It has finally happened: the Senate has silenced the Democrat’s loudest and proudest voice Senator Elizabeth Warren. In defense of Senator Sessions who is being vetted for US Attorney General and who opponents have claimed is racist, they have refused to allow Senator Warren to read a letter from Coretta Scott King saying he is not fit for judicial position. Why? Because of his actions as United States District Attorney to hamper the voting rights of minorities.
There is enough irony here to give a week’s supply of iron to our entire black population. So where to begin? How about the beginning. Back in the days when avowed segregationists and racists still openly roamed the halls of the Senate the judicial committee was run by Senator Strom Thurmond. A young Jeff Sessions, then Alabama Attorney General, was nominated for a federal judgeship. Senator Thurmond was pushing hard for the nomination to get out of the committee. But the Resistance was strong then and the voices of the black community and others rose up in unison against the man who used his position to hamper voting rights and other rights for the black community in Alabama. One of those voices was Coretta Scott King. She wrote he was unfit to be a federal judge because of his actions as Attorney General of Alabama. Her voice and others were heard and he was denied the nomination. It was not a good day for the white segregationist power structure. Senator Thurmond, anxious to do damage control to a fellow traveler, did not submit King’s letter in the official records. Her black woman voice was to be silenced from the annals of the Senate Judicial Committee Record.
The voice of the conservatives once again silenced her voice, pulled from the dustbins of history, by silencing Senator Warren reading of it from the floor of the Senate, declaring it too inflammatory to be read. The letter is concerning Senator Sessions time as a US attorney in Alabama; I guess they thought this was not appropriate for consideration in the debate of whether he should be confirmed as US Attorney General. Senator McConnell once again roared his voice by invoking a seldom used rule of the Senate to silence the reading. You could hear the echo of segregationists’ voices of the past: Segregation Today, Forever Segregation as Senator Thurmond stormed from the grave in triumph.
The voice of civil rights icon Coretta Scott King to defend the charges of racism against Senator Sessions was found inappropriate. Senator McConnell and his fellow white predominantly male comrades voted along party lines to silence King’s voice and the voice of another woman. Not only in this matter but for all of the rest of the debate Sessions was Senator Warren censored. Senator McConnell used his wily parliamentary procedures to silence the voice of opposition. Senator Thurmond, who was also a master of parliamentary procedure, must have been heard laughing from his grave. They say the dinosaurs of our past are extinct but it looks as though they have merely taken on new names. Now is it pterodactyl or pteradon.
Suddenly it occurs to me that the irony McConnell and his fellow Senators have given the black community and the rest of the United States is linked to the chains in which blacks used to be held. Welcome my friends to your new irony; it looks much like the old irony.