An Alt Right Take on Jeff Sessions’ Confirmation HearingC. F. Robinson
Senatorial procedures show how the conflicts of the day play out in the official political sphere. So when the confirmation hearings for Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) to become Attorney General occurred, I watched much of the live stream to see what would happen. It became clear to me that although Senator Sessions is a popular, well-regarded figure in the upper house, his nomination struck a nerve at America’s existing – and future – racial conflict.
When watching the hearings, I could only think of an adjusted version of John Jay Chapman’s quote about the issue of slavery growing into the primary issue that led to the Civil War: “There was never any moment in our history when [severe racial conflict] was not a sleeping serpent. It lay coiled up under the table during the deliberations of [every social and political situation in America]. Owing to the [‘Civil Rights’ movement and the Hart-Celler Act of 1965] it was more than half awake. [After 9-11], it was on everyone’s mind though not always on his tongue.”
Many of the questions, in fact most of the questions, were not related to racial conflict at all. These questions, for example, sounded out the potential Attorney General’s positions on constitutional controversies as old as the Republic – state’s rights vs. federal responsibility, and so on. However, racial conflict was there – and quite contentious – although Senator Sessions and those on the Senate Judiciary Committee were courteous, civil, and never bothered to raise their voices.
Sin and Salvation: Jeff Sessions Pays Homage to America’s State Religion
Since the “civil rights” movement in the early 1960s, a semi-religion has developed which views the collective African-American community as being a sort of “god,” with Martin Luther King, Jr. as a sort of Christ figure. This semi-religion is the State Religion of America. Sin and sinners are re-defined to be what one does or does not do for Negroes. In the confirmation hearing, Senator Sessions portrayed himself as a fighter against sin and a loyal believer in the State Religion. He referenced his involvement in prosecuting several “Klansmen” for their involvement in a “lynching” case in Alabama in 1985. He also proudly discussed a Voting Rights Act case as well as working on several segregation cases.
Prior to the confirmation hearing, at the 2015 fiftieth anniversary commemoration of the “civil rights” march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Senator Sessions marched arm-in-arm with “civil rights Icon” and US Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia). Sessions also had a counter to the charge that he’d made racially insensitive remarks in the 1980s. In 1986, a well-organized campaign calling Sessions a racist emerged that sunk his chance to become a federal judge. Claims were also made that Sessions had called the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “un-American.” Sessions addressed the issue and said that the charges of racism were spurious, and that he wasn’t prepared in the 1980s for such an organized campaign against him. He insisted that his criticism of the NAACP and ACLU was related to their stances regarding the Reagan Administration’s anti-Communist efforts in Central America.
In short, Sessions fundamentally paid homage to the “civil rights” semi-religion, but that did not calm the waters.
In the US Senate, the Shadows of Future Conflict were Cast Backwards upon the Present
In the 1980s, accusations of racism sunk Senator Sessions’ chance for a judgeship, but then the racial issues were specific to actions the Senator himself was alleged to have committed. During the AG Confirmation hearings this time, the racial issues were generalized. It was a clash over two differing visions for society. The issues were more a foreshadowing of future conflict than the attitudes of one particular man.
Interspersed throughout the hearing was sudden, disruptive chanting by protestors. They tended to be “granola” white people, but there were some blacks. These protestors shouted chants such as, “No Trump, no KKK, no racist USA!” and the like. The participants in the hearing would stop speaking and the police would escort the protestors out. These protestors shouldn’t be considered disorganized rabble, instead they were likely deliberate plants by opponents of Session’s confirmation.
Within the audience were other plants. One was Khizr Khan. At one point, the camera specifically focused on him. Khan is the Muslim immigration lawyer whose son was killed while serving as a soldier in the US Army in Iraq. During the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Khan shook his finger in the air and scolded Trump and his supporters. Khan wasn’t called to testify during the event, but he did write to the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose the nomination, writing, “The most minimal standard for leading the Department of Justice must be a demonstrated commitment to pursuing justice for all Americans. Mr. Sessions fails to meet that standard.” There is a cruel irony in Khizr Khan. It would have been better for everyone had the 1924 non-European-immigration cutoff still been in effect to prevent his own immigration. With the extreme restrictions in place, there would have been no 9/11, and thus no Iraq War to take the life of his son, and Khan would be living in an Islamic society with no fetters on his religion.
Alton Mills was another plant in the audience. He was asked to stand up by Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois). Senator Sessions turned and looked Alton Mills in the eye. Alton Mills was wearing one of the skullcaps that Black Nationalists and activists wear. Senator Durbin explained that as a young man, Alton Mills had made some “poor decisions” which involved selling drugs. Eventually, he was sentenced to life in prison under the “three strikes” law after his drug “kingpins” betrayed and abandoned him in some sort of prosecutorial deal. Mills was freed only due to a lenience policy that was enacted after he had served more than twenty years in prison. Senators Sessions and Durbin then discussed how they adjusted the sentencing laws so that sentences for crimes involving crack cocaine became equivalent to sentences for powdered cocaine. The differing sentences are race-related: blacks are more frequently arrested with crack, and whites with cocaine. Durbin and Sessions politely clashed about their differing views of the sentencing laws.
Senator Durbin also made a point to bring out the dilemma the Obama Administration left for the Trump Administration. What to do about the “DREAMers?” These are illegal immigrants, mostly non-white, who were alleged to have been brought to the United States “through no fault of their own.” To emphasize the “DREAMer” problem, Senator Durbin brought up Sergeant Oscar Vasquez, who was a “DREAMer” who started a “robotics club” and joined the Army after becoming a citizen through a waiver. He argued that the “DREAMers” needed to be treated fairly and humanely. There was also a discussion regarding refugees, and the Holocaust was invoked to justify more influx of refugees.
Senator Sessions was able to stay on message and distinguish his views as a Senator who must create legislative policy from his duties as Attorney General, where he would enforce the existing laws. Additionally, Senator Sessions answered all the questions well within the philosophical limits of the pro-black/pro-minority State Religion. Despite paying homage to this powerful heresy, he was still criticized by Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and “civil rights icon” John Lewis. Both men are black. Senator Booker is clearly partially white – like former President Obama. He is widely believed to be making a play for the presidency himself. In a statement opposing Sessions he stated, “Senator Sessions has not demonstrated a commitment to a central requirement of the job – to aggressively pursue the congressional mandate of civil rights, equal rights, and justice for all. In fact, at numerous times in his career, he has demonstrated a hostility toward these convictions, and has worked to frustrate attempts to advance these ideals.” John Lewis, the “civil rights icon,” stated, “We need someone as Attorney General who’s going to look out for all of us, and not just some of us.”
An Alt Right Take on the Hearings
Because the GOP controls the Senate, and since Jeff Sessions is highly regarded within that body, he is very likely to be confirmed. It is also clear that Senator Sessions made no statements which were within the philosophical worldview of the Alt Right. The Alt Right is a social movement that is looking to make real changes in the real world. To do that, ultimately, Alt Right adherents will one day need to be active in politics, not just as online critics with pseudonyms, but as elected public officials who will be required to state their case in public, including under oath at confirmation hearings.
Therefore, Alt Righters must have an answer as to why they reject the “civil rights” metapolitical environment. The Sessions confirmation hearing shows how a politically ambitious Alt Righter might one day answer his detractors. Several concepts need to be emphasized:
- America has an ethnic identity, and that identity is white. With that in mind, the U.S. government is obliged to protect its people. To further clarify, America’s core ethnic group are those whites who are descended from the people referred to as “ourselves and our posterity” in the U.S. Constitution under the concept of the Founder’s Intent and/or those who can assimilate or have assimilated into that population. While the U.S. government may have some obligations to other groups, those obligations shouldn’t interfere with “ourselves and our posterity.” This has implications for birthright citizenship, immigration, voting “rights,” and other matters.
- America is already a fully settled territory. Immigration is unnecessary, and the social problems resulting from non-European immigration are becoming more difficult to manage due to the 1965 Hart-Celler Act.
- Black pathology is the central domestic problem in the United States.
3a. This is the reason for those laws that appear to be racially unjust. When blacks commit one crime, such as smoking crack, a host of other, more serious crimes and social ills follow in their wake. In a just legal system, laws against “black behaviors,” such as crack vs. cocaine, will naturally become unbalanced to keep society minimally safe.
3b. Whites don’t have an obligation to support “civil rights” or Black organizations such as the NAACP. Automatic support for Black Nationalism is not necessary justice.
3c. Every part of the world which is either run by blacks or is majority black hosts an impoverished, crime-ridden society with no redeeming features.
- Jihadist activity is dangerous. The free exercise of religion described in the U.S. Constitution doesn’t apply to people carrying out jihadist activities, even if they believe they are following their religion in accordance with the convictions of their conscience in doing so. Additionally, many non-practicing “moderate” Muslims have the ability to suddenly “self-radicalize” and become dangerous. In the case of Islam, one can have freedom of religion in the U.S. when there are immigration restrictions, but not without it.
- The U.S. government is obliged to arbitrate ethnic conflicts in favor of whites and to work in the long-term to reduce potential for conflicts in the future. This also applies to foreign policy decisions.
- A diverse military isn’t a national asset. Historically, problems in diverse militaries can spread to the rest of society.
While the ideas above seem to be reasonable in an Alt Right forum, no politician can express them without there being a large body of voters who agree with Alt Right ideas. Politics follows the wider culture. Additionally, the above concepts are roughly and frankly stated. They must be put into politically poetic language, such as Abraham Lincoln did, regarding the issues of secession and slavery.
Essentially, as demonstrated in the Sessions confirmation hearing, there is a clash between American whites and non-whites. This conflict can be expressed simply: shall we keep non-whites in or keep non-whites out? “DREAMers,” refugees, as well the well-placed plants in the Senate’s audience such as Khizr Khan, Alton Mills, and Sergeant Oscar Vasquez – even people like Senator Cory Brooker – must downplay the pathologies of their respective tribes and convince whites not only not to resist them, but to continue to support them. Although Senator Sessions did not violate the “civil rights” metapolitical ideal, it is clear that his non-white detractors feel in their bones that his pending confirmation is a victory for the “keep ‘em out” point of view.
To be quite frank, most of the decisions made by American whites brought a nice society into being, whereas the poor decisions made by people like Alton Mills, who is very much an average African-American, resulted in disasters. Too many “DREAMers,”and “Khizir Khans,” and one has implanted all the pathologies that one finds in Latin America or Pakistan respectively into the United States. American whites are well within their rights to keep them out.
As a group, politicians are experts at the practical “art of the possible,” but don’t come up with new ideas on their own. As shown above, Senator Sessions’ lip-service support for the State Religion of “civil rights” demonstrates that, as of yet, the Alt Right has not yet come to dominate the domain of ideas upon which politicians operate.
Senator Cory Booker’s statements are also emblematic of this concept. In his statements against Senator Sessions’ confirmation, he repeated the ideas of the “civil rights icons” of the early 1960s. By eloquently stating the ideas of an earlier, successful (for non-whites) racial conflict, Senator Booker is attempting to build a platform for future political power. However, critical to the “civil rights” movement’s success was not the actions of the “Freedom Riders,” protestors who held sit-ins at segregated diners, or speeches about dreams and mountaintops, but rather the solid support of three generations of American whites, the majority of whom had grown up with little to no actual contact with non-whites due to segregation and immigration restrictions. Nowadays the new generations, which have had much more contact with them and thus have more realistic views on the matter, are beginning to move up in society. It remains to be seen how long the lexicon of the early 1960s will continue to float the ambition of politicians. The clash of old “Civil Rights” ideas and new Alt Right ideas could very well play out in Senator Booker’s future career.
1. The original quote from John Jay Chapman (1862-1933) is, “There was never any moment in our history when slavery was not a sleeping serpent — it lay coiled up under the table during the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention.”
2. This author put “Klansmen” and “lynching” in scare quotes because the case played out prior to the Internet, and I suspect that the actual circumstances of the crime have little to do with the official Southern Poverty Law Center and mainstream media narrative of it.
3. Senator Durbin is an interesting case. He is from East Saint Louis, a town that was once nice but which was destroyed in the same way as Detroit. In East Saint Louis, the Great Migration brought many blacks to the area during the First World War. The rising crime and social disorders which resulted from the “civil rights” movement later led to white flight. By the 1970s, the town was a crime-ridden, Haitian-style wasteland. It is incomprehensible to me that he would not be aware of the racial aspect of the problem. His political career was given a boost when he defeated Congressman Paul Findley (R-Illinois) in 1982. Congressman Findley argued that America’s national interest did not include lavish and uncritical support for Israel. The AIPAC and other Jewish organizations rallied against Findley and supported Durbin.
4. Senator Durbin was concerned about “humane” treatment of deportees and so on. However, a “humane” deportation policy must be built upon a foundation of ugly, organized violence. Without the ability to use the full extent of organized violence, any group not wishing to be deported to the lands ruled by their own kind still have the ability to use “non-violent” resistance and defeat government policy. Any policy that makes “humaneness” a more important thing than “mission accomplished” is doomed to failure. On another, similar note, Spain lost its colony in the Spanish Sahara during the Moroccan Green March of 1975. During that conflict, the Moroccan government coordinated an unarmed march of thousands of civilians across the border. Spanish troops were unwilling (or ordered not) to fire upon the marchers. Morocco continues to hold the area today.
5. Here I am referring to the Strauss–Howe generational theory. These generations were the Second World War “GI Generation,” born between 1901 and 1924, the “Silent Generation” born between 1925 and 1942, and the “Boomer Generation” born between 1943 and 1960. GI Generation politicians, such as Lyndon Baines Johnson, were in power and pushed through civil rights in Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his supporters were of the Silent Generation, and the Baby Boomers sanctified the movement into the current State Religion.