A Message to Ginni Thomas: Talk to Your Husband

10/22/2010 01:45 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Alison Rose Levy Health, food and environmental journalist; radio host, Progressive Radio Network

Was Ginni Thomas call to Anita Hill motivated by political opportunism to protect her husband? Doubtful, because this was the dumbest, least strategic move she could have possibly made. No advisor would have encouraged her to do the dumb thing that women do when they believe that their man is lying.

Why is Mrs. Thomas's doubting her husband worth our attention? Because if perchance Clarence Thomas perjured himself to get on the court that gave corporations the status of people, we need to know about it.Nineteen years ago, during Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearings, the legal and political system may have failed to uncover what really happened between Clarence Thomas and Anita Hall. But today, anyone with a drop of emotional intelligence or a B.S. detector has some new evidence to consider.

This week, the justice's better half, Ginni Thomas decided to break nineteen years of silence by leaving a phone message for Anita Hill, demanding that Anita Hill apologize to her so that "we can get past this."

Although Mrs. Thomas' Tea Party confederates get a free license to distract and manipulate the public with sexuality, gross incompetence, and fear, those of us with basic common sense are supposed to stifle our honest perceptions, because it would be "unfair" or too "subjective" to call out the Thomas' behavior without a search warrant, a lie detector test, or physical proof.

Yet you don't need a compendium of country western songs to decipher the psychological meaning of Mrs. Thomas' surprising phone call. Unintentionally, her message to Anita Hill broadcast hidden feelings about her husband that she may not want to admit to herself.

If Ginni Thomas truly believed her husband's long ago denial of sexual improprieties towards Anita Hill, why would she feel any need to demand an apology now?

We don't know what a lie detector test (which Thomas refused to take) would have revealed back then. But on a gut level, we all know that Ginni Thomas would not have felt the need to make that phone call, if she herself believed that Clarence Thomas was telling the truth.

If her husband did indeed lie to her, and to us, to get his court seat, there's true cause for concern-- and not just about sexual impropriety. In the court, Clarence Thomas has played an ongoing role in undermining the honesty, ethical conduct, and integrity of government.

Thomas' confirmation also marked the beginning of the deeply polarized "black and white" phase in American political life, with two parties fighting for power without regard for much else. Moreover, as the Justice continues to make decisions, his wife accepts money from unknown sources to oppose current legislation, that may one day be argued before the Court.

It could be argued that the failure to come to grips with the Clarence Thomas- Anita Hill- Ginni Thomas debacle was a turning point in the corruption of our public officials, our elections, and our Court, leading to the attack on democracy we see today.

It would be a sign of both societal health and mental health to revisit the entire episode and determine what really happened. Besides, we've witnessed a clear example of how living in denial and tolerating misconduct can make a person nuts.

Seen in the press this week, wearing a Styrofoam crown modeled on the one worn by the iconic symbol of America's promise, the Statue of Liberty, Ginni Thomas sadly exemplifies what has happened to us, and to the U.S.

The more lies we tolerate, the more angry and confused we become.

Perpetrators and corrupt politicians have something in common: To perpetrate, they need us to tolerate their lies and misconduct, no matter how obvious.

But that doesn't mean we should. Today Americans are far less naive than we were nineteen years ago. The Bush years, which Thomas and the Court gave us, make it easier to believe that a Supreme Court Justice may have lied about sexual misconduct to get his seat.

In the upcoming elections we must vote for those who will recover the court that Thomas and his buddies have corrupted. We should no longer tolerate people like Ginni Thomas who use their influence and their anger, and misdirect it. Neither Anita Hill nor Barack Obama is the real target of Ginni Thomas' rage.

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