“During an era of rampant voter suppression and strained police-community relations, the Department of Justice is as important as it has ever been in the lives of Americans – especially African Americans and Latino Americans who bear the brunt of police violence and voter suppression. An attorney general with a track record of hostility towards women, communities of color and the LGBT community is simply unfit to serve,” Sellers concluded.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) is among the names the Donald Trump transition team has floated for a possible nomination to the post of attorney general, which commentator and politico Bakari Sellers said would be catastrophic for black Americans.
In an essay for the Guardian, Sellers said on Saturday that Session’s extensive record of hostility toward the rights of people of color, women and LGBT people demonstrates that he is unfit to serve as the highest law enforcement official in the land.
“One of the more famous tag lines from President-elect Trump on the campaign trail was: ‘To my African-Americans: what do you have to lose?'” Sellars wrote. “If Alabama senator Jeff Sessions becomes the next attorney general of the United States, the answer is: everything.”
Sellers — who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of South Carolina this year — said that all of Trump’s potential cabinet picks have issues, but “the most troubling appointment thus far has to be Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to serve as attorney general.”
Sessions was — as commentator Ana Navarro noted — deemed “too racist” to be a federal judge in the 1980s.
Sessions is on record as being pro-Ku Klux Klan until he “found out they smoked pot,” which was more than he could stomach. He attempted to prosecute a trio of civil rights activists — “known as the Marion Three” — for registering black voters.
“Sessions charged Albert Turner, his wife Evelyn Turner, and their fellow activist Spencer Hogue with 29 counts of fraud under the Voting Rights Act – with the group facing a sentence of over 100 years if they were convicted. All three were found not guilty,” wrote Sellers.
“The Marion Three never received a sincere apology from Sessions. And the senator’s existing hostility toward African Americans is proof that he has not learned anything from that experience,” he said.
Sellers went on, “Sessions believes the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is an intrusive piece of legislation.’ He has opposed efforts to remove the Confederate flag from state property. He has voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He called for a constitutional amendment to stop granting automatic citizenship to people born in the United States. He agreed with President-elect Trump’s ban on Muslims migrating to the United States. He opposes same-sex marriage, and when Trump was quoted about grabbing women by their vaginas, Sessions called it a ‘stretch’ to characterize that as ‘sexual assault.'”
“These are all deeply problematic views for anyone to hold,” he said, “let alone the top law enforcement officer of the United States.”