Senate hearings are about to start next week in consideration of President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks, and heads of the NAACP and its Alabama branch have taken over Trump Attorney General pick Jeff Sessions’ Mobile office in preparation.
On Tuesday, President and CEO of the NAACP, Cornell Brooks posted a photo to Twitter captioned, “The
@NAACP & @AlabamaNAACP are occupying the Mobile office of @jeffsessions–untill he withdraws as a AG nominee or we’re arrested.”
— Cornell Wm. Brooks (@CornellWBrooks) January 3, 2017
According to AL.com, the NAACP’s Tuesday action was one of many others being held across the state in opposition to Sessions’ nomination.
“As a matter of conscience, the NAACP has chosen not to remain silent on this critical matter. Our main concern is centered around the reality of voter suppression,” Hezekiah Johnson, head of the Birmingham NAACP said outside Sessions’ office in Birmingham.
“We have found no evidence of his ability, past or present, to be impartial and unbiased as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America, especially in the areas of civil rights, voting rights and equal protection under the law,” Johnson continued.
Trump first announced Sessions as his pick for Attorney General in mid-November. The pick was controversial, especially given the Alabama Senator’s alleged record of making racist comments. A 500-plus page transcript of Sessions’ 1986 confirmation hearings for a federal judgeship nomination revealed Sessions reportedly called the NAACP and the ACLU “un-American” and “Communist.”
The same documents refer to him calling a black attorney “boy,” and joking that the KKK isn’t problematic besides claims that they smoked weed. Sessions either denied or offered explanations for the various allegations throughout that hearing, but his nomination was ultimately rejected.
A spokeswoman for Sessions’ confirmation, Sarah Isgur Flores, wrote in an emailed statement, “Jeff Sessions has dedicated his career to upholding the rule of law, ensuring public safety and prosecuting government corruption. Many African-American leaders who’ve known him for decades attest to this and have welcomed his nomination to be the next Attorney General.”
Jackson commented from Birmingham, suggesting that “We live in a democracy and we have elected political leaders. Donald Trump was elected as the President of the U.S.A. and he has the right to appoint the person he wishes to be considered.”
He added, “But, we are still all Americans and we should be factored into that dialogue for the final deliberations.”
See footage of the Mobile sit-in below from the NAACP.