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Who’s Hollering “Hi -Tech Lynching” Now?

I wrote an Op-Ed for The Washington Post[1] about the Thomas Hill case in which Thomas was accused of accosting Anita Hill with ugly sexist language. I suggested that it would be a boon for corporate feminists who had co-opted the feminist movement. Instead of exposing the hands-on assaults against them by their employers upon whom they depended  for their prosperity, they could blame Black guys for sexism in the workplace. It was Maureen Dowd who pointed to the hypocrisy of some of Hill’s White feminist supporters. When Bill Clinton’s hands-on sexism came to light, she noted that some of those liberal and progressive feminists who condemned Clarence Thomas defended Clinton’s offenses against women. In an apology she wrote:

Dear Justice Thomas:

I just didn’t get it.

Then it hit me, as I sat in the House gallery for the State of the Union speech, watching you watch Mr. Clinton as he got away with it.

You looked clenched. I think I know why. You must have been seething.

You go through a harrowing and historic ‘he said, she said’ and wind up a pariah. The President goes through a harrowing and historic ‘he said, she said’ and winds up more popular than ever.

You had the Furies descend on you. He has women shrugging, ‘Boys will be boys.’

“Given the new libertine mood in Washington, the fact that you never groped Ms. Hill was a stirring example of judicial restraint. And she only followed you from job to job; Monica Lewinsky followed the President from room to room.”[2]

Anita Hill, who was supported by progressive feminists even though her political views were the same as Thomas–to the right–also defended Clinton. During the scandal, Hill told a Sunday talk show moderator that the “explicit” details” of the Lewinsky / Clinton dalliance shouldn’t be revealed. This is a woman who, as I wrote in the Post, paraded Thomas’s genitals before the world. I also suggested that some powerful White men who joined the Anita Hill bandwagon were hypocrites. I wrote:

“Ironically, one political power broker in San Francisco, supportive of the Anita Hill crusade, found himself in the same position as Clarence Thomas. Walter Shorenstein, a prominent real estate developer, held a fund-raising event for women Democratic candidates last May, during which Thomas was pilloried. A few weeks later Shorenstein’s former assistant sued him, alleging that he had physically harassed her for seven years. Shorenstein denied the charges and recently settled the case out of court with no admission of wrongdoing. The two differences between Shorenstein, patron of the feminists, and Thomas, villain of the year, is that Shorenstein is white and he at least received due process.”  [3]

Clarence Thomas has been ridiculed for years for pleading that he was subjected to a “hi-tech lynching.” But now that powerful corporate White men, among them predators, who, for decades, have been shielded by corporate feminists, their defenders are insisting upon due process, which is what Thomas was demanding. To cross examine his accusers. Timesman Bret Stephens complains about hi-tech lynchings now that the shoe is on the other foot and outfits like NPR, The New Republic, MSNBC, The New York Times and other media outlets, which have competed for revenue from what could be called “The Black Boogeyman” racket, have uncovered predators among their personnel.  Now that they’re feeling the heat from feminists they’ve come up with something called “a spectrum of behavior.”

In the Post article, I also pointed out that regardless of Thomas’s right-wing views, in the Anita Hill vs. Thomas case, Blacks supported Thomas. White progressives didn’t pay attention to this fact. For them, Blacks are to be interpreted. Not listened too. Maybe they agree with Jeffrey Toobin, who has made a fortune from a slipshod examination of the Simpson case. Toobin says that Blacks can’t deal with reality and shouldn’t be patted on the head,[4] like the reward that a dog receives after retrieving a ball for his owner.

White corporate and feminist thought leaders aren’t the only ones who’ve exploited Ms. Hill’s image over the years. White women used the Thomas/Hill hearings as a launching pad for high office. When they arrived in Congress, however, they voted with the men. At the time of the hearings, Pennsylvania Blacks noted that Lynn Yeakel, the Democratic senatorial candidate who said that she decided to run after watching the all-male Judiciary Committee interrogate Hill, was mum on the issue of Civil Rights.

Stephens challenged Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s statement,

“I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation…You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.”[5]

Stephens responded.

“Of course none of it is O.K. The supposedly petty sexual harassment that so many women have to endure, from Hollywood studios to the factory floor at Ford, is a national outrage that needs to end. Period. But what about the idea that we should not even discuss the difference between verbal harassment, physical groping and rape? Here’s a guess: A vast majority of Americans, men and women, would agree with Damon’s comment in its entirety.” [6]

Of course, the majority of Americans men and women would agree, especially women. How distant from White women are members of the Northeastern feminist elites, like naive Michelle Goldberg who writes about Me Too for the Times? She calls 2017 the year of resistance. Maybe the majority of White women who voted for Trump and Moore, an alleged pedophile, had the least resistance? Alabama professors, two White women, who are book authors, whom I met, would call Ms. Goldberg “a Yankee.”

While Stephens’ remark about there being degrees of sexual harassment from comments to hands-on micro and macro, Hollywood has decided to blame the whole thing on Black guys, by setting up a commission the majority of whom are White men.[7] Some of the members make a living promoting horrific images of Black men so they should be right at home on this commission. They are:

Ari Emanuel, William Morris Endeavor co-chair

Bob Iger, Disney chairman/CEO

Bryan Lourd, CAA co-chair

Carol Lombardini, Alliance Motion Picture and Television Producers president

Chris Silbermann, ICM Partners founding partner

David Young, Writers Guild of America executive director

Dawn Hudson, Academy Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences CEO

Gabrielle Carteris, Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA president

Jeff Blackburn, Amazon svp business development

Jeff Shell, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chair

Jeremy Zimmer, UTA CEO

Jim Gianopulos, Paramount chair/CEO

Karen Stuart, Association of Talent Agents executive director

Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. chair/CEO

Maury McIntyre, Television Academy president/COO

Mike Miller, Motion Picture & TV Production/IATSE 4th international vp/department director

Russ Hollander, Directors Guild of America executive director

Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group chair/CEO

Susan Sprung, Producers Guild of America associate executive director

Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer

Tony Vinciquerra, Sony chair/CEO

Julie Greenwald, Atlantic Records chair/COO

Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. chair/CEO

Neil Portnow, Recording Academy NARAS president

There was a hint that  the tactic used by wealthy Hollywood men would be to blame sexual misconduct on Black men using Ms. Hill to front the effort, when Rob Reiner, appearing on Joe Scarborough’s MSNBC show, Morning Joe, changed the subject to Clarence Thomas when asked about Harvey Weinstein’s alleged offenses against women.  “Wait, wait, wait,” co-host Joe Scarborough pushed back. “We actually asked you about Harvey Weinstein. We agree with you on Donald Trump–I don’t agree with you on Clarence Thomas, telling inappropriate jokes and raping women are two completely different things…”[8] Rob Reiner’s singling out Clarence Thomas as a symbol of unwanted aggression against women is probably why Kathleen Kennedy chose Anita Hill to head the commission to investigate harassment in Hollywood.[9]

Ms. Kennedy was the co-producer of “The Color Purple,” written, directed and produced by White men, a fox guarding hen house production that even offended Alice Walker, the book’s author. Just as O.J. Simpson and Clarence Thomas became interchangeable with all Black men, Black men were held responsible for the vile character  “Mr.” in “The Color Purple.” This was not Ms. Walker’s fault. It was the book’s Hollywood interpreters who cast the collective stigma upon Black men, which is what they are now doing in their response to #Me Too. Deflect the blame to Black men.

Don’t count on Spielberg producing a movie about domestic violence in Jewish households in the US and in Israel, or Ms. Kennedy using film to address domestic violence in South Boston, where, according to Lawrence O’Donnell, Irish American women get beaten up by men. He was responding to General Kelley’s remark that women were once treated as sacred.

Times reporter Cara Buckley[10] didn’t find a gender imbalance in the composition of the panel a problem when she reported about the commission. What’s even stranger is that feminist icon Anita Hill accepted the chair of a panel dominated by men. They must be paying her well. Anointing Anita Hill, a Black woman, as chair implies to many that sexual harassment is a Black male problem.

Something similar was done in the# Me Too issue of Time. In the photographs, Black women were placed at the center.

This is what happens when a movement is co-opted. Like the labor movement and the Black Power movement, which has been toned down by the Talented Tenth. Corporate feminists and their handful of Black surrogates can exercise their wrath against Black men but when it comes to powerful corporate men who can promote their success, they become Daddy’s girls.

 

Ishmael Reed’s new novel, “Conjugating Hindi” is ready to order. His latest book, “The Complete Muhammad Ali,” was among the books about Ali, written by Black authors, that were omitted from a list of books about Ali that were recommended by Joyce Carol Oates, writing in The New York Times.

Notes.

[1] “FEMINISTS V. THOMAS” By Ishmael Reed, The Washington Post  October 18, 1992

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/by/maureen-dowd

[3] “FEMINISTS V. THOMAS” By Ishmael Reed, The Washington Post  October 18, 1992

[4] The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin Mar 27, 2013

[5] When #MeToo Goes Too Far Bret Stephens The New York Times  DEC. 20, 2017

[6] IBID.

[7] Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs By Dave McNary  Variety, DECEMBER 15, 2017 6:41PM PT

[8] https://www.dailywire.com/…/watch-rob-reiner-implies-harvey-weinstein-similar-fran…

[9] “Can Anita Hill Fix Hollywood’s Harassment Problem?” By  CARA BUCKLEY, The Carpetbagger New York Times DEC. 20, 2017

[10] IBID

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Ishmael Reed is the author of The Complete Muhammad Ali.

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