The allegations of racism against U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions are a result of the Democrats’ “war on whites,” according to Alabama’s Republican Rep. Mo Brooks.
“It’s really about political power and racial division and what I refer to, on occasion, as the ‘war on whites,'” Brooks said on “The Morning Show With Toni & Gary” on WBHP 800 Alabama radio, CNN reported last week. “They are trying to motivate the African American vote to vote-bloc for Democrats by using every Republican as a racist tool that they can envision, even if they have to lie about it.”
“Sessions is still a racist,” says 80-year-old Evelyn Turner, one of the “Marion Three” who Sessions prosecuted in the 1980s.
According to Brooks, the allegations against Sessions are part of an effort to smear his reputation.
“If you get right down to it, it’s all about political power,” Brooks said. “And the Democrats are not shy about lying in order to achieve their political goals. And if they have to besmear the reputation of a good man, Jeff Sessions, in order to achieve their political goals, they as a group are not hesitant to do so.”
But Sessions’ dismal record on civil rights speaks for itself. In 1986, Sessions was rejected to be a district judge in Alabama. He was the second judge to be rejected in 48 years. Some of his racist comments included referring to a white civil rights lawyer as a “disgrace to his race” for taking on voting rights cases, calling the Voting Rights Act (VRA) a “piece of intrusive legislation,” calling civil rights groups “un-American” and referring to an African American federal prosecutor as “boy.”
N.J. Sen. Cory Booker says fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions’ record on civil rights represents “a real danger to our country.” Congressmen John Lewis and Cedric Richmond also to testify.
During his confirmation hearing last week Sessions called allegations of racism against him “damnably false charges.”
“It wasn’t accurate then and it’s not accurate now,” he said.
Sessions has not done much to fix his “besmeared” reputation. He voted against the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The act, which extended protections for hate crimes committed due to sexual orientation, gender identity or disability status, still passed without Sessions’ vote.
Alabama Sen. Sessions previously lost a federal judge nomination due to his racist positions and remarks.
However, as attorney general, Sessions would be responsible for enforcing the law and helping to provide evidence for crimes that fall under the law that he opposed as senator.
Rep. Brooks, for his part, has previously blamed Democrats for instigating a “war on whites” by “claiming that whites hate everybody else.” In 2014 he said racism is no longer an issue in America:
“In America this is the land of opportunity. You can excel provided you’re willing to study hard, work hard, take advantage of the opportunities that are presented in our country. And there are plenty of people who have been able to establish that this race issue should be way behind us. But unfortunately the Democrat campaign strategy is to keep it going.”
However, studies point to systemic racism being alive and well, particularly when it comes to voting rights and “voter fraud” — a debunked myth propelled largely by Republicans.
The Brennan Center for Justice in 2016 published “Dangers of ‘Ballot Security’ Operations: Preventing Intimidation, Discrimination, and Disruption,” which outlines the legal issues pertaining to voter intimidation following calls for “ballot security” amid the dismantling of strict voter ID laws. The publication cites numerous laws regarding voter intimidation and discrimination, stating that the law prevents discriminating against and/or intimidating voters, using police at polling sites and “conspiring to interfere with voters’ rights.”
“Challenges and other ballot-security measures are especially ripe for abuse in a racially charged environment,” the authors, Wendy Weiser and Adam Gitlin, state. “Recent court rulings against new state laws that would have made it harder to vote make clear that intentional discrimination in the voting context is still all too common.”