The racism inquisition over Jeff Sessions
© Getty Images

It has become apparent that, unlike in ages past, accusations of racism are now the last refuge of a scoundrel. Not surprisingly, they’re also the first. 


Attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump's policies on refugees are as simple as ABCs Ocasio-Cortez, Velázquez call for convention to decide Puerto Rico status White House officials voted by show of hands on 2018 family separations: report MORE is again finding this out the hard way, with racism charges being rolled out to scuttle his nomination. It matters not that a group of black pastors is defending him, with one crediting Sessions for having “worked to bankrupt the KKK in Alabama” and helping desegregate that state’s government schools. He’s to be branded a heretic by the Cult of Racism’s cafeteria bigotry bean counters. 


Yet it’s inconceivable that Sessions would, let’s say, refuse to prosecute a couple of white-hooded, nightstick-brandishing KKK members caught intimidating black voters at a polling place. But Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Warning signs flash for Lindsey Graham in South Carolina Majority of voters say Trump should not nominate a Supreme Court justice: poll MORE’s first attorney general, Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump's rally risk | Biden ramps up legal team | Biden hits Trump over climate policy Biden campaign forming 'special litigation' team ahead of possible voting battle Pompeo, Engel poised for battle in contempt proceedings MORE, in fact did a corresponding thing — when dropping the case against weapon-wielding Black Panthers captured on video intimidating white voters in Philly in 2008. 

This prompted The Wall Street Journal to ask, “Why did the Justice Department dismiss such a clear case of voter intimidation?” Former DOJ official-turned-whistleblower J. Christian Adams provided an answer in 2010, revealing that the department ordered “attorneys in the civil rights division to ignore cases that involve black defendants and white victims,” wrote Fox News. He said there was “hostility” toward such cases. 

It’s no surprise Holder played such a race card, says Adams, because for decades he actually carried around a real race card in his wallet. On it were printed a Harlem preacher’s racial thoughts, which Adams states Holder would explain thus: “It really says that … I am not the tall U.S. attorney, I am not the thin United States attorney. I am the black United States attorney. And he [the preacher] was saying that no matter how successful you are, there’s a common cause that bonds the black United States attorney with the black criminal….”

Neither this nor the Black Panther scandal figured prominently in the mainstream media, and there was no drumbeat, among politicians or pundits, to brand Holder a bigot unfit for office. 

Then there’s late Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Once an “Exalted Cyclops” in the KKK, he wrote during his younger years, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side.” 

Yet all was forgiven. Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDolly Parton remembers Ginsburg: 'Her voice was soft but her message rang loud' Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Calls grow for Biden to expand election map in final sprint MORE justified the behavior, saying Byrd was “trying to get elected” while Hillary eulogized him in 2010 as her “friend and mentor.” Democrats also had no problem making him Senate majority leader and, later, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, among other things. 

Why the double standard? Liberals’ concern over race is a matter of principle — the power principle. Just consider that while Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE was called many things over the years, the “ist” and “obe” species of nouns were never among them. In fact, race hustler Jesse Jackson once called Trump a “friend” and a model for “diversity,” and last year Trump (wrongly) backed “transgender” bathroom social engineering. 

Yet for the last year he’s been viciously attacked as a “racist” and “homophobe.” What changed? His rise toward the presidency threatened Democrat power — so liberals deployed their usual worn-out, weaponized arguments. 

Our real problem, however, is systemic: racism on the brain. C.S. Lewis once pointed out that evil seduces us into exaggerating our faults, telling the pacifist he’s too militaristic and the militarist that he’s too pacifistic. Today we behave as if racism is the source of all ills when it’s merely a sub-category of one of the Seven Deadly Sins: wrath. What of the rest?

With our sex-saturated society, we’d do better to ask an attorney general candidate, “Sir, are you lustful?!” After all, maybe the individual would go soft on sex crimes. We could scour a man’s background, dredging up the borderline salacious joke he told in ’73 or find a witness to claim he ogled a girl in high school or once danced like Elvis. We could do the same with sloth, greed, gluttony or anything else, compiling our dossiers and using a one-off comment or incident to epitomize the person’s entire life.

Seem ridiculous? Well, it’s precisely what we do with our characteristic obsession, race. Moreover, if we at least applied our sin-scouring standard consistently, we’d have it all over our time’s hypocritical racial inquisitors. 

Selwyn Duke’s ( work has been published by The American Conservative, WorldNetDaily, and American Thinker. He has also contributed to college textbooks published by Gale - Cengage Learning and has appeared on television and on hundreds of radio programs, including as a regular guest on the Michael Savage Show.

The views expressed by Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.