So it seems that Jeff Sessions is going to be the new ranking member on the Judiciary Committee in a move that’s “likely to please conservative organizations around Washington”. And it probably will. But I hope this will also bring some extra attention to the fact that Jeff Sessions seems to be a big racist. Go readSarah Wildman’s 2002 article on the subject.
Now of course whenever you point out that someone has a record of harassing civil rights workers while doing nothing to prevent harassment of black voters, or of “joking” in a good way about the Ku Klux Klan and “joking” in a bad way about civil rights movement, conservatives want to turn this into a mind reading exercise. So I should say that I have no idea what lurks within Jeff Sessions’ heart. Maybe deep down he thinks black people are great. He just believes in using his legal authority to make it harder for them to vote. Maybe he’s an opportunist. Maybe he deems the Voting Rights Act “intrusive” for reasons of high principle. And maybe he thinks the NAACP is “un-American” while still viewing the cause of equal rights as near and dear to his heart.
Personally, I have my doubts. But it could be true. Either way, we judge a public figure based on his words and his actions, not on our ability to read his mind.