Current U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has a led a political career riddled with questionable decisions and viewpoints that have demonstrated little regard for communities of color, so it’s no surprise that he fell short of coming up with an actual answer to a question about the government targeting “extreme” Black activists posed during his recent testimony before Congress.
Sessions was in the middle of his widely-scrutinized Congressional hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, when Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) began a brief line of questioning on an FBI report titled, “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated To Target Law Enforcement Officers.” When Sessions began immediately claiming to be unfamiliar with the exact contents of the study, Bass then followed up with a valid inquiry about who ordered the report.
“Well, I haven’t read it. I know some of it alleged targeting of officers by a certain group.” Later adding, “I’m not sure how that report got ordered. I don’t believe I exclusively approved it or directed it.”
Sessions continued to provide vague, generalized and uninformed answers as Bass pressed forward, tasking him with explaining why the FBI has no issue with investigating so-called new “Black extremist” groups, but has yet to launch a similar investigation into known white extremist groups such as the KKK. Although Sessions did admit to believing that Black extremist groups do exist in so many words, he failed to name any he could “recall” at the moment. Take a listen to his responses to the questions from Rep. Bass in full in the video below.
The Attorney General’s track record with communities of color thus far remains negative. In April, Sessions yet again sent the message that he has no regard for the concerns of Black Americans when he ordered a review of reform policies, either in place or in the works, within police departments. He followed the review order with the statement that the federal government should not be involved in the oversight of law enforcement, despite recent findings proving that many police departments use racist tactics to explicitly target African-Americans.