PRINT January 1992

Democracy, Inc.

Carol Squiers

EVEN BEFORE THE HILL-THOMAS hearings were over, a great moaning and wailing had begun about the terrible, even pornographic things that were being said in public. It is a measure of the wide-ranging practice of and preference for repression and denial in our country that not hearing the bad stuff was widely deemed preferable to acknowledging just how bad and real it might be. But repression and denial were not only a response to the hearings. They were, in fact, at the heart of them, supporting Thomas while casting out Hill. Thomas triumphed by hewing to the nearly sacred American belief that there should be limits to everything—including how much truth has to be told.

Clarence Thomas’ repression was ongoing, essential, righteous, and pivotal. The crucial point in the hearings devolved exactly on this repression and occurred on the evening of Friday, October 11, after Anita Hill had given

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