The Battle Against The Trump Administration Needs To Start Now With Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions is all of Trump’s hateful promises made into legislative reality.

Many of us were outraged when Donald Trump implied that Mexicans were rapists, when he mocked disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski, when he promised to block immigration of Muslims, when he suggested bringing back Stop and Frisk, when he bragged about sexually harassing women and kissing them without consent (note: sexual contact without consent is assault).

We’ve been shocked and outraged by Trump for years.

Many thought that Trump’s words would keep him out of office, that the outrage we felt was surely felt by the vast majority, if not all Americans. And while yes, the popular vote rejected Donald Trump, not enough of it did — not enough of us did — and he will be our next president.

The morning after the election, many of us, shocked and heartbroken and betrayed, vowed to fight. The worst had happened, a man representing greed, hatred, and oppression had been elected to our higher office on the promise of banning Muslims, dismantling our healthcare system, taking away abortion rights, racially profiling black Americans, and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants. We put on our safety pins and swore we’d be vigilant. January 20th would be the day we’d go to battle to protect our communities and our values against Donald Trump.

But right now, this week, Donald Trump is putting power behind his promises. On live television, for all to see, the Senate will have hearings to confirm several of Trump’s key cabinet appointments. Trump is doing his best to distract us from this with his ridiculous Twitter antics, but he’s building the foundation for his administration of hate, corruption, destruction, and oppression—today.

I know we want to imagine the look on Trump’s face when he sees hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of women take to the streets inauguration weekend to protest his shameful presidency. I know we want to see Trump shamed at our awards shows for his vile and bigoted statements. This is all very important and we should be speaking up and out every day.

But right now, right this moment, I really need y’all to take a look at Jeff Sessions. Because Jeff Sessions is all of Trump’s hateful promises made into legislative reality, and Trump is trying to appoint him to one of the most powerful positions in this country’s government.

No, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions isn’t an evil slaveholder in a problematic Quentin Tarantino movie, although I can see how you could mistake him for one. Jeff Sessions is one of our most senior, most racist, most sexist, most ableist senators — and considering how racist, sexist and ableist many of our senators are, that’s saying quite a lot. Sessions has fought every bill for immigration reform that he’s come across in office—he’s even fought legal immigration programs like the guest worker program.

Sessions was denied a federal judgeship in the 1980s when former colleagues reported that he regularly used the “N-word,” referred to a black male federal prosecutor as “boy” and joked that he liked the KKK until he found out they smoked marijuana.

Sessions has referred to the NAACP and ACLU as “un-American” and called a white civil rights lawyer a “traitor to his race.” As a U.S. attorney, Sessions prosecuted civil rights activists who were trying to register black voters with voting fraud. Sessions stood against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2012, claiming on the Senate floor that a law protecting disabled children had led to the downfall of schools. Sessions is openly anti-choice and against gay marriage. He even voted against additional funding for the VA. As senator, Sessions has consistently fought environmental protections, referring to climate science as “deliberate misinformation” and claiming that CO2 isn’t a pollutant. The League of Conservation voters gave Sessions a generous score of 7% out of 100% for his dismal environmental record.

Jeff Sessions is all of Trump’s hateful promises made into legislative reality, and Trump is trying to appoint him to one of the most powerful positions in this country’s government.

This is just a small sample of how truly horrible Jeff Sessions has been for America, but it’s nothing compared to how much more horrible he could be as Attorney General. The office of the U.S. Attorney General leads the U.S. Department of Justice — it’s our country’s highest legal position. In this position he would lead federal enforcement of environmental law, his office would investigate police corruption, would federally enforce the Americans With Disabilities Act, and would argue abortion rights in front of the Supreme Court. Session’s office would be responsible for determining how our government’s legal system defends and uphold our nation’s laws.

What a truly disastrous position for an ableist, climate-change denying, anti-choice racist who was deemed too bigoted for the Reagan administration. The damage Sessions could do to the legal protections that WE NEED to fight for our rights would is very real.

All of that change you were planning to fight for starting January 20th will be a hell of a lot harder if Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General.

So right now, today, I need you to take all that anger and fear and frustration and channel it into fighting the appointment of Jeff Sessions. The confirmation hearings are happening right now. Were you going to comment on another one of Trump’s outlandish tweets? Wait — take that time and tweet a senator instead. Were you going to engage one of your coworkers in friendly political debate? Take that energy and instead engage your state senators in a friendly email demanding that they vote against Sessions (especially if it is a Republican Senator). Call your senator’s office on your lunch break and make sure they know that you will not be voting for their reelection if they decide to confirm Sessions.

We need to fight more than just the hateful words of Trump, we need to fight the actions that turn those words into reality. People’s lives are at risk because of the actions that Trump and the rest of the Republican party are making while we are too stunned and horrified by this election to notice. We can make a difference if we fight Trump’s attempts to solidify his power through his terrifying cabinet appointments.

We have not been disempowered by this election. We have not been defeated. But we will be, if we don’t start paying attention.

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