Jeff Sessions has a significant and explicit public history of hostility towards civil rights and racial justice. His professional career has been defined by racism, and he is absolutely unfit for the role of U.S. Attorney General. Oh, he'll tell you that's not what's in his heart, and that he's being unfairly caricatured.
Also, look at this adorable Asian baby sitting on his lap!
On Tuesday, Trump's pick to be the nation's top lawyer appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary to give testimony regarding his nomination. He was accompanied by many members of his family, including his daughter Ruth Sessions Walk, her husband John Walk -- who is Asian American -- and their four daughters. One of the girls was prominently visible sitting on the senator's lap.
Critics alleged that putting the cute kid front and center was a calculated move. Ira Madison III, a writer/host with MTV News, posted a series of tweets suggesting that Sessions was using his nonwhite granddaughter as a "prop" to deflect the many claims that he is racist. He joked that the senator stole the kid from a Toys "R" Us, followed by a pretty astute tweet about America's use of Asian Americans as "model minorities."
I can't lie -- had I been watching the hearing, I miiiiight have made a joke along similar lines.
Let's not pretend. Sessions plopping this camera-ready Asian kid right smack in the middle of a Senate confirmation hearing does looks weird, particularly when everyone knows the number one talking point on the senator is that his record on race, among other things, is a bag of shit. Why are his grandkids all up in the front row anyway? I know he's grandpa, but he doesn't have to be grandpa right this very photo opportunistic minute.
That said, if you're accusing Sessions of using his unwitting granddaughter as a prop, further dehumanizing her for a snarky tweet isn't a good look either. And so... Madison got pounced. He was pummeled with a deluge of backlash, mostly from conservative pundits and outlets, but also from the left, with lots of how-dare-yous decrying the perceived indignity of his comments.
Madison has since deleted the tweets, and MTV News issued a public apology.
This is a distraction. It would also be great if anybody losing their minds over Madison's tweets would apply even a small fraction of that energy to scrutinizing Sessions' epic professional history of obstructing the rights of minorities at every level, his destructive views on immigration, and his appalling record on women's rights.
Or how about that time he favorably cited a 1924 law that barred Asian immigration entirely?
In a 2015 radio interview with Stephen Bannon of Breitbart, the senator praised the Immigration Act of 1924, which drastically limited immigration and made permanent restrictions designed to keep out Southern and Eastern Europeans, particularly Italians and Jews, Africans, and Middle Easterners, and barring Asian immigration entirely. Sessions says the law, also known as the Johnson-Reed Act, " was good for America."
I do hope someday Grandpa has to answer for these views.
More here: MTV Writer Mocks Jeff Sessions' Asian Granddaughter, Claims She's Just a 'Prop'