HBO's Confirmation Reminds Us of the Ongoing Fight for Equality

By, Christian Meade

The Anita Hill - Thomas Clarence hearings had all the trademarks of a case that would leave Americans divided on who to believe. As it turns out, the issues covered in Confirmation are just as hotly debated today.

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Anita Hill, then a law professor at Oklahoma, never wanted to be in the spotlight for the entire United States to see, but that’s what ensued when she was approached to tell her story of sexual harassment by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas while she was working for him at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ironically, an organization that aims to end sexual harassment in the workplace.  

The ugly ordeal started 10 years before the case, with Hill claiming that Thomas had made numerous sexual overtures, inappropriate comments, and requests to date her. Thomas strongly rebuffed the accusations, comparing the hearings to a “high-tech lynching for uppity blacks.”

While the hearings ended inconclusively and Clarence Thomas was voted in 52-48, it ignited heated debates across the country on race and gender that still persist today. Moreover, it inspired women to become more actively involved in politics with the media dubbing the 1992 election year the "Year of the Woman.” The actress portraying Hill, Kerry Washington, said in an interview, "Some of the issues are still rearing their head in terms of gender and race and how we understand those things. So the outcome of what happened was that the conversation began - and we want to make sure that that conversation continues.”