History Repeats Itself: Christine Blasey Ford set to testify against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Graphic: Angela Scott

On September 27, 2018, Christine Blasey Ford will testify against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, alleging that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in the 1980s. There is also a second allegation against Kavanaugh that was printed in The New Yorker.

In 1991, University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill achieved national recognition, when, in a situation that mirrors our own current events in 2018. Hill testified before congress that she was sexually harassed by her supervisor at the department of education, soon to be Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Five years later, in 1996, Hill gave a workshop on racial justice at LBCC. Commuter Reporter Josh Burk interviewed several LBCC students who went to Hill’s panel about what they thought about the allegations made previously in 1991.

This article contains mentions of sensitive topics including sexual assault.

Graphic: Angela Scott

The following is a story originally printed in The Commuter on Wednesday March 6, 1996 by Josh Burk:

Recently Anita Hill, a University of Oklahoma law professor, visited LBCC and OSU. Hill was the head speaker at a workshop on sexual harassment and held a discussion with students about race and law.

Hill became popular, or not so popular, back in 1991 when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court. At the hearings, Hill made allegations that Thomas had sexually harassed her while she was working for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Her statements sparked a nationwide interest in what sexual harassment really was. Many people thought that she was truthful in her claims, and still do, but on the other side, many people believed that she lied to become famous.

A few LBCC students commented on why they believe in Hill, and how she has played a part in their lives.

Robbie Kenwirt said, “Anita Hill was justified in what she did. I believe in what she said, and I believe that a man shouldn’t think that he can take advantage of a woman just because of his position in the workplace.”

“Just because Clarence Thomas was her boss doesn’t mean that he could harass her. No women should be in that position,” said Kelly Jones. “Anita Hill was one of the first women that I saw get up in front of the nation and tell the truth like she did. I appreciate her strength and honesty.”

Karen Swenson has very strong emotions toward Hill. “I was working in a restaurant that was run and staffed primarily by men. It was a bad atmosphere for women, that’s probably why not many worked there. I was the butt of most of the jokes because I was a woman, and I was constantly asked out by my fellow workers. When I talked to my boss, a male, he told me that I was making things up and if I wanted to keep my job then needed to lighten up. Soon after this I was fired. If it wouldn’t have been for what Anita Hill did, I would have just taken this lying down, but after seeing Anita I realized that this type of treatment isn’t right. I now am the manager of the restaurant and I owe it to Anita Hill.”

Jessie McRae said, “I am glad to see that Anita Hill is coming to LBCC. A friend of mine heard her speak a couple of months ago. Since then I have wanted to hear her for myself. I think that she is a real inspiration.”

Some people have different views on Hill’s character. There are a lot of people who don’t like Hill and don’t wish to see the school pay more than $3,750 for her to lecture here.

“There is absolutely no reason why we should be spending thousands of dollars for Anita Hill to come here and speak. It is a waste of money. I wouldn’t go listen to her if she paid us,” said Mitch Rosen. “The money that was spent could have been used much more effectively.”

Eric Stevens said, “I am going to listen to her speak on Tuesday but only because my girlfriend is making me go with her. I wouldn’t go watch her if I had a choice. My girlfriend thinks she is great, so that means I get to waste a couple of hours of my day to listen to her.”

Clipping taken from Volume 26, Edition 3 of The Commuter. (Courtesy: LBCC Library Archive.)

To view original article and more visit libarchive.linnbenton.edu

Story By Millicent Durand

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