Sexual Harassment From Clarence Thomas to Isiah Thomas: How Much Has Really Changed?

News & Politics
This post, written by Megan Izen, originally appeared on RaceWire
Then | Now
Anita Hill | Anucha Brown Sanders
"Political pawn" | "Embittered ex-employee"
"Aggressive, angry, unruly behind closed doors" | "Aggressive, angry, unruly behind closed doors"
Clarence Thomas | Isiah Thomas
1991 Supreme Court | 2007 Basketball Court
Black women don't support Hill | Black women support Sanders
Loss | Victory
It's bittersweet irony that the most publicized and racialized sexual harassment cases in two decades are now competing for top headlines. Anita Hill appeared on Good Morning America this morning to defend herself once more against Clarence Thomas's attacks in his newly published memoir where he calls her his 'most traitorous adversary.' Hours later, a jury handed down a guilty verdict to New York Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas for sexually harassing former colleague Anucha Brown Sanders.

So what's changed and what hasn't? These are loaded discussions that bring to mind the hypersexualization, vilification and harassment of women of color in the workplace and beyond. All of which have deeply rooted historical contexts that won't fit neatly into a blog post. A 2003 study revealed that women of color are more vulnerable to sexual harassment on the job than white women. What we can claim now that we couldn't in 1991 is victory--a precedent that makes harassing women of color in the workplace intolerable.

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