Watching the confirmation hearing for the nominated Supreme Court Justice, I was taken back to the days of Anita Hill. It was a painful time in my life. I had been dismissed from Harvard University and this Black boy from Bed Sty had decided not to go quietly but to file an internal grievance against the University. My Black colleagues in shock urged me to reconsider my decision and instead go and beg my tormentors for another position. They were confident that is I showed a little humility or shall I say "coonon" they would find me another spot to quelch that fire "shut up in my bones." To do otherwise would place me in that category of a rebellious "run away" that needed to be tamed. Everyone was aware of the unspoken protocol. When Harvard decides your time is up, you graciously walk away. If you survived and ran the gauntlet "successfully" for five years or more you had won favor and could use this work experience as a badge of unquestioned competence.
I was maligned and subjected to psychological torture, abuse and harassment for those entire five years. Every day arriving at work was another "Jesse Owens' running in the Olympics and Germany." You knew that even after your victory, your competence, confidence, and core values would be put to the test. I finally had been subjected to enough of this perverse "fraternity like hazing initiation ritual and I prepared report it to the office set up to manage these matters. I met with a white female who was head of Human Resources. She as a woman would understand. And she did. She indicated that she did not doubt a word I said or the horrible abuse I experienced. She then said " You know these white men will never take action against one of their own." She said what I should do for my health and well being is to "just leave." At that point, I stood up, leaned over her desk and in my strongest and most powerful Jennifer Holliday voice started to tell that classic from Dream Girls-- " And I am telling you I'm not Going ......NO NO NO NO NO." I deleted the part about "the Best man I've ever known." Later though I would acknowledge that the abuse I took from that man endowed me with a special gift for predicting and surviving the ruthlessness of White authority figures in the work place and their Negro counterparts. In those days there was no red button for this woman to push for authorities to come to her rescue and arrest me. I exited her office and begin the process to fight.
Today I recalled that experience when I listened to the testimony of Professor Ford. Though she is a privileged White woman, I could identify with the courage it takes when you take on White men of means and power. I would go on to meet Miss Anita Hill and even perform for her at the Harvard Law School. I wrote and presented her with a song celebrating her courage and castigating Clarence Thomas. She changed history and demonstrated dignity and calm as the world looked on. Today she was treated like a trivial footnote as America elevated a white woman to be the new "poster child" for men behaving badly.
Clarence Thomas in his desperate attempt to receive the life time appointed resorted to exploiting the memory of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney by invoking the memory of their death anc comparing his escapades with his penis and the nerve of a Black woman to call him out when White men voyeristically looking on as a "modern day lynching". In contrast Bret Kavanaugh was comfortable chastising those same men for subjecting him to this line of questioning for being a beer guzzling "angry drunk." He was an all American White boy who excelled in football and basketball attended the top law school in the country and graduated #1 in his class. So what if he grabbed a little "pus&y" along the way! All of a sudden in America temperament and taking the high road was only what Michelle Obama advocated be the posture of an American Leader. White men can go through life being "plowed" serial abusers and they are guaranteed to find supporters while their Black counterparts go to prison.
This is the now acknowledged "normal" in America. Every White woman that did not cast a vote for Hillary Clinton, every granola eating counter culture liberal who split the vote by declaring their unflinching devotion to "Bernie Mack"Saunders bares guilt for the current atmosphere in America. Hillary in many ways would have been much of the same, but she would never have allowed this level of spectacle to be observed by the world.
LAWRENCE "LARRY" WATSON
SaveOurSelves Productions and Consulting LLC