Cassius Life Featured Video
LA Apparel Industry Linked to Money Laundering

Source: Ted Soqui / Getty

Here’s a sad fact: there have been only two Black women to serve in the U.S. Senate since its first meeting over 220 years ago: Carol Moseley Braun and Kamala Harris. This should come as no surprise, considering how integral both patriarchy and white supremacy have been to American governance and nation building since the country’s inception. Equally unsurprising? The way Senator Harris was treated white attempting to question Attorney General Jefferson Sessions during a televised hearing.

Sessions stood before the U.S. Senate Intelligence committee regarding his interactions with Russia and his conversations with President Trump about that relationship during and after the 2016 presidential election. Nothing shocking came out of his testimony. Per usual, a white man was allowed to speak his piece and his vehement supporters (the Republican senators behind the mics and pundits alike) backed him up— with both parties disrespecting Harris, at times, in the process.

A little background on Jefferson Sessions—this won’t take long: he’s known by many as “a racist and a liar.

During yesterday’s hearing, Sessions decided to play the role of victimized white man who was fearful of a Black woman. Senator Harris, a former state prosecutor, challenged Sessions on his attempt to avoid answering questions. Not only did Senator McCain interrupt her and Senator Burr try to shame her for the second time in two weeks, but Sessions said her questioning made him “nervous.” Black women are apparently the thorns Sessions imagines as piercing his side.

When Sessions was being considered to sit as a federal judge in 1986, Coretta Scott King wrote a letter to Congress detailing his racism and pleading that he not be allowed to serve in such a critical role. His nomination failed; however, this was not enough to derail his career, hence, someone who was ‘too racist’ in the 1980s being the most powerful attorney in the country some thirty years later.

In the United States, white men are offered a microphone even, if not especially, if they have a history of bigotry, dishonesty and sexism. Black women, on the other are silenced for being knowledgeable, critical and invested in the truth. The exchange between Senator Harris and the attorney general is but the latest painful reminder of such.