“Mr. Sessions is a throwback to a shameful era that we thought was in the past. Inconceivable to me that a person of this attitude could be a Judge or even a US attorney. ” Senator Ted Kennedy:
“He is now the ranking member of the very committee that rejected him and we were one of his first victims!” Melanie Nathan (quoting self from 2009)
Donald Trump, who is set to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States in January 2017 is now appointing his cabinet. He has his sights set on Jeff Sessions, Republican U.S. Senator, for Secretary of Defense or Attorney General.
Back in June of 2009, I sat feet away from Jeff Sessions in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing and witnessed first hand the disturbing machinations of a true blood racist – homophobe – xenophobe.
Sessions is the United States Senator from Alabama, the first to join the Trump campaign, within seconds of hearing what he has probably waited his entire career to hear – a candidate for the Presidency of the United States demonizing all Mexican immigrants, with the now infamous Trumpism: “They are rapists and murderers.” Now Trump is considering Sessions for attorney general or some other prominent cabinet position.
I have seen Sessions in action. I led the efforts to obtain the very rare introduction of a Private Bill into the U.S. Congress by Senator Feinstein, which enabled Shirley Tan, a lesbian mom of twin boys, about to be deported, to remain in the U.S.A. After our success, we were invited to the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to testify for the Uniting American Families Act, which sought to provide immigration rights for same-sex couples.
I watched the beady smug face of Jeff Sessions as he jabbed away at the witnesses with his distorted version of same-sex relationships. It was cruel – I watched as the sons of a stellar community member took the blows of those abusive assertions. I heard what he said that ripped at the hearts of those young loving sons.
It was scary in those days, as even President Obama was still in his state of evolution on same-sex marriage. Because of The Defense of Marriage Act, asserting marriage to be between a man and woman only, denying tens of thousands of Americans access top over 1000 Federal rights, Shirley Tan’s partner, Jay Mercado, could not sponsor her to stay in the USA. I witnessed the stark contrast between the loving kindness of Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy, who hosted us as a member of the Committee, compared to the abject cruel judgment and indifference of Sessions. He watched those twin boys breakdown and cry for their mom and did not flinch. In fact he made a derogatory comment instead: “Enough of the histrionics.”
I saw how he treated those young American boys, of Filipino heritage, who happened to have lesbian moms: Shirley Tan was courageously testifying for the Uniting American Families Act and her sons were there to support her. And if you could see those young men now (19 year old University brilliant students at top schools about to make a huge difference in this world- – and their place in this community – through their birth right and the magnificent parenting by Shirley and Jay. They came through despite detractor Senator Jeff Sessions.)
Here are the observations of a third party not involved with the case who watched the hearing on video thereafter:
“What struck me about the video was not simply Tan’s courage in speaking as an immigrant woman of color, a loving partner to her life companion, and a devoted parent to her two sons; but to witness the vulnerability of her 12 year old son, who silently wept as his mother spoke… …Which leads me to the ‘hater’ part. While the hearing took place, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking minority member of the Committee and the only Republican to attend the hearing but publicly opposed to UAFA, watched the boy weep and commented to his aide, “Enough with the histrionics.” WTF?!? Sessions had the audacity to call this boy’s emotional torture of having to listen to the possibility of his family being torn apart from harmful, discriminatory immigration policy and practices as insincere theatrics???”
At the hearing, in his questioning of NAACP hero, Julian Bonds, who (at the time boldly) testified that same-sex marriage rights are indeed civil rights, Sessions commented that giving same-sex couples marital type rights is like giving ‘special rights – the equivalent of giving these rights to brothers and sisters and roommates.’ (VIDEO LINKS BELOW)
YES – THAT is the man that Trump may have as your new Attorney General America or Secretary of Defense!
After the testimony was over, the young twins wanted to meet Senator Sessions to ask him to explain to them why he did not want to allow their mommy to stay in the U.S.A. so she could be with her American born sons – but he refused to talk with them. Instead he sent a staffer who promised to have their many questions answered. Sessions never did!
We should have known – Sessions the racist had been previously exposed:
Session’s record of opposing civil rights dates back to his days as a US Attorney in Alabama in the 1980s. President Ronald Reagan picked the then federal prosecutor, to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in Alabama. The nomination, way back then, was so controversial that it got quashed by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sessions, a U.S. attorney became the second man only in 50 years to be rejected by Congress for a federal judicial appointment, and it was made clear that his denial was because of racist statements he made and for falsely prosecuting black political activists Albert Turner, Turner’s wife Evelyn, and Spencer Hogue, Jr.- in Alabama.
An African American former assistant US attorney, Thomas Figures, testified that Sessions had called him “boy”, and that he had joked about the Ku Klux Klan in ways that implied he wasn’t particularly appalled by their appalling tactics. UPI reported during the hearings on Figures’s testimony.
”Mr Sessions … stated that he believed the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Operation PUSH and the National Council of Churches were all un-American organizations teaching anti-American values,” Figures testified. ”The statement clearly was not intended as a joke.” Figures also said he was present when Sessions said he believed the Ku Klux Klan was OK until he learned its members smoked marijuana – a statement Sessions has said was clearly made in jest. ”I certainly took it as a serious statement,” Figures said.
The late Senator Ted Kennedy was at the helm of this exposure, noting:
“…. It is inconceivable … that a person of this attitude is qualified to be a US attorney, let alone a United States federal judge.”
Later Kennedy would say the hearings created a ”clear and convincing case to gross insensitivity to the questions of race” on the part of Sessions. His Democratic colleague, senator Howard Metzenbaum of Ohio, called Sessions a man of ”marginal qualifications who lacks judicial temperament. … A nominee who is hostile, hostile to civil rights organizations and their causes.”
YES this is the man, rejected by a GOP Congress for a judicial appointment who Trump is considering, as we speak, to reward for years of obstructing immigration reform and for his unwavering racism – to Attorney General or Secretary of Defense of the United States.
Back then, there would be no place for Jeff Sessions on the federal bench but through the will of the people of Alabama, his political career was off to a good start. It seems known racists win the day in places like that. The Alabaman went on to become the state’s attorney general.
In 1996, he won his Senate seat:
“…… and came to the Senate with the kind of rabid conservatism that today makes people feel the Republican party is out of touch with the country. The ACLU gives him an “anti-civil rights” sticker. The Human Rights Campaign dubs him an unambiguous “anti-gay rights” legislator with a 0% record on gay issues. And the NAACP labels him firmly “anti-affirmative action”.
It is no coincidence that the likes of Sessions would be the first Republican Senator to endorse Trump. Indeed Sessions had heard Trump’s “speak” – and it spoke his “spake”. The anti immigrant and bigoted platform would no doubt attract the likes of a hater such as Sessions. Now he is to be rewarded by Trump for his loyalty – his loyalty to racism and bigotry and Trump!
It’s horrific to note, in 2016 – the extent to which this election has allowed the U.S.A. to digress – with even the mere consideration of an appointment to any office of an 80’s reject like Jeff Sessions. It was one thing having him represent Alabama. THAT we could understand. But trying to wrap our heads around this sniveling hater representing the entire nation is an impossibility!
Imagine noting that the seated representatives of the GOP in Reagan times may have had much more of a conscience than the GOP of today. They rejected Sessions for being a racist and now they hailing him for being that same racist.
However this exposes one simple truth, in my opinion: America is like an alcoholic – this country has now reached rock bottom. America has been chugging at the bottle of bigotry for far too long and now will bear the damage before we can seek sobriety.
To that end – and if we are to recover – it is imperative for the American populace to take to the streets and to spend the next four years building a strong movement asserting, each and every day, that Donald Trump did not win the popular vote.
To remind:… “NO RACISTS NO BIGOTS NO MISOGYNISTS NO XENOPHOBES NO ISLAMOPHOBES NO ANTISEMITES IN OUR WHITE HOUSE.” To remind: “NOT OUR PRESIDENT” … see ya on the street folks!
UPDATED: Friday November 18, 2016:
It is with deep regret and sad reflection that we must note that hell on earth has indeed come to fruition: Trump just announced his appointment of Jeff Sessions to office of Attorney General.
By Melanie Nathan
#DUMPSessions #SessionsRACIST #NOTMYPRESIDENT #DUMPTRUMP
HERE IS THE VIDEO OF THE TESTIMONY :
Shirley Tans testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cTojNqjnP4&list=PL6FFF93CA62CA377C
See for yourself: Jeff Sessions with the late Julian Bonds, who also gave testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5YJCDAVe2I&index=8&list=PL6FFF93CA62CA377C
Shirley Tan and Family was honored by San Francisco Pride for their fight for UAFA: