On Monday, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) completely dismantled U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee. Bass questioned why the FBI would be investigating and writing reports on “black identity extremists,” labeling them as a threat against the police, but not writing those same reports and conducting those same investigations on the Ku Klux Klan.
Bass started out by asking the chairperson of the committee to allow her to enter into the record the recent FBI report “Black Identity Extremists Likely Motivated to Target Law Enforcement Officers.” Sessions told Bass that he had not read the report, but he knew about some of the alleged targeting of officers by “certain groups.”
Before he could get into his line of bullshit on it, Bass asked him who in his department had the power to order the report to be put together.
“I’m not sure how that report got ordered,” Sessions said weakly. “I don’t believe I explicitly approved it or directed it.”
[So you’re in charge, but you have no idea how something like this could come about? OK, sir.]
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“OK, so you haven’t necessarily read the report, but you are familiar with the term ‘black identity extremists’?” Bass asked.
“Well, I think so, yes,” Sessions said.
[LOL. “I think so.”]
“So can you tell me what that term means to you?” Bass asked. “Do you believe there is a movement of African Americans that identify themselves as ‘black identity extremists,’ and what does that movement do?”
“Well, I’d be interested to see the conclusions of that report,” Sessions said, attempting to deflect, “but I’m aware that there are groups that have an extraordinary commitment to their racial identity, and some have transformed themselves even into violent activists ... so—”
Bass cut him off.
“Are you aware of white organizations that do this as well? Given that white supremacy is a well-documented, well-researched movement, such as the neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, etc.—are they white identity extremists?” she asked.
Sessions feigned confusion, as if he did not understand what was a very clear and direct question. It’s easy to label black people who fight for racial justice and racism as the actual racists when we know that is not the case.
“I didn’t follow that question,” Sessions said. “Please again?”
Bass then asked her question even more directly than she did the first time: “Is there a term or a report on white identity extremists? You mentioned you are familiar with black people who identify with their racial identity.”
“Yes,” Sessions said, “but it’s not coming to me at this moment.”
[OK, sir. You can’t remember the name of ONE white extremist group? Really, former senator of Alabama? Not ONE? OK.]
Bass was incredulous: “Not coming to you?”
She wasn’t about to let Sessions off the hook that easily.
“Certainly a group such as the Ku Klux Klan,” she said, in an attempt to jog his memory.
That seemed to work. Suddenly Sessions remembered. “Yes, and then the skinhead movements, but there is racial identity white movements that have been identified for sure,” he said.
“So has the FBI done a report on white identity extremists that are likely motivated to target law-enforcement officers?” she asked.
“I’m not aware of that,” Sessions said.
[So, no. Just say that, sir. You haven’t. You haven’t because you are OK with white extremist groups.]
“Could you name an African-American organization that has committed violent acts against police officers? Could you name one today? In this report, they name organizations from 30 or 40 years ago, but can you name one today that has targeted police officers in a violent manner?” Bass asked.
Gotcha! Sessions waffled and could not name any such organization, because as we all know, that is some extreme bullshit.
“I believe I could, but I would want to be, um, to confirm that and submit it to you in writing, but I believe we had in the last year or so four police officers killed by a group that some have described as extremist,” Sessions said.
I wasn’t sure whether or not he was referring to the shooting in Dallas or perhaps in Baton Rouge, La., that they tried to tie to Black Lives Matter, but we all know that was some bullshit, too.
Bass cut to the chase and asked the most necessary question, because we know exactly whom the FBI were talking about and whom they were targeting when they put out that fake-ass report.
“Would you consider Black Lives Matter a black identity extremist group?” she asked.
“I’m not able to comment on that. I have not so declared it,” Sessions said.
Again, Bass put out there what all of us have been thinking since that ridiculous report made the news, saying:
So, you should know that a lot of activists around the country are very concerned that we’re getting ready to repeat a very sad chapter of our history, where people who are rightfully protesting what they consider to be an injustice in their community—which is their relationship with police officers—are now being targeted and labeled as extremists and are going through periods of surveillance and harassment, and so I would like to know, what is your department going to do to protect the rights of average citizens to protest if they have a concern about police officers?
Sessions was quick to go on the offensive.
“This department will not unlawfully target people,” he said.
Bass then said:
So, if that’s the case then, I would ask that you review this report—“Black Identity Extremists Likely to Target Law Enforcement Officers”—because I personally don’t believe that any such organizations exist. The organizations that are referred to in this report are organizations from decades ago, so I would like to know what will you do to essentially roll back what is listed in this report? Because it’s not accurate.
There was a pregnant pause while Sessions considered what lie he should let fly out of his mouth next.
He then said, “We will look at the report. I’d actually be interested in reading it. But they usually do an excellent job—objective and fair—on those kind of reports.”
[Objective and fair? OK, Bilbo Bigot.]
Bass did a great job ripping into Sessions and getting him to basically admit that the “Black Identity Extremists” report was full of shit.
Black Lives Matter and other social groups that are fighting for racial equality and calling out the deaths of black men at the hands of police are not a threat to law enforcement. That is the narrative Sessions has been driving, however, since he took the job as attorney general. Enough is enough.
Salute to Karen Bass. You did that, Auntie.