways, that Judge Thomas was asking her out or subjecting her to the crude, abusive conversations that have been described. … Additionally, I never heard anyone at any time make any reference to any inappropriate conduct in relation to Clarence Thomas.”
- Phyllis Berry-Meyers: Special Assistant to Thomas at the EEOC, colleague of Hill: “Anita Hill indicated to me that she had been a primary advisor to Clarence Thomas at the Department of Education. However, she seemed to be having a difficult time on his EEOC staff, of being considered as one of many, especially on a staff where others were as equally or more talented than she.”
- Patricia Cornwell Johnson, Director of Labor Relations, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: “I work in an area that is dominated by men and I have never met a man who treated me with more dignity and respect, who was more cordial and professional than was Judge Clarence Thomas.”
- Linda Jackson, Social Science Research Analyst, EEOC, colleague of Hill at both agencies: “I believe I know the basic nature of this man better than most people in this room. I believe, unequivocally, Clarence Thomas’ denial of these allegations. This is a very honorable man who has the highest respect for women.”
- Lori Saxon, Confidential Assistant to Thomas, Dept. of Education, colleague of Hill: “I was the confidential assistant to Clarence Thomas. … My office was just down the hall from Anita Hill’s during her tenure at the Department of Education. I never saw any harassment go on in the office.”
- Nancy Altman, Worked in Senator Danforth’s Office and at the Dept. of Education: “Because we worked in such close quarters [in Senator Danforth’s office], I could hear virtually every conversation for two years that Clarence Thomas had. Not once in those two years did I ever hear Clarence Thomas make a sexist or offensive comment, not once.”
- Anna Jenkins, Secretary in the EEOC’s Office of the Chairman, colleague of Hill: “I had daily contact with Anita Hill and Judge Thomas. … Judge Thomas’ conduct around me, Anita Hill, and other staffers was always proper and professional. I have never witnessed Judge Thomas say anything or do anything that could be construed as sexual harassment.”
- Janet Brown, Worked with Thomas in Sen. John Danforth’s Office: “I don’t subscribe to the belief that men, because they are men, don’t understand sexual harassment. My husband, my father and my brother understand it. Clarence Thomas understands it. And because he understands it, he wouldn’t do it.”
- Sandra Battle, Attorney, Office of Civil Rights, Dept. of Education, colleague of Hill: “In my presence, Judge Thomas always acted in a professional manner and treated all employees, including Professor Hill, with the utmost respect.”
- Patricia Healy, Office of Civil Rights, Dept. of Education, colleague of Hill: “During the time Mr. Thomas was with OCR, I had no reason to believe he would sexually harass any employee. Mr. Thomas appeared to me to be a private person, devoted to his son. His dealings with me were always professional and I grew to respect him for his support of civil rights.”
- Pamela Talkin, Chief of Staff to Thomas at EEOC: “Judge Thomas was adamant that the women in the agency be treated with dignity and respect, and his own behavior towards women was scrupulous.”
The job titles are the titles the witnesses held when they worked with Thomas.
Co-Workers Who Testified or Submitted Statements Supporting Hill’s Allegations:
Many Witnesses HAD experienced Sexual Harassment FROM OTHER MEN And Found Hill’s Behavior toward Thomas Inconsistent with Their Experiences
Many of these women who testified themselves had been victims of sexual harassment and were baffled by Hill’s allegations given her continued contact with Thomas.
J.C. Alvarez: “You see, I, too, have experienced sexual harassment in the past. I have been physically accosted by a man in an elevator who I rebuffed. I was trapped in a Xerox room by a man who I refused to date. Obviously, it is an issue I have experienced, I understand, and I take very seriously. But having lived through it myself, I find Anita Hill’s behavior inconsistent with these charges. … What’s more, you don’t follow them to the next job—especially, if you are a black female, Yale Law School graduate.”
Watch Alvarez testify about this:
Patricia Johnson: “Furthermore, with a previous employer, I was a victim of sexual harassment. It was the most degrading and humiliating experience of my professional career. I confided in friends and family concerning the best manner to confront it. I did confront it and I eventually left that position. But I must tell you that, during the time I had to continue to work with the perpetrator, I avoided contact, especially one-on-one contact with him, and since leaving that position I have never had any further contact with that man. I do not believe these allegations that have been leveled against Judge Thomas. Moreover based on my professional experience, as well as my personal experience, I do not believe that a woman who has been victimized by the outrageously lewd, vile and vulgar behavior that has been described here would want to have, let alone maintain, any kind of relationship with a man that victimized her.”
Janet Brown: “Let Me Assure You That The Last Thing I Would Ever Have Done Is Follow The Man Who Did This To A New Job … Or Voluntarily Share The Same Air Space Ever Again.” “A number of years ago, I was sexually harassed in the workplace. It was a demeaning, humiliating, sad and revolting experience. There was an intensive and lengthy internal investigation of this case, which is the route that I chose to pursue. Let me assure you that the last thing I would ever have done is follow the man who did this to a new job, call him on the phone or voluntarily share the same air space ever again. Other than my immediate family, the one person who is the most outraged, compassionate, caring and sensitive to me was Clarence Thomas. He helped me work through the pain, talk through the options. No one who has been through it can talk about sexual harassment dispassionately. No one who takes it seriously would do it.”
Watch Brown discuss her experience here:
Nancy Altman, who worked with Hill and Thomas at the Dept. of Education, made the powerful argument that when sexual harassment occurs, other women in the workplace notice it. She testified that none of the women in the office noticed Hill being sexually harassed by Thomas:
I have myself been the victim of an improper, unwanted sexual advance by a supervisor. Gentlemen, when sexual harassment occurs, other women in the workplace know about it. The members of the committee seem to believe that when offensive behavior occurs in a private room, there can be no witnesses. This is wrong. Sexual harassment occurs in an office in the middle of the workday. The victim is in a public place. The first person she sees immediately after the incident is usually the harasser’s secretary. Coworkers, especially women, will notice an upset expression, a jittery manner, a teary eye or a distracted air, especially if the abusive behavior is occurring over and over and over again. Further, the women I know who have been victimized always shared the experience with a female coworker they could trust. They do this to validate their own experience, to obtain advice about options…that they may pursue, to find out if others have been similarly abused, and to receive comfort. Friends outside the workplace make good comforters, but cannot meet the other needs. It is not credible that Clarence Thomas could have engaged in the kinds of behavior that Anita Hill alleges, without any of the women who he worked closest with—dozens of us…we could spend days having women come up, his secretaries, his chief of staff, his other assistants, his colleagues—without any of us having sensed, seen or heard something.”
Watch Altman’s testimony:
Even The Washington Post decided that Hill’s allegations were not credible:
After three days of extraordinary testimony and procedure, it seemed to us that the weaknesses in the account Prof. Hill set out were not dispelled and sufficient additional support for her position did not materialize. … The lone voice accusing Judge in that hearing room remained Anita Hill’s. Her accusations, in our view, did not have to be overwhelmingly demonstrated in order to be convincing. But even under this fairly loose standard by which we ourselves were judging the proceedings, they came up short.