When President Trump said he wanted former senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) At the head of his justice department, lawmakers and liberal activists warned that his appointment would be detrimental to civil rights, in particular when it comes to problems that affect people of color.
A lot of what they were worried about occurred in less than two years in the position he was in. The sessions have made significant efforts to slow down the decisions taken by the Obama Administration in presiding over the forces of order and protecting civil rights.
Not long after Trump's inauguration, Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Told the Washington Post journalist, Jonathan Capehart, that he believed Sessions was "very dangerous" for black people.
"I think he's a racist, I think it's a return to the past and I do not mind saying it every day of the week," he said. "I think Jeff Sessions is very dangerous … and I think he's absolutely convinced that it's his job to keep minorities in their place, so I think we have to watch him, we have to keep his eye and be ready to fight back."
And Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) She made headlines for opposing the nomination of Sessions by attempting to read a 1986 letter criticizing the former legislator.
"I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not appropriate for the US Senate debate," Warren said after Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell interrupted his speech.
Waters probably felt that way partly because the Sessions would have accused the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other civil rights organizations of not being American when dealing with civil rights issues. And former colleagues testified that he used the word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought the terrorist organization was "okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana." Sessions denies having made these comments.
Under the leadership of Sessions, the Justice Department withdrew its efforts to investigate the police departments before issuing public accounts of their failures – a practice put in place during the Obama administration after activists complained about the bias of the forces of order against people of color.
And the Sessions and its staff have been criticized by members of Congress after the antiterrorist division of the FBI, an investigative unit that focuses on the threats of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda, created a new label for groups National Terrorists – "Black Identity Extremists" (BIE) – shortly before the violent march and protest in Charlottesville attracted more attention to white supremacy in America.
The decision by the Sessions to enforce federal marijuana laws was seen as an attempt to revive the failed drug war, which historians say disproportionately harm black people. A directive has made it easier for US prosecutors to enforce federal marijuana laws in states where the substance is legal, like California.
And during the last years of the Obama presidency, when the shootings of black police officers drew national attention, the Justice Department put in place systems to make the forces of order more responsible for their actions.
But just before he was fired, Sessions made sure that his last action was consistent with so many of his own while he was in Trump's administration. On Wednesday morning, he signed a memorandum that made decrees used during the Obama era to combat the most difficult police abuses to be implemented.
Sessions will be remembered for many things – being the first legislator to say that trumpism is one of these, but for many liberal legislators, his legacy will support policies that have disproportionately influenced black people.