During Sen. Jeff Sessions’ opening remarks at his confirmation hearing to become Attorney General, he addressed accusations against him of racism.
“Let me address another issue straight on: I was accused in 1986 of failing to protect the voting rights of African-Americans” Sessions told the committee. “These are false charges.”
Sessions explained to the committee: “the voter fraud case my office prosecuted was in response to pleas from African-American, incumbent, elected officials who claimed the absentee ballot process involved a situation in which ballots cast for them were stolen, altered and cast for their opponents.”
Sessions then addressed allegations that he harbored sympathies for the KKK, citing his work on Michael Donald case.
Michael Donald was an African-Amercian who in 1981 was killed and had his body hung from a tree by Klansman Henry Francis Hays. Sessions prosecuted Hays, which resulted in Hays being executed in 1997.
“I never declared the NAACP was un-American, or that a civil rights attorney was a disgrace to his race. There is nothing I am more proud of than my 14 years of service in the Department of Justice,” Sessions went on to say.
Sessions concluded by saying: “I deeply understand the history of civil rights in our country, and the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination, and the denial of voting rights, has had on our African-American brothers and sisters. I have witnessed it. We must continue to move forward, and never back.”
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