Black activists have united this week, following the confirmation and swearing in of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a man they see as a fundamental threat to communities of color and to historic civil rights protections.
In statements released Wednesday and Thursday, the Movement for Black Lives, the NAACP and the National Urban League, among other groups, called confirmation of the longtime Republican senator from Alabama “terrifying,” “a scandal” and “a grave mistake.”
The groups are pledging to remain vigilant against threats to civil rights, voting rights and criminal justice reforms, by applying pressure to the elected officials charged with oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice and resistance through protest.
“The appointment of Jefferson Sessions is a terrifying affirmation of what many of us already knew, that the federal government, and the Department of Justice specifically, will be used as weapons against our communities under this administration,” read a statement from the Movement for Black Lives, a collective of over 50 black activists groups that make up the Black Lives Matter movement.
“From the threat to defund the [DOJ] Civil Rights Division, to the appointment of an attorney general whose racism has been called out by his colleagues, it is clear the federal government will do nothing to end the state-sanctioned killing of our people by police, the theft of our votes, the continued criminalization of our children or the persecution of LGBTQ people,” the movement’s statement read.