As is the case with most conservative speakers at those pesky liberal bastions (aka colleges), the choice of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas as the University of Georgia's commencement speaker has inspired a "reaction that ranges from surprise to infuriation," the Red and Black reports. "Many would consider him a divisive figure because of his voting record and the past allegations of sexual harassment with Anita Hill," said a psychology professor.
The speaker announcement caps a year of sexual harassment scandals on the Georgia campus (three professors have resigned since September because of sexual harassment complaints). But it also comes at a time when faculty members believe the school has made progress on the issue. "What a slap in the face this is to everyone who has been working to bring to light the realities of sexual harassment at [the university]," said the women's studies director.
University President Michael Adams defended the choice, asking students to not embarrass themselves or the university. He also noted that the Anita Hill allegations were never proved, while another supporter cited Thomas's previous appearance at the law school years ago. "[Thomas's life] is a rags-to-riches story. I think it's the American dream come true."