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Former Vice President Joe Biden may have apologized for how he handled the 1991 Senate testimony against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas but according to Anita Hill it’s “not enough.” She said he failed to “show leadership on this issue on behalf of women’s equality.”
He said, ‘I am sorry if she felt she didn’t get a fair hearing.’ That’s sort of an ‘I’m sorry if you were offended,’” Hill said in a Washington Post interview that was published on Wednesday. In the interview, she also compared her time in the spotlight to the unfairness that still faces women who face sexual harassment.
Biden chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing concerning Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination and was asked this month about his criticized handling of Hill’s testimony that she was sexually harassed by Thomas when they were working together.
Her testimony led to her credibility being attacked and Thomas was confirmed to the court.
“Let’s get something straight here: I believed Anita Hill. I voted against Clarence Thomas,” Biden said before adding, “I am so sorry that she had to go through what she went through.”
“The only issue in the Anita Hill case was whether or not there could be information submitted in a record without a name attached to it, anonymously accusing someone of something,” he went on to say, speaking about the criticism over the fact that other women were not allowed to testify against Thomas.
Hill says that Biden’s apology omits “his role in what happened.”
“He also doesn’t understand that it wasn’t just that I felt it was not fair,” Hill said. “It was that women were looking to the Senate Judiciary Committee and his leadership to really open the way to have these kinds of hearings. They should have been using best practices to show leadership on this issue on behalf of women’s equality. And they did just the opposite.”
She said women who report workplace sexual harassment are still forced into “a process where you know they’re not going to be treated fairly.”
“You cannot just bring people forward into a process where you know they’re not going to be treated fairly. That’s not being heard,” Hill added. “That’s something that we are struggling with right now. Women are coming in to make a complaint, and the process is unfair and employers are saying, ‘Well, we have a process.’ Well, that’s not enough.”