Not your place, ma’am: Jill Biden says it’s time to move on from Anita Hill controversy

Jill Biden is under fire for saying it’s time to move on from Anita Hill controversy (Photo Credit: Getty/EEW)

Jill Biden is under fire for saying it’s time to move on from Anita Hill controversy (Photo Credit: Getty/EEW)

Article By Marie Hall // EEW Magazine // News & Politics

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he takes responsibility for the fact that Anita Hill was “not treated well” in 1991 when she accused then-Supreme Court-nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment while Biden led the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now Jill Biden, the wife of the top contender for the Democratic presidential nomination for 2020 is chiming in, asserting, it’s time to move on from the issue—a statement many are saying isn’t her place to make.

“I watched the hearings like most other Americans, and so I mean Joe said, as I did, we believed Anita Hill,” explained Biden in an interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin about her new book, Where The Light Enters.

She continued, “He voted against Clarence Thomas. And as he has said, I mean he's called Anita Hill, they've talked, they've spoken, and he said, you know, he feels badly. He apologized for the way the hearings were run. And so now it's kind of — it's time to move on.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Joe Biden holds up a  copy of the FBI report on Anita Hill during committee hearings as Biden  questions Hill about her allegations against Judge Clarence Thomas in  1991. (Bettmann Archive)

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Joe Biden holds up a copy of the FBI report on Anita Hill during committee hearings as Biden questions Hill about her allegations against Judge Clarence Thomas in 1991. (Bettmann Archive)

Move on? Just like that? Such an utterance by a woman who has earned two master's degrees and a doctoral degree isn’t very smart.

Her presidential hopeful husband did, in fact, reach out to law professor Anita Hill a few weeks before announcing his candidacy. According to New York Times journalist, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who interviewed Hill, “She made it very clear she was not satisfied with the conversation. She said that she can’t accept someone saying ‘I’m sorry for what happened to you without engaging in real change, and real accountability.”

The whole thing looked and felt disingenuous to Hill; who are we to say move on?

Anita Hill testifies during the Clarence Thomas harassment hearings in  Washington, Oct. 11, 1991. (New York Times file photo)

Anita Hill testifies during the Clarence Thomas harassment hearings in Washington, Oct. 11, 1991. (New York Times file photo)

Despite Joe Biden being a clear frontrunner, his role in the Thomas confirmation hearings remains a dark cloud hovering over his 2020 bid notes NPR. The lingering impact of Biden’s sins—the biggest being his failure to let corroborating witnesses appear before the committee who could have helped verify Hill's story—cannot be dismissed so easily.

When NPR asked Jill Biden, “Why did he wait until he was running for president to call her?” she said,“Well, I guess it was just not the right time maybe. So, he wanted to call her. I think he didn't know whether she would take his call, and he was so happy that he she did take his call, and they spoke. And I think he was, you know, I think they came to an agreement.”

From the online responses, it doesn’t appear that America is in agreement with Jill Biden’s move on commentary. Before that happens, her husband is going to have to figure out a way to climb over that big old “hill” standing in front of him.

And yes. Pun totally intended.