On Tuesday, Jan. 3, protesters from the N.A.A.C.P., including the national president, were arrested while conducting a sit-in at Senator Jeff Sessions’ office. The action took place in an effort to pressure Sessions to remove his name from consideration for United States Attorney General.
Every man, woman, and child should applaud these brave activists, who recognize the disaster on its way to D.C. While much of the energy in 2017 has rightfully been directed towards President-elect Donald Trump, his problematic administration has flown under the radar.
That ends today, starting with Jeff Sessions, the man our President-elect has chosen to lead the Department of Justice. He is one of the scariest and most divisive members of Trump’s potential administration, and, if all goes well for team Trump, come 2017, he will be confirmed by an emboldened GOP-led House and Senate.
What’s wrong with Jeff Sessions? Everything.
Sessions is a KKK-loving, voter suppression supporting, racially problematic man, with disturbing ideas about the criminal justice system and the Dominican Republic (more on that later).
In 1986, he was rejected for a federal judge position after racist comments of his were revealed. During the hearing, fellow senators testified about remarks he made about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay,” until he found out they smoked marijuana. In that same hearing, another colleague testified that Sessions called a white civil rights lawyer a “traitor to his race.” Sessions and his allies have gone out of their way to deny these accusations, but the testimonies against Sessions were enough to stifle him from a judge position.
I think it’s fair to say that casual racism was a lot less off-putting to white congressional leaders in the 80’s than it is now. But even back then, they thought he was a problem. Why should that opinion change now?
On Voting Rights:
Jeff Sessions’ record on voting rights might be the scariest part of him running the Department of Justice. Not only has he been a vocal opponent of the Voting Rights Act, but he has gone out of his way to make unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.
“In January 1985, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the 39-year-old US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama, charged Turner, his wife Evelyn, and Hogue with 29 counts of mail fraud, altering absentee ballots, and conspiracy to vote more than once. They faced over 100 years in jail on criminal charges and felony statutes under the VRA—provisions of the law that had scarcely been used to prosecute the white officials who had disenfranchised blacks for so many years. The Turners and Hogue became known as the ‘Marion Three.'”
That is just the tip of the iceberg. In 2002, Sessions helped to block a bill that would have restored voting rights of felons that had served their time. Sessions has also consistently spewed lies about voter fraud, and is one of many Republicans that support voter ID laws to address the made-up issue.
Under President Obama, the Department of Justice has been vital in fighting off efforts to suppress the rights of voters across the country. What do you think will happen if Sessions is at the head?
Jeff Sessions was one of the first people on the right to support Donald Trump. A big reason he’s so fond of him is because of the President-elect’s promise to deport 11 million undocumented people from the country.
Sessions has a long history of anti-immigrant leanings. In 2006, he suggested that migrants from the Dominican Republic provided absolutely no value to the United States. Plus, during his time in office, he was responsible for the death of at least two bipartisan immigration bills.
The End Game:
Nothing good can come from a Donald Trump presidency; his administration is filled with money-hungry white people, racists, and token black people. But, if we were forced to make a list ranking each member from bad to worst, Jeff Sessions would consistently land at the top.
The 1950’s are over, and we don’t need any more close-minded white people with small IQ’s and tender egos running our country. We must do everything in our power to stop him, and all of his band of racialized politicians.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. They do not represent the views of Black Enterprise.
Stanley Fritz is the Communications Associate at Citizen Action of New York, and the Engineer/Co-Host of “Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio.”