Former Vice President Joe Biden blames the “white man’s culture” for violence against women and apologizes for his lack of effort in the Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill hearing.
Biden has been a longstanding advocate of women’s health and protection, being responsible for writing the Violence Against Women Act and acting as a leading figure in the Obama administration’s “It’s On Us” initiative, which aims to end sexual assault on college campuses. During an event at the Russian Team Room in New York City, which was hosted by Biden, the former VP discussed the toxic culture of white men and how it greatly affects the lives of women.
“We all have an obligation to do nothing less than change the culture in this country,” Biden said Tuesday night. “This is English jurisprudential culture, a white man’s culture. It’s got to change.” Biden went on to explain how he regretted his actions during the trial between Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. During the 1991 confirmation hearing, Hill was interviewed after she accused Thomas of sexual harassment. At the time, Biden was a Delaware senator who was chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“We knew a lot less about the extent of harassment back then, over 30 years ago. She paid a terrible price. She was abused for the hearing. She was taken advantage of. Her reputation was attacked. I wish I could have done something,” Biden said Tuesday. “To this day, I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved, given the courage she showed by reaching out to us.” Biden noted there was a “real and perceived problem the committee faced. They were a bunch of white guys.” He added that when Hill, who is African-American, “came and testified, she faced a committee that didn’t fully understand what the hell it was all about.”
While Biden’s statement expressed his remorse for how he handled Hill’s case, progressives say it’s too little too late. “It literally does not matter what else Biden says about sexual assault if he cannot acknowledge his own culpability in putting a sexual assaulter on the Supreme Court and then pretending for years like he was powerless to stop it. #BelieveSurvivors #IBelieveAnita,” Jess Morales Rocketto, political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, tweeted.