MetroFocus: October 3, 2022

Encore: December 19, 2022

ANITA HILL ON THE FIGHT TO END GENDER VIOLENCE

In October 1991, Anita Hill faced down an all-male, all-white Senate Judiciary Committee—led by then-Senator Joe Biden—to testify that her former boss, Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas, had sexually harassed her.  It was a landmark moment in American history, and Anita Hill’s testimony inspired countless victims of gender violence to come forward with their own stories.  In her book,Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence,” now available in paperback, she describes how those personal stories inspired her to devote her life and career to activism.  Attorney and professor Anita Hill joins MetroFocus to tell us about her experience, the endemic nature of gender violence, and why she thinks Joe Biden’s apology years after her testimony didn’t go far enough.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, ANITA HILL AND THE 30 YEAR JOURNEY TO END GENDER VIOLENCE.

HOW THE CLARENCE THOMAS HEARINGS CHANGED HILL'S LIFE AND THE CONVERSATION ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

HER ONGOING MISSION TO MAKE THESE PRIORITY EVERYONE, AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

IT'S BEEN MORE THAN 30 YEAR SINCE ANITA HILL TESTIFIED ABOUT BEING HARASSED BY HER BOSS.

HER TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF AN ALL-MALE PANEL, INCLUDING THEN SENATOR JOE BIDEN, GRIPPED THE NATION AND SPARKED INTENSE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT SEX AND POWER AND RACE.

FOR MANY AMERICANS, THE HEARINGS MARKED THEIR INTRODUCTION INTO THE CONCEPT OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

IN HER BOOK, TITLED 'BELIEVING, OUR 30-YEAR JOURNEY TO END GENDER VIOLENCE', ANITA HILL -- A LIFE LONG QUEST TO UNDERSTAND AND HOPEFULLY PUT AN END TO GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN OUR SOCIETY, AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE HER JOIN US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE BOOK AND HER LIFE.

PROFESSOR ANITA HILL, PROFESSOR OF GENDER STUDIES AT BRANDIESS UNIVERSITY.

PLEASURE TO BE HERE AND SPEAK WITH YOU TODAY.

LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION I OFTEN ASK AUTHORS FOCUSING ON SOCIAL ISSUES, AND THAT IS WHY THIS PARTICULAR BOOK, AND WHY AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME?

WELL, IT'S BECAUSE GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IS SO PRESENT.

IT'S SEEMINGLY EVER PRESENT.

IT'S BEEN WITH US THROUGHOUT HISTORY AND IT CONTINUES TODAY.

WE CONTINUE TO READ HEADLINES ABOUT PROBLEMS THAT ARE HAPPENING THE OUR SOCIETY.

WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE HEARINGS OF 1991, VERY PUBLIC HEARINGS IN 2018 WITH DR. CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD TESTIFYING AT THE KAVANAUGH CONFIRMATION HEARING.

WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE ME TOO MOVEMENT, YET THE PROBLEM EXISTS.

AND I THINK WE ARE JUST NOW GETTING TO UNDERSTAND.

YOU KNOW, THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO LOOK AT IT.

ONE, WE ARE JUST BEGINNING A CONVERSATION, A PUBLIC CONVERSATION THAT IS LONG OVERDUE, BUT I WROTE 'BELIEVING' BECAUSE WE ARE STILL EXPERIENCING THE PROBLEM.

AND I WROTE BELIEVING SO THAT WE HAD A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE PROBLEM WAS.

BUT ALSO AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOW WE CAN BEGIN TO ACTUALLY SOLVE IT.

LET ME ASK YOU SOME -- GET INTO SOME SPECIFICS ABOUT THE BOOK, AND I SHOULD SAY IT'S A JOB EVOKETIVE, INFORMING.

TROUBLING BECAUSE YOU TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES AND HOW THEY'RE PERPETUATED THROUGHOUT GENERATIONS.

LET ME GET TO THE BOOK INTERVIEWS.

THIS IS NOT A BOOK THAT'S ABOUT ANITA HILL, BUT IT'S WRITTEN BY ANITA HILL, AND IT HAS YOUR PERSPECTIVES, OBVIOUSLY, THAT INFORM IT ALL.

GOING BACK TO 1991 AND THE HEARINGS, AND YOU TALK ABOUT THIS IN THE BOOK, AND I THINK IT'S WORTH HAVING A CONVERSATION HERE -- DID YOU ANTICIPATE BEFORE THE HEARINGS THAT YOUR LIFE WAS GOING TO BE AS AN ADVOCATE, A CHAMPION FOR FIGHTING GENDER VIOLENCE?

OR DID YOUR LIFE PIVOT AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THOSE HEARINGS?

MY LIFE ABSOLUTELY DID PIVOT.

IT DIDN'T PIVOT IMMEDIATELY IN SOME WAYS.

I WENT BACK AFTER TESTIFYING IN 1991 IN, OCTOBER OF 1991, AND I WENT BACK TO MY REGULAR DAY JOB OF TEACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA LAW SCHOOL.

I WAS RELISHING THE FACT OF BEING ABLE, OF HAVING A JOB TO GO BACK TO THAT I LOVED, WITH SOME AMAZING STUDENTS, SOME OF WHOM I'M STILL IN TOUCH WITH.

BUT AFTER A YEAR OR SO OF HEARING FROM SO MANY PEOPLE WHO, YOU KNOW, WERE JUST UNDERSTANDING THEIR OWN SITUATIONS, OR BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND OR MAYBE HADN'T -- COULDN'T COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN RELATIONSHIPS TO GENDER VIOLENCE, COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THE LAW DIDN'T ADDRESS THEIR PROBLEMS, WHY IT WAS SO DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO BE HEARD WHEN THEY COMPLAINED ABOUT THEIR PROBLEMS, THAT I REALIZED THAT I NEEDED TO STEP OUT OF THE CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE AND REALLY LOOK AT LAW IN TERMS OF HOW IT AFFECTED THE LIVES OF PEOPLE.

AND I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAD A REALLY UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE TO OFFER, HAVING EXPERIENCED HARASSMENT, BUT ALSO HAVING EXPERIENCED THE RESISTANCE TO IT.

AND SO THAT REALLY GAVE ME THE SENSE THAT I DID NEED TO STEP UP, THAT I DID NEED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I HAD PLANNED WITH MY LIFE AND MY CAREER AND THAT I NEEDED TO BE -- HAVE MORE OF A PUBLIC PRESENCE.

LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT SOME OF THE WORDS IN THE TITLE.

TITLES ARE IMPORTANT.

YOU'VE WRITTEN A NUMBER OF BOOKS.

I'VE WRITTEN THREE, AND I'VE ALWAYS FOUND THAT SELECTING THE TITLE CAN BE ONE OF THE MORE DIFFICULT CHORES IN WRITING A BOOK.

YOU USE THE TERM GENDER, A MUCH MORE EXPANSIVE TERM, THAN OTHERS YOU COULD HAVE USED.

WHY?

I USE THE TERM GENDER BECAUSE I BELIEVE WHAT WE ARE TEADEALIN WITH IS AN EXPANSIVE PROBLEM.

BUT IT HAS CONNECTIONS WITH GENDER.

I WANTED PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A -- THE PROBLEMS THAT I DESCRIBE IN THE BOOK ARE RELATED TO GENDER, BUT THEY'RE NOT LIMITED TO THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN, THAT THE ABUSES THAT I TALK ABOUT HAPPEN TO A PERSON BECAUSE OF THEIR GENDER OR THE WAY THEY IDENTIFY, AND MAYBE IN SOME CASES THEIR SEXUAL IDENTITY, AS WELL AS THEIR GENDER IDENTITY.

BUT THAT -- AND THAT WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO HAVE THESE EXPERIENCES, BUT THAT GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IMPACTS MEN AS WELL, AND THEY EXPERIENCE IT THROUGH -- IN THEIR LIVES.

I WAS STRUCK BY -- YOU MENTIONED DURING THAT YEAR OR SO YOU WENT BACK TO TEACHING AND MENTIONED THE BOOKS FROM DIFFERENT PEOPLE YOU HEARD FROM, AND YOU TALKED ABOUT ONE WHERE YOU PICKED UP THE PHONE, TOOK A CALL, WEREN'T SURE WHY, A GRUFF VOICE ON THE OTHER END, CLEARLY A MALE VOICE, AND RATHER THAN ATTACKING YOU, FOR -- AS MANY PEOPLE DID -- FOR YOUR TESTIMONY, SEEMED TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE SAYING NOW, TO TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT THEIR OWN PROBLEMS, AND THEN THE RESISTANCE THAT HE MET.

THIS WAS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE HEARINGS.

THIS WAS JUST WITHIN DAYS, AND I WAS VERY RAW, HAVING GONE THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE OF TESTIFYING AND THEN THE OTHER KIND OF ASSAULTS THAT I WENT THROUGH DURING AND AFTER THE HEARING.

BUT I ALSO FELT ONE OF THE REASONS THAT I CONTINUED WITH THE CONVERSATION WAS THAT I FELT THAT I WAS DEALING WITH SOMEONE OR SPEAKING WITH SOMEONE WHO ALSO WAS STILL REALLY RAW.

THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END OF THE CALL -- AND I NEVER -- I DON'T RECALL HIS NAME, BUT I RECALL THE CONVERSATION SO WELL -- HAD BEEN AN INCEST SURVIVOR.

AS A CHILD, HE WAS ABUSED BY A RELATIVE, A FAMILY MEMBER, AND ATTEMPTED TO TELL HIS FAMILY ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON, BUT THE FAMILY REFUSED TO HEAR.

[ INAUDIBLE ] BEHAVIOR AND WHAT HE SAID WAS WATCHING THE HEARING, EVEN THOUGH I WAS WALKING ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND HE WAS TALKING ABOUT INCEST, WATCHING THE HEARING REMINDED HIM OF WHAT HE HAD EXPERIENCED WITH HIS FAMILY.

AND IT WAS THAT MOMENT WHEN I STARTED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT I WENT THROUGH WAS CONNECTED WITH WHAT SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE HAVE EXPERIENCED IN DIFFERENT WAYS, IN DIFFERENT FORMS OF THEIR BEHAVIOR.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS DETERMINED TO DO IN WRITING 'BELIEVING' WAS TO MAKE SURE THAT I DIDN'T JUST TALK ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE OR JUST TALK ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT, BECAUSE I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE THE WHOLE OF THE PROBLEM OF GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AND REALLY -- AND REALIZE THE INTERRELATEDNESS OF WHERE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE, INCEST, INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE, FAMILY VIOLENCE, THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT A BIGGER AND A RELATED PROBLEM THAT WE AS A SOCIETY, IF WE THINK ABOUT IT, SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THEY KNOW -- EVERYBODY KNOWS SOMEONE WHO HAS EXPERIENCED ONE OR THE OTHER OR MANY OF THESE BEHAVIORS.

THAT'S AN INTERESTING POINT.

LET ME FOCUS ON THAT AGAIN.

YOU STRESS THE FACT THAT THE -- CERTAINLY THE INDIVIDUALS ARE IMPACTED, INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY THIS, AND YOU MAKE A POINT, AS YOU SAY, MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN.

YOU ALSO MAKE THE POINT THAT THERE'S A BROADER IMPACT.

LET'S USE THE TERM EXPANSEIIVE AGAIN.

YOU TALK ABOUT POLITICAL CHANGE, ECONOMIC GROWTH.

HOW CAN ALL OF THOSE WHY ARE ALL OF THOSE INTERWOVEN, SO IT'S MORE THAN JUST -- I'M TRYING TO MINIMIZE IT ALL, THE IMPACT ON AN INDIVIDUAL, IT'S MUCH BROADER.

THAT'S WHEN WE START TO MEAN BY A PROBLEM THAT'S SOCIETAL VERSUS AN INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM, THAT WHEN -- SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WE'LL TAKE THE ISSUE OF INCEST.

THE FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS THROUGHOUT THIS PERSON'S -- THIS CALLER'S FAMILY, WERE ALL IMPACTED IN ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.

HE WAS AT ODDS WITH HIS FAMILY.

AND THAT, THE RELATIONSHIP THAT ONE COULD HAVE, THE SUPPORT THAT ONE HOPES TO GET REALLY HAD BEEN DESTROYED BY THIS BEHAVIOR.

THIS BEHAVIOR OR THE INCEST THAT HE EXPERIENCED, HAD AN IMPACT ON HIM PSYCHOLOGICALLY, AND THEREFORE IT HAD, YOU KNOW -- YOU COULD PREDICT THAT I WOULD IMPACT HIS ABILITY TO FORM OTHER RELATIONSHIPS IN THE FUTURE, COULD IMPACT YOUR HEALTH, WE KNOW THAT RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT HAS AN IMPACT ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PHYSICAL WELL BEING OF THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE IT.

WE KNOW THAT THAT CAN IMPACT, AS I SAY, LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS, SHORT-TERM RELATIONSHIP, WORK RELATIONSHIPS.

ONE'S ABILITY TO FEEL THAT THEY CAN EFFECTIVELY CHANGE THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES BECAUSE THEY REALIZE THAT PERHAPS IN THE PAST KNOW ONE HAS BEEN ABLE TO HELP THEM DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM.

SO, THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF WAYS THAT IT IMPACTS PEOPLE.

BUT I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO UNDERSTAND -- WANT TO SORT OF -- OH, LET'S SAY DENY.

I'LL USE THE WORD DENY.

IS THAT THESE PROBLEMS GO BEYOND THE INDIVIDUAL.

THEY WANT TO -- THEY WANT TO SORT OF CONTAIN THE PROBLEM OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AND LOOK AT IT AS AN INDIVIDUAL PROBLEM.

AND I WANTED PEOPLE TO SEE IT AS A PUBLIC CONCERN.

AND ONE OF THE THINGS I'LL SAY IS THAT OVER THE LAST YEAR OR SO, I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THE BOOK.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS KEPT ME GOING IS THAT I'M SEEING THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE AS A SHARED ISSUE, A SHARED CONCERN.

AND I WRITE -- THE BOOK IS GOING TO BE RELEASED IN PAPER BACK, AND THERE'S A NEW PREFACE, AND I TALK ABOUT SOME OF THOSE WAYS THAT PEOPLE ARE OWNING AND TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY, WHETHER THEY'RE COMMUNITIES THAT ARE DOING SO OR INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE DOING SO OR -- IN ONE CASE, A GOVERNMENT OFFICE THAT IS TAKING ON THE PROBLEM AS A COMMUNITY PROBLEM, AS A SHARED PROBLEM.

SO, THAT'S ENCOURAGING.

BUT IT'S TAKING A WHILE FOR US TO GET TO THAT.

BECAUSE WE JUST -- YOU KNOW, WE TEND TO WANT TO DENY THE THINGS WE DON'T THINK WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE, EVEN THOUGH WE KNOW THEY'RE A PROBLEM.

RIGHT.

IT YOU USED -- AT SOME POINT IN TIME YOU USE THE TERM, EXPRESSION ABOUT IT'S HARD TO CHANGE WHAT WE EITHER CAN'T OR WON'T ACKNOWLEDGE.

OH, ABSOLUTELY.

AND WE'RE BEGINNING TO ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

AND WE'RE BEGINNING TO ACKNOWLEDGE NOT ONLY THE PROBLEM, BUT AN ACCOUNTABILITY THAT GOES BEYOND THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS DIRECTLY IMPACTED.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT I HAVE WITH THE SYSTEMS THAT ARE IN PLACE NOW IS THAT IT PUTS NEARLY ALL OF THE BURDEN OF CHANGING, OF CORRECTING A PROBLEM, ON THE PERSON WHO IS VICTIMIZED BY THE PROBLEM.

THE MOST VULNERABLE PERSON IS THE ONE WHO HAS THE BURDEN OF FIXING IT.

WE SAY, YOU HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED.

YOU FIX IT.

YOU LEAD ME IMMEDIATELY TO MY NEXT QUESTION TO YOU, WHICH WAS -- AND SOME PEOPLE MIGHT FIND THIS A BIT OF A PARADOX.

YOU TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE SO-CALLED SOLUTIONS, THE IDEA OF CONFRONTING THE THARASSER OR ABUSER, THE IDEA OF REPORTING AND GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS, HAVE ACTUALLY NOT WORKED.

WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT WAY?

NOT ONLY HAVE THEY NOT WORKED BUT THEY HAVE BEEN REVICTIMIZING IN MY CASES.

I MEAN, THING I THINK IT WAS ALL -- THINK BACK 30 YEARS AGO, AND I FELT IT MYSELF, BUT NOT ONLY DID I FEEL THAT THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PROCESS, REVICT REVICTIMIZING, WAS SO POORLY HANDLED IN TERMS OF THE ACCUSATIONS THAT WERE JUST PUT OUT AND MYTHS THAT WERE PROMOTED ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT, NOT ONLY DID I FEEL IT, BUT I STILL HEAR FROM PEOPLE TODAY WHO SAY THAT THEY FELT VICTIMIZED BY THE PROCESS, THAT THEY FELT THAT THEIR GOVERNMENT REALLY DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THEIR PROBLEMS, BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN HARASSED OR THEY HAD BEEN ABUSED.

AND SO, YES, YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT ONLY -- I'M NOT ONLY SAYING THAT THE PROCESSES AREN'T WORKING, BUT THEY'RE IN MANY WAYS CREATING EVEN MORE PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD THESE EXPERIENCES.

AND SO THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE NEED TO SQUARELY FACE.

AND I DON'T THINK WE HAVE COME TO TERMS WITH THAT COMPLETELY.

HOW OUR PROCESSES NEED TO BE REFORMS IN ORDER TO ACTUALLY GET DOWN TO WHERE WE NEED TO BE AND ACTUALLY CONFRONT THE PROBLEMS AND FIGURE OUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO SOLVE THEM.

I'M GOING TO GET TO THAT IN A SECOND, SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS.

ONE OR TWO THINGS IN TERM OF ISSUES AND PROBLEMS I WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

ONE YOU TALK ABOUT IS THERE'S AN INTERSECTION HERE, THAT THIS DOESN'T STAND ALONE, GENDER VIOLENCE.

A INTERSECTION WITH THINGS SUCH AS RACISM.

EXPLAIN YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT.

WELL, YOU KNOW, AT THE HEART OF ALL OF THESE ABUSES IS VULNERABILITY.

YOU KNOW, THE CALLER I HAD WAS VULNERABLE BECAUSE OF HIS AGE.

I WAS VULNERABLE, I BELIEVE, BECAUSE OF BOTH MY AGE -- MY AGE -- WELL, THREE FACTORS AT THE TIME OF MY THARASSMENT.

VULNERABLE BECAUSE OF MY AGE, BECAUSE OF MY GENDER, AND BECAUSE OF MY RACE.

THOSE THINGS COMBINED HISTORICALLY -- I TALK ABOUT THE HISTORY IN THIS COUNTRY BUT -- BUT ALSO EVEN TODAY WHERE YOU CAN USE -- I MEAN, WHAT -- WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HARASSMENT, YOU KNOW, THE MYTH IS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING PURSUED ROMANTICALLY.

BUT THIS IS NOT A ROMANTIC PURSUIT.

IT IS ABUSE.

AND ABUSE COMES FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE MORE POWERFUL WHO CAN ABUSE OTHERS BECAUSE OF THEIR VULNERABILITY.

AND IT'S STILL IN THIS COUNTRY -- DESPITE ALL THE EQUAL PROTECTIONS THAT WE HAVE, THE LAWS THAT WE HAVE, RACE, GENDER, SEXUAL IDENTITY, ETHNICITY, IMMIGRATION STATUS.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS CAN COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A VULNERABILITY THAT ALLOWS HARASSMENT TO OCCUR, THAT ALLOWS ABUSE TO OCCUR, AND IN PART BECAUSE WE -- THE PERSON IN POWER, THE PERSON WHO IS DOING THE ABUSE DOES NOT REALLY BELIEVE THAT ANYTHING WILL HAPPEN TO THEM.

BECAUSE OF THEIR ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR.

THEIR BEHAVIOR AND WHAT THEY'VE SEEN HISTORICALLY --

WELL, AND IT'S TRUE.

IN MANY CASES THEY HAVE BEEN CORRECT.

WELL THE REALITY IS THEY'RE BASING IT UPON WHAT HAS NOT HAPPENED IN THE PAST IN TERMS OF -- AND YOU HAVE A WHOLE SECTION ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE BOOK.

THERE'S SO MUCH WE COULD TALK ABOUT.

AS I SAID, IT'S JUST THE BOOK IS SUCH A WONDERFUL LOOK AT THESE ISSUES.

THERE'S SO MUCH IN IT.

YOU DO TOUCH ON, AND I MENTIONED THE FACT THAT NOW PRESIDENT, THEN SENATOR JOE BIDEN PRESIDED OVER THIS HEARING AND YOU TALK ABOUT IN THE BOOK EVENTUALLY HIS APOLOGY TO YOU.

JUST GIVE US -- I WANT TO -- OUR VIEWERS TO GO AND READ THAT ENTIRE CHAPTER, BUT GIVE US A SYNOPSIS OF HOW THAT PLAYED OUT AND WHEN.

IN THE DAYS BEFORE PRESIDENT BIDEN WAS GOING TO ANNOUNCE HIS CANDIDACY FOR THE PRESIDENCY, I GOT A TELEPHONE CALL.

I WAS ON THE ROAD.

I WAS IN TEXAS.

AND I REMEMBER VERY CLEARLY GETTING THE CALL.

I MEAN, I HAD SORT OF KNOWN THAT IT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN.

BUT WHEN IT HAPPENED I WAS STILL A LITTLE BIT, YOU KNOW, ANXIOUS, LET'S SAY, ABOUT WHAT THE CONVERSATION WOULD BE.

AND I DO THINK THAT -- AND I SAY IN THE BOOK, THAT WORDS OF APOLOGY CAME, BUT IT WAS A PERSONAL APOLOGY TO ME, AND BY -- WELL, ALMOST 30 YEARS AFTER THE FACT, AFTER THE HEARING, WHAT I REALIZED WAS THAT THE APOLOGY SHOULD NOT JUST BE DIRECTED TO ME FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO ME.

BUT THE APOLOGY NEEDED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT HAD HAPPENED TO ME WAS REALLY A REFLECTION ON THE FAILURES OF OUR SOCIETY SO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES, FOR EVERYONE AND FOR ANYONE, THAT I COULD HAVE BEEN ANY NUMBER OF PEOPLE SITTING IN THAT CHAIR.

AND THE REASON THAT AKI KNOW TH IS BECAUSE I HAD HEARD FROM PEOPLE WHO WOULD BE SITTING IN A CHAIR NOT NECESSARILY AT THE THOMAS HEARINGS, BUT, YOU KNOW, AT ANY KIND OF HEARING THAT THEY HAD HOPED WOULD BRING SOME RESOLUTION ONLY TO FIND THAT THE HEARING WAS FLAWED AND THAT MORE PAIN WAS CAUSED.

SO, I -- I WANTED MORE BAS BASICALLY.

I WANTED TO NOW-PRESIDENT BIDEN REALLY UNDERSTOOD THE IMPACT OF THAT 1991 HEARING.

AND WAS WILLING TO USE THE STRENGTH, THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENCY, IF HE ATTAINED IT -- AND HE DID -- TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE, BECAUSE IT IS AN ISSUE THAT'S AFFECTING THE WHOLE COUNTRY.

IT AFFECTS OUR GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS.

IT IMPACTED THE SUPREME COURT.

OUR MILITARY'S IMPACTED BY IT.

AND ALL OF THOSE THINGS WERE ON MY MIND AND HOW TO CONVEY THAT IN THIS CONVERSATION I WAS VERY ANXIOUS ABOUT.

I DON'T KNOW THAT I DID A VERY GOOD JOB.

IN ORDER FOR ME TO BE SATISFIED.

YOU DESCRIBE THIS AS AN INVISIBLE PANDEMIC AS FAR AS USING THE TERM EXPANSIVENESS HERE.

I'VE GOT A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT.

IN THE BOOK YOU DO CHAPTERS -- IF ONE OF OUR VIEWERS IS WATCHING THIS CONVERSATION, THEY SAY OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE, SOMETHING DRAMATIC NEEDS TO BE DONE.

I'M NOT A LEGISLATOR, I'M NOT A SOCIAL SCIENTIST, I'M NOT A POLICYMAKER, WHAT COULD I POSSIBLY DO TO HELP?

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?

THERE IS A ROLE FOR POLICYMAKERS AND LEGISLATORS AND LEADERS OF ALL KINDS OF INSTITUTIONS.

HOWEVER, THAT IS NOT WHERE ACCOUNTABILITY BEGINS AND ENDS.

ACCOUNTABILITY IS SOMETHING THAT WE ALL SHARE.

AND WE COULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE SPACES WE EXIST IN.

WE'VE SEEN SOME GREAT EXAMPLES OF THAT.

WE'VE SEEN EMPLOYEES WALK OUT OF ORGANIZATIONS WHERE THEY KNOW HARASSMENT HAS OCCURRED, AND THEY WANT TO PROTEST IT, AND WE'VE SEEN THAT HAVE AN IMPACT ON THEIR WORKPLACE.

THEY'RE TAKING CONTROL.

WE'VE SEEN STUDENTS PROTESTING ISSUES IN THEIR SCHOOLS.

WE'VE SEEN NOW THE SOUTHERN BAPTISTS, WHO IT'S NOW BEING EXAMINES FOR ABUSES THAT MEMBERS ARE ACKNOWLEDGING HAS OCCURRED WITHIN THAT RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION.

SO EVERYONE CAN PLAY A ROLE.

YOU CAN EITHER BE SOMEONE WHO IS MAKING THE CHANGE, YOURSELF AS A LEADER OF YOUR ORGANIZATION, OR YOU CAN BE SOMEONE WHO IS ENGINEERING THE CHANGE BECAUSE YOU WANT YOUR ORGANIZATION, YOUR WORKPLACE, YOUR SCHOOL, YOUR RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION, TO DO BETTER.

OR YOUR COMMUNITY.

AND SO YOU NEED TO BE A VOICE.

YOU NEED TO BE AN ALLY TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE VICTIMIZED, AND YOU NEED TO BE A VOICE SPEAKING TO THE LEADERS TO SAY THAT THIS IS SOMETHING WE SHOULD NEVER TOLERATE.

I THINK YOUR LAST ANSWER REMINDS ME -- THERE'S SO MUCH MORE I'D LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT.

I SAW A QUOTE ONE TIME, PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT WAS ASKED BY A CITIZEN, WHAT I DO IN I'M NOT ANY OF THOSE THINGS.

I'M JUST A CITIZEN, AND HE SAID, YOU DO WHATEVER YOU CAN WITH WHATEVER YOU HAVE WHEREVER YOU ARE.

PERHAPS THAT'S A GOOD WAY TO SUM UP WHAT YOU SAID HERE.

IT'S POWERFUL.

IT MAKES YOU THINK, WHICH IS PERHAPS THE GREATEST POWER THAT YOU AS AN AUTHOR CAN HAVE AND PASS ON TO ALL OF US.

SO, PROFESSOR ANITA HILL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

IT'S A PRESSURE TALKING TO YOU.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO BEING WITH YOU DOWN THE ROAD.

YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CONVERSATION.

BYE.

BYE.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

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