In another blow to the narrative that Donald Trump and his cabinet nominees are racists, several photos emerged over the weekend showing Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions holding hands with civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis during a march in 2015.
Alabama Representative Martha Roby posted several photos on Facebook on Sunday showing Sessions hand-in-hand with Lewis and flanked by several members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
I’m sharing these photos that my staff member took in Selma during the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” showing Senator Sessions joining arms with civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis and other leaders to cross the Edmund-Pettus Bridge. That was an important day for Alabama, and Senator Sessions made it a point to be there because he knew how meaningful his presence and participation were.
(Photos courtesy U.S. Rep. Martha Roby.)
The Weekly Standard published a very thorough article reviewing Sessions’ record on civil rights, which reads in part:
Sessions’s actual track record certainly doesn’t suggest he’s a racist. Quite the opposite, in fact. As a U.S. Attorney he filed several cases to desegregate schools in Alabama. And he also prosecuted Klansman Henry Francis Hays, son of Alabama Klan leader Bennie Hays, for abducting and killing Michael Donald, a black teenager selected at random. Sessions insisted on the death penalty for Hays. When he was later elected the state Attorney General, Sessions followed through and made sure Hays was executed. The successful prosecution of Hays also led to a $7 million civil judgment against the Klan, effectively breaking the back of the KKK in Alabama.
“While the facts show a clear record of Sessions commitment to civil rights, perhaps nothing reveals how far off base these attacks are than photos from Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge,” Roby wrote.
“I doubt many of his critics know him or have even met him. I do know Jeff Sessions, and I know him to be a man of the highest character and integrity. He probably has a better understanding of the rule of law than anyone in elected office. He’s going to make a tremendous Attorney General, and I believe that in time his critics will be proven wrong – again.”