The Identity of Shamelessness

Donald Trump has never been one to shy away from the limelight, but on September 5, 2017, he inexplicably appointed U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions to deliver the administration’s decision concerning the approximately 800,000 immigrants who retain residence status in the United States under DACA.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is an immigration policy instituted by the Obama administration in June 2012. The policy allows certain illegal immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year deferment from deportation, along with eligibility for a work permit. These so-called “Dreamers,” who were forced to come into this country with their families, faced extreme vetting before achieving deferral, and by most accounts have become an integral part of American society. Deporting these individuals would bring disaster to American crop and dairy farmers, since most citizens are unwilling to perform the tasks necessary for farmers to turn a profit.  Furthermore, the Center for American Progress estimates that the loss of all DACA workers would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by $433 billion over the next ten years.

Sessions came to the podium exuberant―looking like a blood-sucking weasel in a moment of ecstasy―as he envisioned deporting 800,000 mostly brown people. In keeping with a Trump administration propensity for dispensing lies, among other things, Sessions stated:

“We are rescinding DACA… These illegal aliens along our southern border…are taking jobs from hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

Fact checking demonstrates that these Dreamer students, members of the military and farm workers have not taken jobs from anyone.

Racism―Faulkner’s “ineradicable curse” ―and a sanctimonious, twisted  view of law are the animating features of the Sessions persona. Where this man comes from is a reliable touchstone in predicting his objectives.  Indeed, Alabama seems to be the epicenter of a population still bitter over the Civil War defeat of pro-slavery advocates. Thus, it should come as no surprise that people like George Wallace and Jeff Sessions rose through the ranks to leadership roles in Alabama politics.

Wallace, it will be recalled, stirred the pots of racial unrest to make a strong showing in presidential politics. He spent most of his adult life as an avowed racist, often attempting to block federal court orders of desegregation.  His star began to fade after an assassination attempt left him paralyzed and wheel chair-bound.  His political aspirations dashed, toward the end of his life Wallace orchestrated clumsy attempts to portray himself as a model for tolerance and cultural diversity.

With somewhat more success, Sessions likewise proceeds under a veil of false pretense. In 1986, a Senate committee denied Sessions a federal judgeship after colleagues testified that he used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoke marijuana.”

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 on October 3, 1965 at Liberty Island, New York.  He called out the repealed Johnson-Reed Immigration Act of 1924, which imposed a racist quota favoring Northern European whites,   as “a cruel and enduring wrong, a harsh injustice and un-American in the highest sense.”

In an October 2015 interview with former White House advisor Stephen Bannon, Sessions exposed his Aryan preference when he praised the outcast law and said that between 1924 and 1965 it had “created really the solid middle class of America , with assimilated immigrants (white, of course), and it was good for America.”

Sessions reeks of fascist ideology through his demand for mandatory prison terms and maximum periods of incarceration; all of this in the face of over-crowded prisons everywhere.  In a United Nations treatise entitled Prison Population: Facts, Trends and Solutions Roy Walmsley, a consultant to the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, stated:

“Prisons are universities of crime, and imprisonment is an expensive way of making bad people worse.”

It would be difficult to find an equally powerful opposing view.

Despite the fact that marijuana has been legalized in several of the states as a “medicinal remedy,”  Sessions nonetheless desires to arrest and incarcerate every pot smoker he can locate. Furthermore, health providers have been passing out opiates like candy at a Fourth of July parade, and too many citizens have become hopelessly addicted as a result. Sessions would like to incarcerate this unfortunate class of victims rather than pursue the licensed peddlers.

For anyone who doubts that law-and-order Sessions is a disciple of fascist ideology, it is suggested that you locate and read a copy of the 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951).  In Lewis’ cautionary tale about the rise of fascism, the President elected in 1936 used a law-and-order band of paramilitary storm troopers to install a totalitarian government. As an aside, the book convincingly and presciently provides a blueprint for how Donald Trump rode a populist wave into the White house.

Jeff Sessions is a racist and fascist. He will not abandon his twisted notion of law and order until every jaywalker is serving a lengthy prison term, and every person of color has been deported to places unknown; a fascist utopia.

It is a perilous day for democracy when such a person is also the top law enforcement officer in the United States.

 

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