Dear MoveOn member,
I'm Benard Simelton, the Alabama State Conference president of the NAACP.
I was arrested last night while taking part in a nonviolent sit-in at Senator Jeff Sessions' Mobile office in Alabama to oppose his nomination for attorney general. He is wholly unqualified to be the nation's top law enforcement official, as demonstrated by his long and troubling record in opposition to civil and human rights.1
As the highest law enforcement official, the attorney general has the responsibility to protect the civil and human rights of Americans of all races, colors, and genders. Senator Sessions is not that person and presents an extreme danger to the equality, diversity, and inclusiveness that the U.S. has achieved over the last decade.
There are many reasons for Congress to block the appointment of Jeff Sessions:
- He has a long history of opposing civil rights enforcement and making racist statements.2
- He has championed voter suppression.3
- He opposes hate crime protections for LGBTQ victims.4
- He has opposed multiple efforts to address pay equity for women.5
- He is a staunch opponent of legal immigration.6
...and so much more. In the words of U.S. Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, "If you have nostalgia for the days when Blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man."7
Diversity, equality, and compassion make America stronger. We must stand together and resist any effort to divide us up and strip away the progress that we've made.
1. "Civil Rights Activists Arrested For Protest Over Jeff Sessions As Attorney General," NPR, January 4, 2017
2. "Jeff Sessions’ Record on Civil Rights, Race Revisited After Trump’s Attorney General Tap," The Associated Press, November 19, 2016
3. "Donald Trump’s atrocious attorney general pick: Jeff Sessions will roll back voting rights and civil rights," Salon, November 18, 2016
4. "Jeff Sessions Fought Against Hate Crime Protections for LGBT Victims," Mother Jones, November 22, 2016
5. "Senator Jeff Sessions’ Problematic Record on Women’s Rights," National Women's Law Center, December 20, 2016
6. "Sessions' Anti-Immigration Influence Will Go Far Beyond His Role as Attorney General," Mother Jones, November 18, 2016
7. "Trump picks Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general," Los Angeles Times, November 18, 2016
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