In the never-ending quest to reverse everything good accomplished by the Obama administration, there’s been some friendly competition between Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions to see who can be the biggest racist.
The Muslim ban and the repeal of DACA should put Trump firmly in the lead, and there’s maybe a compelling case to be made for that argument. But if you know the score, you know that Jeff Sessions had a hand in those decisions as well.
The almost casual racism of Islamophobia and xenophobia, however, in terms of American policy, are almost brand new. Up until World War I, some areas of the country considered German at least secondarily an official language. “Integration” was considered more a love by immigrants for their new home, rather than the silencing of their cultures. Islam was nowhere near as widely feared in America prior to 9/11 and the incredibly effective job Fox News and right-wing radio did to demonize everyone from the religion.
But racism toward blacks in America has always been the swift undercurrent that has stalled the ship of progress for African-Americans in the United States.
And there is no more powerful tool in institutionalizing racism than the authority of the police. When the very people you expect to call on when you need help hate you, you are buckled in for a “rough ride.” You could ask Freddie Gray about that – if he were alive.
After America finally elected a black man president, it was inevitable that at least some effort would be made to ameliorate the effect of racist, oppressive, corrupt cops. And there was. Under Obama’s appointee Eric Holder, the Justice Department was directed to work with local police departments with a history of investigations in reforming their forces.
But then America elected, if it’s possible, the polar opposite of Barack Obama: No love for the country, no class, no speaking ability, no compassion, and certainly no eye on justice or equality. And with that election, we watched the appointment of Trump’s attorney general, Jeff Sessions – a man once deemed too racist for even an appointment as a federal judge.
It was only a matter of time.
Now Sessions has overturned the progress made by the previous administration. Unilaterally, the Justice Department has rolled back the program that once helped problem police departments achieve the reforms necessary to rebuild relationships with their communities.
As usual, the decision is universally reviled among all but racists. It was made under the ostensible guise of saving money, but we know: With his recommendations on sentencing guidelines, his laser focus on minor drug crimes that largely affect black communities, and now the rollback of police reforms, Jeff Sessions handily wins the title of Most Racist Man In America.
Featured image via Susan Walsh (Pool)/Getty Images