In an instructive display of grace and decency, Anita Hill has announced that she’ll be voting for Joe Biden this fall, despite the fact that he’s still never formally apologized for the way he treated her during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991.
In an interview with CNN’s Gloria Borger, Hill seemingly acknowledged the political realities of the moment, saying that although Biden might not be a perfect candidate for women, he’s still the best candidate to help further her work on issues of sexual harassment, gender violence and gender discrimination.
“Notwithstanding all of his limitations in the past, and the mistakes that he made in the past, notwithstanding those — at this point, between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I think Joe Biden is the person who should be elected in November,” Hill said. “Its more about the survivors of gender violence. That’s really what it’s about.”
“My commitment is to finding solutions, and I am more than willing to work with him,” she added.
Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Hill testified that Thomas had sexually harassed her in 1991, has taken criticism over his handling of those hearings during his campaign for the White House, and has also publicly lamented not being able to “get [Hill] the kind of hearing she deserved.”
“We knew a lot less about the extent of harassment back then, over 30 years ago,” Biden told CNN in 2019, adding that Hill, “paid a terrible price. She was abused for the hearing. ... Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something.”
Despite her troubled history with Biden, Hill seems to have read the room and correctly surmised that another term under President Donald Trump’s administration would be potentially devastating for women.
“I want the next president to be somebody that I can go to and talk about the real issues that women, men, and non-binary people are experiencing with violence in this country, that’s directed to them because of their gender,” Hill told CNN.
Hill having to set aside her own personal pain settling for a mediocre, political alternative feels woefully typical, the exact type of thing Black women in America are often asked to do. That she, of all people, should have to graciously offer her endorsement to Biden–seemingly without his team believing it politically prudent to court her, apologize, and loudly and publicly rectify past wrongs, is just sad. May her poise be a lesson to us all.