'Back of the bus?' Contentious Black Congressman Implies GOP Is Racist During Sessions Confirmation
By: Dr. Jake Baker - TapWires News Service
The Sessions nomination process was jolted back to life this afternoon when an often angry, heavily racial, and usually contentious, Cedric Richmond (D-LA) took the microphone to testify against Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions. Richmond, a consistent race-baiter, vehemently opposed Trump’s nominee for attorney general.
Complaining about the same staging practices used by the Democrats, Richmond made clear that he was more than a little unhappy with his slot in the speaking schedule. It is common practice for the party in control to place many of the positive voices for a nominee on the front end of the schedule, while reserving the back bench for those in opposition to a nomination.
Such was the case for Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Representative John Lewis (D-GA), and Richmond, all three of whom are opposed to the Sessions nomination. They appeared before the Committee late Wednesday afternoon at the end of the session. Schedulers generally hope by that point in the process that the press has already filed their story and those testifying are soon forgotten.
Sessions, who enjoyed the affirmation of several black clergy earlier, faced multiple allegations of racism, specifically related to how he handled a voter fraud case involving black voters when he was the attorney general of Alabama.
Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in 1986 because of the claims. The attorney general-designate confronted the charges head-on Tuesday during the first day of his confirmation hearings, calling them " undeniably false."
Earlier on Wednesday—day two of Sessions' confirmation hearings to become U.S. attorney general—Donald Trump's team seemed intent on reminding senators of Sessions' devotion to rooting out alleged voter fraud.
And the conservative media like the cavalry came to the aid of Sessions. "This is just another instance of so-called 'progressives' going all out to protect their own—even when the victims are black voters," wrote Hans von Spakovsky for the Conservative Review.
But Sessions' opponents, including Booker, Lewis, and Richmond, would certainly disagree. In a well-choreographed attack, the three black legislators joined forces against Sessions and his policies. An angry Richmond, however, took his criticism one step further, calling out the entire GOP-led committee for a perceived scheduling slight for their testimonies.
"To have a senator, a house member and a living civil rights legend [John Lewis] testify at the end of all of this, is equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus," Richmond said of the "petty strategy." The Louisiana Democrat added:
"My record on equality speaks for itself, and I don't mind being last, but to have a living legend like John Lewis handled in such a fashion is beyond the pale and the message sent by this process is duly noted by me and the 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the 78 million Americans we represent and the over 17 [million] African Americans."
That is, of course, a major point. This Sessions case to which they refer repeatedly was not a case of racial harassment by Sessions' assistants who handled the case. It was protecting the rights of black voters whose vote was being illegally cast in a voter fraud scheme. These were votes that were stolen and stacked up, in clear violation of law, for a candidate that had not earned them. But, as Spakovsky implied, this is a politically motivated racial argument that is as politically savvy as it is morally shabby.
Fortunately, by the time Richmond was spewing his angry racial slurs at Sessions and the GOP in general, the audience was considerably smaller than it might have been earlier in the day. Nonetheless, it undoubtedly made the trio feel better being able to vent their racial animus at somebody.
Donald Trump, Race Baiting, Jeff Sessions, Voter Fraud, Donald Trump , Cory Booker, Cedric Richmond, John Lewis, Racial Slurs