Anita Hill's MLK Day speech devolves into #MeToo mantra
- Anita Hill, who accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual assault decades ago, recently delivered a Martin Luther King, Jr. speech at Emory University.
- While many may have expected Hill to discuss the life and legacy of King, she turned the opportunity into a #MeToo moment.
Elon University's 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address revolved not around race, but instead gender and sexual assault.
The school hosted Brandeis University professor Anita Hill on Thursday to deliver a speech pertaining to the #MeToo movement. During her speech, Hill stated that during the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, "politics were more important than the experience of women.”
Roughly 27 years before Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Hill accused then-Supreme Court Nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual assault during her tenure as a supervisor at the Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Hill has been vocal about the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, even writing an op-ed for the New York Times calling for senators to “get it right.”
Conservatives noted the similarities between Kavanaugh accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations and those levied decades earlier by Hill, one being the lack of evidence to corroborate the allegations. Conservatives further characterized the allegations as political tools to smear Kavanaugh.
Hill slammed those in government for their inability to make sexual assault a significant issue during her speech at Elon University.
“What we have today has changed a lot since the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s, and yes, things have changed, but has enough changed? No,” Hill said, according to the Burlington Times-News. “Sadly, whether verbal or psychological harassment or sexual assault, some leaders still fail to see sexual violence as a matter of public significance, and that’s what you saw in the Kavanaugh hearing: that politics were more important than the experience of women.”
Hill let her feelings be known about Kavanaugh’s confirmation, claiming, “we still have a government that, when presented with the chance to do better, replicates the mistakes of the past.”
She went on to discuss the importance of enforcing Title IX and encouraged men to be more involved in its support: “We need to engage more men. Sexual violence is not just a woman’s issue. Sexual violence impacts entire families.”
Hill concluded her speech by examining the future of the #MeToo movement.
“We can take this moment to make this movement have impact that resonates beyond even the passage of laws, that resonates into our lives and our communities and our culture, because if we don’t make those cultural changes, the impact is going to be limited," the professor said.
Campus Reform reached out to Elon University for comment and to Hill for further comment, but did not receive any response in time for press.
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