Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past I found myself obsessively rehearsing a voicemail message. The intended recipient was a certain pot-bellied, never-was-been temporary chair of the department in which my girlfriend was teaching. Giddy with his newly-procured power, the man quickly morphed into an art-school MacBeth, and colleagues (in his mind) abruptly morphed into mortal enemies as he plotted to completely remake his department, continuity and students be damned. There was even a Mrs. MacBeth goading him on in order to enhance her own position at the same college. But I digress...
When he decided not only to oust my girlfriend but to slander her as well by making completely unfounded and false accusations designed to prevent her teaching in ANY department at the college, despite her off-the-charts stellar teaching evaluations, I was beside myself. Never mind that we were going through a gut-wrenching, if mostly amicable, break-up. I felt I had to do something to challenge this injustice. I was outraged. So I hatched a plan to organize a student protest as well as leave the aforementioned voicemail.
That voicemail (and the protest) never happened. I thought better of it.
Virginia 'Ginni' Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has had 19 years to think better of it. Yet on October 9 of this year she left the following message on Anita Hill's campus voicemail at Brandeis University where she is a professor of social policy, law and women's studies (Hill initially thought the message was a prank and reported it to campus security who referred it to the FBI):
"Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day."
Clarence and Virginia Thomas married in 1987, a few years after he allegedly sexually harassed Hill.
What Hill did, in 1991, was to accuse then-nominee Thomas of sexually harassing her when they worked together in the 1980s at the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"He spoke about acts he had seen