Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been pushed on his apparent blindness regarding white extremism in America. Sessions was reprimanded for his department’s focus on black extremism while seemingly ignoring the arguably much larger problem of white extremism.
Representative Karen Bass a Democrat from California, pushed Sessions on whether he believed that the group Black Lives Matter was a black identity extremist group to which he replied: “I’m not able to comment on that.”
The Republicans have suffered from accusations of turning a blind eye to white extremism in the past and this latest encounter will likely hinder their progress. The accusations have only gotten louder since President Trump took office on the back of a controversial campaign which was seen as a bid to unite racists to the Trump cause.
The Republicans, of course, have denied all accusations and any notion of wrongdoing. But Trump is canny, and has used the growing frustration of the so-called “rust belt” to help him get to the White House. While he may not have been overtly racist, it seems hard to think that Trump hasn’t benefitted from racism and at least ignored the problem of white extremists. Trump was sharply criticized for his poor response to the riots in Charlottesville. Trump avoided apportioning blame to white extremists and in doing so angered many so-called Antifa (anti-fascists) in the process.
Many argue that Trump’s family have “skin in the game.” Trump’s father was caught up in a white nationalist riot many years ago and it was never entirely cleared up as to his reasons for being there. This episode, along with the Trump presidential campaign and the current campaign against NFL stars that have chosen to “take a knee” mean that among minorities Trump may be the least popular and most controversial president in history.
Watch the uncomfortable exchange here:
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