Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Hearings Were Trump’s America In A Nutshell » VSB

Featured, Race & Politics, Theory & Essay

Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation Hearings Were Trump’s America In A Nutshell

Time permitting; I watch quite a bit of reality television. I’m partial to the Love & Hip Hop series that VH1 and Mona Scott-Young so graciously stream into my living room on Monday nights. You’ll never find me defending the shenanigans of anybody on the show; for me, it exists as a form of mindless entertainment and doubles as a way for me to know which kind of furniture and glassware is strongest when being hurled from various distances across rooms. While I’ve yet to purchase anything I’ve seen maintain its structure after violence on the show, durability is next to Godliness. Or something.

Unfortunately, and in real life, the Senate confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, who has been nominated by immature imbecile – your President-Elect and mine – Donald Trump, for the position of Attorney General of the United States of America, reminded me a lot of Love & Hip Hop, or anywhere else fuckshit goes to thrive, flourish, and prosper.

I decided to watch both days’ hearings. I can’t pretend to previously have known a whole lot about Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III, despite him hailing from the state in which I attended high school. But today, it doesn’t take much to find out as much as you need to know. If you read enough articles you’ll realize that Sessions has a checkered past when it comes to race relations in his professional capacity. A lot of those attitudes and activities manifested over 30 years ago, so it’s entirely possible that those attitudes and mentality have shifted. Shit, even George Wallace, famed racist-ass governer of Alabama, who famously stated “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and who symbolically “Stood in the Schoolhouse Door” to protest the enrollment of Black students at the University of Alabama, eventually rolled back his racist views and apologized to African-Americans. It seems that maybe a leopard can change his spots with time. So maybe Sessions isn’t whitefolkin’ as much as he used to.

Maybe.

That’s not what’s at issue to me. It’s pretty clear that Sessions will be confirmed as the next Attorney General. Considering how raucous his hearings were and who testified for and against, and how, its nearly a mirror for what’s wrong with America right now.

For starters, people were actually KICKED OUT of his hearing. Some clever individuals came dressed as KKK members and had to be escorted out. Others brought signs and yelled. When you have people protesting you at confirmation hearings, coming in full garb, the powers that be should take notice.

Consider who typically was in favor of and who was against. There was an entire panel of Black people, with three individuals clearly sought out to give personal praise to Jeff Sessions and might very well be the only Black people who feel this way in America. One individual, a staffer to Sessions, praised him as making his staff look good and seemingly prepared his remarks RIGHT before testifying. The argument about knowing the heart of the man versus what you think about the man was driven home a few times.

And I think that’s pure shit. Senator Cory Booker, famously breaking decorum and testifying against a sitting colleague, and Rep. John Lewis, both spoke about race and how Sessions nomination was effectively a slap in the face towards positive race relations. The panel before that one featured the white head of the Fraternal Order of Police (clearly on Sessions side) and an odd Black man with a bad mustache (among others) who basically called the Congressional Black Caucus full of shit, BUT also featured Amita Swadhin, a Indian-American sexual assault victim who was absolutely troubled by both Trump’s statements about grabbing women by the *CENSORED* and Sessions dismissal of said statements as both NOT sexual assault OR a big deal.

And to make that even more fucked up, the hearings caused one Alabama Congressman, Mo Brooks, to state this:

“It’s really about political power and racial division and what I refer to, on occasion, as the ‘war on whites,’

Well, that’s not loaded language. At all. And Mo, there’s no damn war on whites.

No white people want to be called racist. What you saw on Tuesday, specifically, was a bunch of old, rich white men who probably hold similar views being offended for Jeff Sessions and coming to the defense of their friend and colleague. To them, it’s impossible that any of his rhetoric, action, or record could be in any way damaging to minorities (or humanity), because he’s a good man and a joy to work with according to people who have never been on the barrel end of his decision making. And likely won’t be on that end of his decision making when he’s the Attorney General.

Sen. Al Franken, went so far as to basically accuse him of being the Puff Daddy of State U.S. attorneys, pointed out that on his list of 10 most important cases, several attorneys who worked the cases said that Sessions basically just put a ring on it and never substantively worked on any of those cases. Sessions basically threw his name on the beat and took the credit for producing the song. THEN went so far as to name it one of his greatest beats ever. A few times over.

Minorities and people of color have been complaining for eons about privilege and our reality, where the voices and opinions of the people most adversely affected by that privilege aren’t heard. Trump’s victory proved that beyond the shadow of a doubt. But to hold hearings for somebody who is going to be central towards the work of justice for all in the United States and to have so many people opposed who are all clearly minorities shows exactly the problem we have. Certain White folks continue to whitefolk, and those in power and privilege don’t give a fuck about what people who don’t look like them have to say or think.

How can you confirm somebody that SO many people have very real, grave, and logical issues with? How does make sense?

One Senator went so far as to say that Sessions voted on over 6,000 pieces of legislation during his tenure and these people were focused on only a few. When those few are the ones with the furthest reaching effects and are most damaging to minorities and people of color, absolutely. It’s just a damn shame that these elected individuals in Congress aren’t smart enough to realize it. How you claim Obama created a partisan and racial divide in America and then hold a hearing where the minorities’ voices will be soundly ignored is hypocrisy of the highest order.

But, it’s hard to hear that over all the whitefolkin’.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • FIRST LOL

    • L8Comer

      You’re such a lame, lol ?

  • Negro Libre

    That all-black male segment was ridiculous in retrospect.

  • Courtney Wheeler

    The entire hearing produced a massive migraine inducing eyeroll from me…

    Then Trump’s press conference made me want to cry.

    • CrankUpThe_AC

      He’s so inarticulate.

  • King Beauregard

    FIRST

    • King Beauregard

      (yes, I’m Doing A Thing)

  • keepinITreal

    sitting at my desk in Alabama – head high- tears plenty – because this is just the beginning – this man here is – a racist thumb of the hand that will lead [us] for the next four years!

  • I’ve tried to watch but:
    1. I didn’t want my blood to boil
    2. It’s like watching an impending train derailment. You know it’s gonna happen & there’s nothing you can do about it. But clean up the mess when it’s all said & done.

  • DM.

    I don’t even care anymore lol.
    I hope the Dems who sat out the election (and were ‘above’ voting for HotSauce bc they didn’t “trust her”) are happy!

    • I have no sympathy for anyone going forward

      • DM.

        Me neither lol. I did my part and voted. Nothing else I can do at this point except move on with my life and hope the 4 years go by FAST

        • WenzelDashington

          Hot sauce got 3 million more votes than Cheeto.

          • pls

            Are you saying the electoral college is responsible?

            • WenzelDashington

              Yeah?

    • King Beauregard

      I am still not done processing the contempt I feel for those who sat out the 2010 election; I’ve got roughly infinite fuel to run on. Some day, when my body burns out, you had better believe I will continue on as an angry ball of energy that torments those who claim to have principles yet are complicit in monsters running this country.

      • Negro Libre

        You’re gonna burn out then: at least 45% of the population isn’t going to vote in any election, the numbers are way worse in primary years, which 2010 was. You work with what you’re given, or you find some other way of convincing the apathetic to gain enthusiasm. Such is the nature of politics; the path you’re leaning towards, is the path towards elitism. It reminds me of a comment I once read about a labor politician making in the U.K. when Thatcher came to power, “God these working class people, we give them education, we give them opportunities in life, and what do they do, they read the Sun (one of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers) and don’t work for us.” Doesn’t seem like a good political strategy for maintaining or achieving power ijs.

        • King Beauregard

          We may be running off differing definitions, but I consider it vastly more elitist to say, “because suchandsuch politician won’t give me personally exactly what I want, I don’t mind letting a monster win and making life aitch eye ell ell for everyone else”.

          After the Democratic primary, any number of Bernie supporters asked me (a big Hillary supporter) incredulously: “are you saying you would have voted for Bernie if he’d won the primary?” And my answer was: “OF COURSE I would have, because for all his faults, Sanders isn’t out to destroy the country and half the people in it like the Republicans are”. I don’t have a problem with looking beyond my own wishes to the good of this country and its many people; if that’s elitism, then call me the Elitiest Elite to ever Elite an Elite.

          • mr. steal your costco samples

            I would have been happy to vote Bernie in the general. you kidding me?

            • King Beauregard

              I kid you not — a great many Bernie supporters could not imagine any Democrat would be reasonable enough to vote for their second-choice Democrat in the general election.

              • mr. steal your costco samples

                even though that’s exactly what they did in ’08?!?

                • King Beauregard

                  You must understand, the only people with any intelligence, vision, and principles are Bernie supporters. Just ask them. The rest of us are motivated by some combination of stupidity and malice, and do not possess a conscience of any kind that would motivate us to do the right thing.

                  • We’re sellouts with no vision!

                    • King Beauregard

                      We am follow Hillary because Debi Wazemum Shoe say to! We not thinkers like Bernie heroz!

          • Negro Libre

            Hmmm, elitism is more of a mindset than an actual personal description as far I’m concerned. It’s not just “Oh we’re better than you”… it’s “You owe us, because we made you, and you’d be nothing without us if we didn’t take care of you”

            You heard a lot of that, when Dems were complaining about not enough black people came out to vote like they did for Obama. In fact, a lot of what you’re saying about Bernie voters, and what I heard about women voters who voted for Trump, all are rooted in the same mindset: that all of these “minorities” or Bernie bros, without the Democratic would be what, they actually are, worthless and begging for the scraps licking the boots of corporations and white males .

            It also takes for granted that people who vote don’t deserve any side of the bargain that comes with voting, or that power in itself, isn’t a reward. Shouldn’t black people for instance who vote Dems get something in return? Shouldn’t Bernie Bros (Sanders was an Independent and still is, which implies that not all his base were ever hardcore Dems in the first place) have some kind of assurance that a party that they trust with their interests, will not seek to railroad a candidate that they wanted to vote for? I mean I could go on, but to suggest that they’re vote is owned, is to suggest that they should have a feudal-type loyalty to a political party, and that that party doesn’t need to constantly seek out and step up to persuade them to vote and give them power in the first place.

            To me, that is elitism.

            • King Beauregard

              It’s not about whether a vote is owed to the Democrats.

              It’s about whether a person has an obligation to do the responsible thing on Election Day.

              In this general election, any choice other than voting for Hillary was either directly supporting Trump or holding the door open for him. There aren’t many ways to spin this: either Trump or Hillary was going to be president, act wisely.

              • Negro Libre

                Yes, but can you say, that in all the elections you’ve ever been a part of, that that wasn’t ever the case?

                • King Beauregard

                  Well I believe in voting in every election, so of course I see it that way.

                  That said, people all over the place were warning that Trump is uniquely dangerous, like the apotheosis of all the worst ideas the Republicans have ever come up with.

                  • That said, people all over the place were warning that Trump is uniquely dangerous, like the apotheosis of all the worst ideas the Republicans have ever come up with

                    b-b-b-but Benghazi! Emails! Benghazi Emails!!!

                    she’s a politician so she’s evil/she lies/she’s evil and lies/she’s evilyn from he-man/she’s in corporation’s back pocket

                    http://gifsec.com/wp-content/uploads/GIF/2014/03/Kevin-Hart-Reaction-GIF.gif?gs=a

                    *goes back to work*

                    • King Beauregard

                      Don’t forget Goldman Sachs! They paid her some money once therefore she is out to destroy us all!!11!!!1!

                      And she was in a leadership position at a charity that does a great deal of international good, THAT’S how dangerous she is!

                  • Negro Libre

                    Well I believe in voting in every election, so of course I see it that way.

                    Can you say bubble…lol jk.

                    You win elections by persuading others to vote in election…that’s never going to change, and that’s the point I’m making. It may seem hard, if not impossible with certain people, if we want this Republican Democracy thing to work, that’s the realm we have to deal with.

                    If not, monarchies never completely go out of style…

            • mr. steal your costco samples

              to me, this is incoherence.

              • Negro Libre

                Hmmm…

                I’m gonna let it slide.

                Fact is that votes are not guaranteed, regardless of how bad the alternative might be in politics and we already live in a country where 45-50% of people don’t vote anyways, because they either don’t give an ish or don’t see any effect it has. That includes the educated and the uneducated. It includes the young and the old, the white and the minority.

                Overlooking all that, and riding with frustration, just makes you, especially as a party think that you’re owed something which you never were, and also guarantees that you’ll never have the temperance and insight to develop strategies to make up for the loses that put Trump into power in the first place.

                • mr. steal your costco samples

                  fair enough, but there are limits to the powers of persuasion vs. tribalism

                  • Negro Libre

                    Welp, like I said to KB…

                    Republic/Democracy or Monarchy…

                    That’s what we gotta deal with. Also, 45-50% of the people ain’t voting period, and that has nothing to do with tribalism. That does sound like a great place to start.

    • jbjbjbj

      Nope…go back to non-bernie supporters. This is what should be the focus. In my opinion, if you did not vote for bernie – you voted for trump. Period.

      • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

        How does one vote for Bernie if he isn’t the the nominee?

        ETA: isn’t

        • mr. steal your costco samples

          man, the blame for all this lies clearly with the Trump voters, but the folks slagging the Dems for Bernie (or slagging them for not being able to take advantage of their 49-51 majority) make me ill. y’all coulda put in work for the team.

          now, you get the satisfaction of being right while errrrything gets taken apart.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            Honestly I blame the Dem’s more than people that voted for Trump. Trump voters were always going to vote for the Republican nominee. It’s the folks that would have been best served by Democratic President and either did a write in or didn’t bother to vote that bothers me most.

            • mr. steal your costco samples

              I’m bothered the most by those folks as a subset of folks I choose to engage with. like, you KNEW WHAT THIS WAS. even if you HATED Hillary at least give to Feingold or sumshit

              • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                Agreed.

              • SB

                Agreed. Republicans get on my nerves, but one thing I’ll give them credit for is they turn out in huge numbers to vote. They circle the wagons and support each other; even if it is begrudgingly. Democrats, on the other hand, have to be coaxed to vote. We focus too much on likeability, then wonder why we stay taking Ls.

                • King Beauregard

                  Democrats are too scared of being “sheeple”, they won’t vote for any candidate who isn’t beyond reproach.

                  Or at least candidates they have DECIDED are beyond reproach. But give me any darling of today’s Left and I will reproach them in ways that make their fans very very butthurt.

                  NONE of these candidates are perfect; it’s all varying degrees of imperfection, it’s all the lesser of two evils.

                  • SB

                    Exactly. I wasn’t ‘excited’ about voting for John Kerry in ’04. I was just excited to vote. It was the first election that I was eligible to vote in, and you better believe I made it my business to do my civic duty. I go back and forth about how I feel about Bill Maher, but he was right when he said that Democrats eat their young. Too busy looking for a rockstar candidate instead of working with what you have. The false equivalence of Hilary and Trump being the same/having the choose between the lesser of two evils got on my motherfucking nerves. They are NOT the same. Even if you’re not crazy about The Clintons and their politics, can you (general you, not personal) honestly say that Hilary’s cabinet confirmations would’ve led to all of these thinkpieces and articles? Ya’ll know that Hils would’ve been super prepared at that press conference. Comparing her to the unchecked id that is Donald Trump is an insult.

          • mr. steal your costco samples

            the Senate races were where the action was. even if you hated Hillary, you could have worked for McGinty or whoever

        • jbjbjbj

          If more one(s) had voted for bernie – he would have been the nominee. It was that easy. Clinton did to her followers what trump did to his. I blame clinton’s hotsauce being in her purse.

          • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

            So we are back to Bernie polled better against Trump. In the spirit of “it don’t matter no mo”, let’s agree to agree that the current situation is horrible and not fight old battles.

            • jbjbjbj

              I with you. I just wish people would conduct an after action review. It’s like the world keeps trying to drive on despite this pothole that just ruined a run flat tire and a rim. Nobody wants to stop to fix it because somebody told them only the Ferrari dealership can change the tire. But…that’s not the real problem. We ain’t gonna do nothing about the pothole that we gotta drive over tomorrow? That rim and tire combo is $4500 per corner. If we decide that filling the pothole will avoid this cost…why would we leave the pothole there to destroy again? Wait tho…nobody wants to admit that the pothole actually exists.

              But hey…maybe I’m just fighting shooting pixie dust out my azz. Fck it. Who knows.

              • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                If the dem’s don’t start running on what they feel is right instead of what they think will help them win, we are in for a long bumpy ride. We can’t out compete the Republicans on what they do best.

                • mr. steal your costco samples

                  that’s fair. might as well roll out fully pro-labor.

              • Val

                Hard to do a proper postmortem yet. People are still angry.

                • jbjbjbj

                  If anybody understands this type anger…it’s me. It is a pointless emotion if not combined with planning and execution. We’re circling wagons to pout. I walked away from politics after making history in 2000 only to return in 2008 and make history again because…i’m slow and i like pain. Nothing had changed. Come 2012, I said to h3ll with those people. Didn’t even look for the sexcapades. Fast forward to 2016 and the dnc leaks…took me back to a conference table on the south side of Houston in 2000. Same ol sht just a different day. All about status, connections and money grabbing that can’t help but be sheisty. I have receipts that I hold close to my heart so I will never forget. This applies to all political parties. Bernie was the answer. He was against and in the democratic party…that equaled change. All we have to do is have a bernie type get out there right now in preparation for the next round of elections (see teaparty). Build up to 2020. You know what…I’m just a country (i hate that) dude that mowed a lot of grass as a kid who majored in pointless stuff in college and drove a dropped classic muscle truck when it wasn’t popular (weird) who now drives a fuel efficient bubble and is retired but can’t stay at home because im 42 and its driving me crazy. I’ve also made deals on behalf of the united states while residing at embassies with a burgundy passport…but, I am slow and I’ve been intimately involved with every color johnny walker for over a decade. So…don’t mind me.

                  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

                    Sounds complicated. Get a plate of jollof rice and some brown liquor. Make you feel better about everything.

      • pls

        Stop effing spreading this lie. If you voted for Trump, you voted for Trump. If no one voted for Bernie, no one voted for Bernie.

  • Damn inauguration goona look like the audience of a Happyppy Gilmore golf tournament.

    • Janelle Doe

      I can only laugh at this bc i saw part of this movie on TV over xmas

    • Val

      /klan rally

  • King Beauregard

    It is Friday the 13th. Somewhere in America, just before midnight on every Friday the 13th, the ghost of Frederick Douglass appears at the bedside of some racist wretch …

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/04/04/friday-the-13th-a-ghost-story/

  • Hugh Akston

    It’s white America yt people in large part wanted this so why not let them have it?

    Sessions, like many of his followers will show this country the extent of its hatred and it won’t matter at the end of the day because most yt folks (and even those on the left which doesn’t really exist as plenty of times people move from one party to the other) will excuse them…no matter what they do

More Like This