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Why We Most Definitely Don't Need Jeff Sessions Leading the Department of Justice

In a conversation with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now, about President-elect Trump’s pick for United States attorney general, NAACP president and CEO, Cornell William Brooks declared that Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), “represents a very dangerous turn for this country.” Brooks, along with five other civil rights leaders, were arrested last Tuesday after staging a sit-in protest at the office of Sessions in Mobile, Alabama. Brooks’ fight against this decision has not been easy, and Tuesday marks day one of the Alabama senator’s confirmation hearings at the Russell Senate Office building in Washington D.C.

Trump and his team know how to flood your timeline with clickbait news. It was their greatest tool in the election and will be their big weapon during his presidency. His tweets against Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes or his comments about the Russian hacks and The Apprentice ratings may have caused you to miss some big stories surrounding his scary cabinet picks. However, the NAACP’s recent arrest and continued rally against Sessions is a story to stay woke to. Here are a few reasons why I, and many others, believe Sessions should not be the attorney general.

Sessions Doesn’t Care About Black People

Sessions is so racist that in 1986 he was deemed unfit to be a federal judge due to his bigoted remarks, such as referring to a black prosecutor as “boy” and calling the NAACP “un-American.” Senator Sessions is a supporter of the Voters Rights Act and a big supporter of law and order believes in the prison industry, which we all know is coded white language for keeping the black folks down and stripping our voice in our so-called democracy. Did I mention Sessions supported the return of chain gangs during his time as Alabama’s attorney general in 1995? Yes, you read that right, chain gangs! Those were eventually removed, but Sessions believed that was “perfectly proper.” His strong bigoted values and dated views on equality and crime are major reasons why the NAACP’s president, and now, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker are testifying against Sessions this week at his confirmation hearings. Is this who we really want at the top of the Department of Justice?

Sessions is Xenophobic

When Trump announced that he wanted to put a ban on Muslims from entering the United States, Sessions was one of the first public officials to cosign Trump’s xenophobic idea. But, Sessions has had a long-standing disapproval for immigrants. Back in 2015 in a radio interview with Breitbart’s, Stephen Bannon, another fascist who Trump selected as his top adviser, Sessions spoke openly about his support for the 1924 Immigration Law, which was put into place to limit the amount of immigrants entering the country and banned certain racial groups. In the interview with Bannon, Sessions said, “In seven years we’ll have the highest percentage of Americans, non-native born since the founding Republic,” which he called “very unusual” and a “radical change.” The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 ended an immigration-admissions policy based on race and ethnicity and gave rise to large-scale immigration, but Sessions’ xenophobic admiration for the 1924 law is proof that Trump’s team is trying to make America white again.

Sessions is Homophobic

LGBT+ laws are already under attack and having a homophobic attorney general like Sessions is another step backward in civil rights. Sessions, who has a zero percent rating by the Human Rights Campaign, supported the Defense of Marriage Act, was against the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and on numerous occasions said very homophobic comments to the press and media.

 A voice like Sessions in the White House is problematic and should not be the face of our Department of Justice in 2017. If Sessions breezes through his confirmation hearings, like some people expect he will, it is up to us to join the NAACP and other civil rights leaders in their efforts to push back against the Trump Administration. We have come too close to freedom to go back now.


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Stephen J. Grant, sometimes known as Radio Stevie, is the Morning News Editor at Blavity. He is a writer, author and artist from New Haven, Connecticut.

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