Exclusive - Anita Hill Extended Interview Pt. 2

  • Aired:  03/13/14
  •  | Views: 42,986

Anita Hill recalls finding the courage to testify against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas regarding workplace sexual harassment. (6:59)

>> Jon: WE'RE BACK HERETALKING TO ANITA HILL.

THERE IS A DOCUMENTARY ABOUTTHE FAMOUS TESTIMONY THAT YOU

GAVE IN THE SENATE IN 1991.

I WANTED TO ASK YOU, YOU KNOW,POLITICS IS SO VENOMOUS AT THIS

POINT. BACK THEN, THOUGH,INTERNET DOESN'T EXIST. WE DON'THAVE

THINGS DON'T GOOD VIRAL IN THEMANNER THAT THEY GO TODAY.

YOU BECOME A SYMBOL OF PARTISANWARFARE.

PEOPLE FORGET YOU WERESUBPOENAED.

>> I WAS SUBPOENAED AND ONE OFTHE THINGS I THINK PEOPLE WILL

BE SURPRISED BY WHEN THEY WATCHTHIS, THIS FILM IS THAT YOU

THINK IT'S ALL PARTISAN. WELL IT

WASN'T AS THOUGH THE DEMOCRATSWERE ANY MORE EQUIPPED TO DEAL

WITH THIS ISSUE THAN THEREPUBLICANS WERE.

IT WASN'T REALLY JUST DEMOCRATVERSUS REPUBLICAN BATTLE.

IT WAS REALLY THE SENATESEEMINGLY BEING CLUELESS.

I DON'T KNOW HOW -- IT WASN'TEVER MY INTENTION TO BECOME A

SYMBOL OF ANYTHING.

I WAS SUBPOENAED.

I WAS APPROACHED BY THE SENATECOMMITTEE INITIALLY, "DO YOU

HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS?" IWAS HESITANT TO GO FORWARD

BECAUSE AS WE KNOW PROCESSESDON'T ALWAYS WORK THE WAY THEY

ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK.

>> Jon: IN THE SENATE?

[LAUGHTER]>> YEAH, IN THE SENATE.

[LAUGHTER]YES.

I KNEW THE PROCESS PROBABLYWASN'T GOING THE WAY I THOUGHT

IN MY LAW PROFESSOR WORLD ITWOULD GO AND I TRIED TO MANAGE

THAT BUT I COULDN'T.

AT SOME POINT I JUST REALIZEDTHAT LOOK YOU HAVE THIS

INFORMATION IT'S RELEVANT TO THEPROCESS YOU HAVE TO COME

FORWARD.

YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF BUT YOUOWE IT TO THE INTEGRITY OF THE

COURT AND THE PROFESSION THATYOU ARE PART OF.

SO, YES, I WAS SUBPOENAED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE.

EVEN IN THE FILM I THINK DEACONSAYS WELL, YOU SHOULDN'T CALL UP

ANONYMOUSLY AND SAY I WANT TOCOMPLAIN.

WELL, IT WAS COMPLETELYMISREPRESENTED BECAUSE THEYCALLED ME.

THERE WERE SO MANY THINGS THATWENT ON THE DYNAMICS THAT WENT

ON WHEN YOU WATCH THE FILM YOUWILL SEE.

WHAT I'M HEARING IS -- I'MWONDERING AND WILL TEST TO SEE

ARE THESE THINGS GOING ON INPROCESSES THAT ARE NOW BEING

ENGAGED IN TO TRY TO UNDERSTANDSEXUAL HARASSMENT?

YOU KNOW WE'VE GOT COMPLAINTSBEING FILED NOW.

AND ARE WOMEN AND MEN WHO AREFILING

COMPLAINTS GOING THROUGH THISSAME KIND OF PROCESS THAT WE HAD

22 YEARS AGO?

I HOPE NOT.

>> Jon: I'M SURE IN SOMERESPECTS LOOK COMING FORWARD

BRINGS A LIGHT TO IT.

IT HELPS EVOLVE A SITUATION.

IT BRINGS ATTENTION ANDEDUCATION BUT I DON'T DOUBT THAT

PEOPLE WATCHED WHAT YOU WENTTHROUGH AND THE VENOM THAT CAME

YOUR WAY FOR DOING WHAT WAS YOURLEGAL DUTY TO DO AND THINK TO

THEMSELVES, YOU KNOW WHAT?

I'M GOING TO -- I'M JUST GOINGTO SUFFER IN SILENCE BECAUSE

IT'S NOT WORTH IT TO ME.

AND THAT IS THE DAMAGE THAT ITHINK THAT THEY DO IN THE

LONGHAUL WHEN THEY PUTSOMEBODY THROUGH A PROCESS ALONGTHOSE LINES.

>> I THINK THEY DO A DAMAGE -- ACLEAR PUBLIC DISSERVICE WHEN

YOU GIVE OUT MISINFORMATION.

>> Jon: SURE.

>> INTERESTINGLY THAT WAS REALLYWHAT WE ALL FEARED.

WE FEARED THAT OH, GOSH WE SEEWHAT HAPPENED TO ANITA HILL.

NOBODY ELSE WAS GOING TO COMEFORWARD AND IRONICLY PEOPLE EVEN

BLAMED ME FOR COMING FORWARDSAYING YOU SET WOMEN BACK BY

COMING FORWARD.

AND INTERESTING, WITHIN TWO ORTHREE YEARS OF THE HEARING

THE NUMBER OF COMPLAINTS, SEXUALHARASSMENT COMPLAINTS FILED BY

WOMEN DOUBLED.

IT HAD JUST THE OPPOSITE EFFECT.

WE JUST HAD ENOUGH.

WOMEN HAD HAD ENOUGH.

IT WASN'T THAT -- THEY SAID,LOOK, WE'VE HAD ENOUGH.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANDYES, IT'S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT

BUT IT'S NOT THE UNKNOWN THATWAS SORT OF HELD OUT THERE

BEFORE.

THEY WERE WILLING TO RISK IT.

AND SOME WERE SUCCESSFUL ANDSOME HAVE NOT BEEN SO

SUCCESSFUL.

>> Jon: IT'S INTERESTINGBECAUSE YOU ALMOST NOW WATCH

THERE'S A WISFTFULNESS AMONGST ACERTAIN GENERATION AND GROUP OF

OLDER MEN WHO LOOK BACK ON ITAND THINK, YOU KNOW, IT'S

TERRIBLE THE FEMINIZATION, YOUCAN'T, I MEAN NOW YOU HAVE

TO THINK ABOUT THINGS WHENYOU TALK. YOU HAVE TO WORRY

ABOUT HOW WHAT YOU SAY MIGHT BEPERCEIVED OR

HOW UNCOMFORTABLE YOU MIGHT BEMAKING SOMEBODY AT AN OFFICE OR

A RESTAURANT.

IT'S THIS IDEA THAT THE LOSS OFABSOLUTE POWER IS AKIN TO

PERSECUTION.

>> WELL, AND YOU DO HEAR THAT IHAVE HEARD PEOPLE SAY, YOU KNOW,

LAMENT THE FACT THAT THEY NOWHAVE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY

SAY.

GOD FORBID.

>> Jon: YES.

>> IT IS A LOSS OF SOMETHING.

IT'S A LOSS OF SOMETHING THATTHEY FEEL THAT THEY HAVE THE

ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO DO, TO CONTROLPEOPLE AND TO KEEP PEOPLE IN

THEIR PLACE.

THROUGH LANGUAGE AND SEXDISCRIMINATION AND SEXISM AND,

YOU KNOW, SO WHAT -- WHAT ARE WEREALLY LOSING?

I THINK IN THE LONG RUN WHATWE'RE DOING, REALLY, WITH SEXUAL

HARASSMENT LAWS IS SAYING THATPEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE SHOULD

BE ABLE TO BE JUDGED ON THEMERITS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE.

IT'S A VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT.

BUT FOR ME IT'S NOT A LOSS ATALL.

>> Jon: FOR YOU, INRETROSPECT, IS THERE A PRIDE IN

THE KNOWING THAT WHEN YOU WALKEDIN THERE THAT DAY THERE WERE TWO

SENATORS WHO WERE WOMEN ANDTODAY THERE'S STILL NOT AS MANY

AS THERE SHOULD BE BUT THERE'S20.

>> THERE ARE 20 AND IT STARTEDIN 1992 IN THE 1992 ELECTION.

A YEAR AFTER.

THERE HAD BEEN CHANGED IN THELAW THAT ALLOW FOR WOMEN TO

FULLY RECOVER WHEN THEY PROVETHEIR CLAIMS OF DISCRIMINATION

AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

THERE'S BEEN CHANGES IN THEPUBLIC PERCEPTION BECAUSE WE'VE

NOT BEEN ABLE TO TELL WHAT THEEXPERIENCES HAVE BEEN LIKE AND

WHAT THE PERSONAL TOLL IS ONOURLIVES WHEN WE GO THROUGHIT. AND

THE PROFESSIONAL AND ECONOMICTOLL IS.

THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF CHANGESAND I JUST THINK WE CAN PUSH IT

A LITTLE BIT FORWARD FOR THENEXT GENERATION AND EVEN

IMAGINE A WORLD WHEREIT DOESN'T HAPPEN.

>> Jon: NO, I DON'T THINK I'DLIKE THAT.

[ LAUGHTER ]I REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY REASON

TO DO A PROGRAM.

[ LAUGHTER ]I'M JUST BACK TO BARTENDING.

>> THERE'S PLENTY OF OTHERSUBJECTS YOU CAN COVER TRUST ME.

>> Jon: THANK YOU SO MUCH FORBEING HERE.

ANITA OPENS INSELECT CITIES MARCH 21th.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

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