Donald Trump has chosen Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a former judge and now Senator from Alabama, to be his Attorney General. In case the hiring of white supremacist Stephen Bannon to be Chief Strategist left any doubt, Trump’s choice of Sessions is a clear signal to non-whites in America that their rights are in clear and present danger.
Sessions’ bid to become a federal district court judge in 1986 was rejected over concerns that he was too racist to be trusted to make impartial decisions. Thomas H. Figures and J. Gerald Hebert and at least two other Department of Justice lawyers testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions had made multiple racist remarks to them.
Some of the more notable alleged remarks:
- Sessions, when presented with the documents for a civil rights case, threw the folder on the table and said he wished he “could decline all of them.”
- Former employees testify he regularly said racial slurs.
- Sessions once said the “Ku Klux Klan was O.K. until I found out they smoked marijuana.” He later said this was a “joke.”
- One African-American prosecutor testified that Mr. Sessions had called him ‘boy’ and said he “better watch how he spoke to white people.”
- Sessions said that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) were “un-American” and “Communist” for trying to “force civil rights down everyone’s throats.”
- Sessions called a white lawyer who defended black civil rights clients a “disgrace to his race.”
- Sessions was accused of commiting voter intimidation when he tried to charge three civil rights workers with voter fraud for registering black voters.
But the most devastating condemnation came from legendary politician Ted Kennedy said that “[It is] inconceivable … that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a U.S. attorney, let alone a United States federal judge … [He has] gross insensitivity to the questions of race.”
Trump has appointed a white supremacist to be his Attorney General, sending a clear message to the American people that the racism that defined his campaign will be a defining feature of his white house. It is an absolute disgrace to our nation that this walking caricature of Confederate racism will be in charge of dispensing justice in the United States.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.