Even though the Presidential election came to a close months ago, brave Democrats both around the country and at many levels of government have continued to push back against Donald Trump’s agenda. One example of this persistent movement has been taking place on the Senate floor, as Democratic senators have been banding together to fight the confirmation of Trump’s cabinet nominees.
One of these nominees, Jeff Sessions, has a very questionable history in regards to his role in the civil rights movements for African-Americans that took place throughout the 1960’s. In fact, he was seen as such an opponent to the movement that Coretta King herself wrote against him when he was being nominated for a federal judicial appointment.
It’s undeniable that Coretta had an incredibly important role to play in the civil rights movement, so if she was so against Sessions then, clearly there’s cause for concern.
Earlier today, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) tried to take a stand and make sure that her colleagues in the Senate were aware of this incredibly relevant issue.
She attempted to read out the letter that Coretta King wrote about Sessions on the Senate floor, to ensure that everyone voting on his nomination knew about his history of racism and oppression. Republicans, however, didn’t want to hear it.
Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) immediately abused his power as Senate majority leader to silence and punish Warren for her brave stand against racist policy. By giving her a formal rebuke, McConnell took advantage of a Senate rule that has almost never been used to prevent Warren from speaking any further about Sessions’ nomination. He might’ve thought that by silencing her, he’d won the battle, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
On the floor, Sen. Tom Udall just recited the Coretta Scott King letter that Elizabeth Warren tried to read https://t.co/zmdxJqN4V1
— Amanda Wills (@AmandaWills) February 8, 2017
In actuality, McConnell started a war, and it’s one that he’s likely to use. After Warren had been silenced, four additional Democratic senators stood up to finish reading the letter, ensuring that Sessions’ racist legacy wasn’t forgotten.
By preventing Warren from speaking, McConnell blundered and forced this issue into the national spotlight. Clearly, McConnell hasn’t realized that Democrats aren’t going to be coerced into silence.
Even more fittingly, McConnell’s ridiculously authoritarian statements about his actions rebuking Warren have given Democrats across the country a rallying cry. McConnell explained his actions by stating that “She was warned. She was given an explanation. She persisted”. Now, Democrats across the country have a message for McConnell: get ready to see a whole lot of persisting, because you can’t warn and explain away the blatantly racist nature of Sessions’ past actions.
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Source: Mother Jones