Thursday morning at 10:30 a.m. EST, Jefferson Sessions was sworn in as America’s next attorney general, amidst warnings and riots. In their wake, however, thousands of Americans are left more concerned about the future of this nation. What is particularly on their minds? Well, it comes down to this. Sessions has been repeatedly accused of racism, sexism and failure to fully uphold the laws of the this country.
Nevertheless, Jeff Sessions placed his hand on a Bible this morning and swore to protect the United States. And it has left many wondering: what racist threats will America now face as a result of his appointment?
Despite the push-back from many Americans–including Senator Elizabeth Warren–the swearing-in continued as planned. The livestreamed event was available on the White House’s Facebook page. Before being sworn-in, President Trump introduced Mr. Sessions.
“It is with great pride, very great pride, that I say these words to you right now: Attorney General Jeff Sessions, welcome to the White House.”
President Donald Trump has clearly emphasized his particular admiration for the former Alabaman senator. Trump has often defended him from the same platform that those who stand against Sessions use to accuse him: social media, particularly Twitter. Today, the President defended him from the Oval Office. He stressed what he believed to be Jeff’s extensive qualifications for the job.
“These dangerous times require a determined Attorney General, which is what Jeff is. Jeff understands that the job of Attorney General is to serve and protect the people of the United States, and that is what he will do, and do better than anyone else can. […] The level of respect that he has throughout this country as a former prosecutor, not even to mention being a long-time U.S. Senator, is absolutely incredible.”
President Trump’s claim that he is highly respected “throughout this country” is probably the weak link in his logical chain of thought. Even if he is respected throughout the country, many Americans are not feeling very reverent toward him today.
“[The President] has said something that I believe, and I think the American people believe, [which is] that we need a lawful system of immigration, one that serves the interests of the people of the United States. That’s not wrong, that’s not immoral, that’s not indecent.”
Sessions further stated that the USA “admits a million people per year plus” lawfully. He emphasize the need to end unlawful immigration that takes jobs and wages away from law-abiding American citizens.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 9, 2017
But the real question is this: what threats does he really pose?
Attorney General Jefferson Sessions has many enemies. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced in the senate while reading a letter from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wife, Coretta Scott King. Mrs. King has written in opposition to Sessions’ nomination for a federal district judgeship for the Southern District of Alabama.
Senator Warren refuses to be silenced in the long run, and has now taken to social media in order to make herself heard. Many are applauding Warren for her proactive stance, using the hashtag #ShePersisted to show their support. Warren labelled him as practicing “racism, sexism, and bigotry.” AL reported that she was silenced not necessarily for arguing against him, but because the Senate suggested that she had “impugned the motives and conduct” of a fellow senator.
Independent reported on Wednesday that Sessions was once “deemed too racist to be a judge.” The news source said that critics of Sessions state that support for him means support for Trump’s refugee policies–a statement which seems correct based off of today’s proceedings.
According to The Huffington Post, the accusatory comments from Warren are not the first that Sessions has received from Senate members.
“The last time Sessions went before the Senate for confirmation ― to a federal judgeship in 1986 ― senators blocked him over concerns of racial bias. As a U.S. attorney in 1985, he had prosecuted three African-American activists for alleged voter fraud over disputed absentee ballots. The activists were subsequently acquitted.”
— AlwaysWithHer (@DisavowTrump16) February 8, 2017
Sessions, at the time, fought hard against these allegations–arguing that he was not a racist, but just trying to do his law-abiding duties.
“I did not harbor the kind of animosities and race-based discrimination ideas that were — that I was accused of. I did not.”
Thomas Figures, a black man who worked as an assistant to Sessions for a while, once claimed that Jeff often called him “boy.” Sessions has even joked about the Ku Klux Klan, The Huffington Post further stated, saying that the were okay–that is until he found out that “they smoked marijuana.”
Considering his past hurdles and the allegations against him, how will Jeff Sessions affect America as attorney general?
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]