Black pastors and leaders gathered Monday on Capitol Hill to denounce the recent accusations of racism against Republican Sen. Jeff Session of Alabama that Democrats leveled since his nomination for U.S. Attorney General.
The men present urged people to ignore the allegations of racism and to give Sessions a chance in an event hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC) and the Frederick Douglas Foundation.
“Americans are living in a toxic climate where the serious charge of racism is carelessly leveled against anyone with whom the left disagrees. We are here today to make it perfectly clear that these accusations against Senator Jeff Sessions is baseless,” began Rev. Dean Nelson, the director of African-American Outreach at the FRC’s Watchmen at the Wall.
People rushed out to accuse Sessions of discrimination and racism after President-elect Donald Trump nominated him as U.S. Attorney General. A New York Times piece alleged that Sessions referred to a black prosecutor as “boy” and had quipped that the Klu Klux Klan was “okay until I found out that they smoked pot.”
Bishop Harry Jackson urged the public to focus on Session’s track record rather than the charges of racism. He pointed out Session’s insistence that a KKK member receive the death penalty for allegedly killing a black teenager.
“Sessions helped de-segregate schools in Alabama- a huge issue. Also he got the death penalty for a KKK murderer. I think that would qualify you as someone who is eliminating racism, not one who is perpetrating racism,” Jackson declared.
Other leaders pointed out that Sessions is well-qualified and has a history of working with people across the aisle.
“In 2003, Jeff Sessions worked besides the late Ted Kennedy to lead the efforts to pass the Prison Rape Elimination Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush,” Rev. Troy Towns, a pastor at a Montgomery church, said.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act was a criminal justice reform effort aimed at cutting down on prison rapes.
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