Submitted by Color of Change
In less than two weeks, Donald Trump has begun forming a cabinet- the likes of which we have only seen hidden behind white hoods. And now he has picked known racist, Jeff Sessions, to ascend to the highest legal position in the land. Trump’s would-be Attorney General pick has an extensive track record of hate- he has called a Black federal prosecutor “boy,” falsely prosecuted Black political activists, and made offhand jokes about his support of the Klu Klux Klan.
Racism is not a joke. We cannot let our halls of justice be cloaked with white supremacy.Here’s one way we can stop Trump’s New Klan from rising to power. Before Sessions can take control and become the head of the Department of Justice, he must be confirmed by the Senate- a process he knows well. Thirty years ago, a Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions for a federal judgeship. Their reason? Session’s racially charged comments and actions were too much. We can and must stop his nomination again.
To the Senate Judiciary Committee:
Here is the Petition:
“No” to racism means “no” to Jeff Sessions. Do not confirm his nomination for Attorney General.
Sessions knows the confirmation process well. Thirty years ago, a Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee rejected Sessions for a federal judgeship. Their reason? Session’s racially charged comments and actions were too much.4
Session joins the growing New Klan that includes “chief strategist” and crowned prince of white supremacist media Stephen Bannon,5 and “immigration advisor” and author of the book on Muslim registry Kris Kobach.6 The question before the Senate is simple: do they support racism, or do they not? They can and must stop Sessions’ nomination again.
Sessions has been unapologetic and brazen in his white supremacy and has strongly opposed and insulted the civil rights leaders and groups that have fought for the freedom of Black folks. In Alabama, he falsely prosecuted Black political activists7 and called the N.A.A.C.P., the ACLU, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference “un-American” and “Communist-inspired.”8
In the legacy of the Confederate general he was named after, Sessions has also fought to repeal the voting rights of Black Americans– going so far as to charge activists with up to 100 years in prison for mailing absentee ballots.9 We just witnessed the first election since the Supreme Court gutted protections previously afforded under the Voting Rights Act.10 We saw Black voters strategically disenfranchised using Voter ID laws, voter caging operations, laws denying people with a criminal conviction from voting, and illegal voter purges. We also saw police forces being deployed to intimidate Black voter registration operations and newly registered voters. We cannot continue to move backwards. And we cannot afford to have an Attorney General who called the Act a “piece of intrusive legislation.”12 Our voices must be heard and our rights must be protected.
If he is confirmed, Sessions will be in charge of “protecting” the same rights he staunchly opposed. As Attorney General, he would act as the lawyer for the United stated and represent cases before The Supreme Court- the same court that has afforded us the right to marry who we love, go to the schools of our choice, be appointed a lawyer, and has safeguarded our right to protest. These rights are in jeopardy. Without an advocate on our side, the rights that we now enjoy can quickly be rolled away.
In the week following the election, 437 incidents of hate crimes targeting Blacks folks, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, the L.G.B.T. community, and women have been reported.13The violence of these emboldened cowards will only continue, particularly under the reigns of Trump’s New Klan. As Attorney General, Sessions would head the Department of Justice- the same agency tasked with investigating hate crimes and prosecuting killer cops. We cannot trust a racist who casually jokes about the KKK to protect us and our families from hate and violence.
Until justice is real,
–Rashad, Brandi, Arisha, Anika, Evan, Bernard, Jade, Corina and the rest of the Color Of Change team.
1. “Jeff Sessions, as Attorney General, Could Overhaul Department He’s Skewered,” New York Times, 11-18-2016
3.”Trump picks Jeff Sessions for AG, Pompeo for CIA chief,” USA Today, 11-18-2016
4.”Jeff Sessions, as Attorney General, Could Overhaul Department He’s Skewered,” New York Times, 11-18-2016
5. “Trump’s real endgame: A white nationalist media empire?,” Washington Post, 08-22-2016
6.”Trump Immigration Adviser Kris Kobach Wrote the Book on Muslim Registry,” NBC News, 11-17-2016
7. “Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights,” The Nation, 11-18-2016
8. “Jeff Sessions, as Attorney General, Could Overhaul Department He’s Skewered,” New York Times, 11-18-2016
9. “Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights,” The Nation, 11-18-2016
10. “The Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act. What Happened Next in These 8 States Will Not Shock You,” MotherJones, 4-8-2014
11. “North Carolina’s Deliberate Disenfranchisement of Black Voters,” The Atlantic, 7-29-2016
12. “Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for Attorney General, Is a Fierce Opponent of Civil Rights,” The Nation, 11-18-2016
13. “HATE ON THE RISE AFTER TRUMP’S ELECTION,” The New Yorker, 11-17-2016