(TIML NEWS) If you’ve been on the internet within the past month, you’ve likely stumbled across the name Jeff Sessions. If you’re like me and like to avoid words, things and people that have to do with Donald Trump, you might not know why he’s significant.
Well, Sessions is a Republican senator from Alabama who President-elect Donald Trump has picked as his candidate for Attorney General. Of all the people Trump has suggested putting into positions of power, it’s Sessions’ name that has caused the most outrage. Mostly because, in addition to his anti-immigration stance, he has a reputation for being racist. In fact, according to The Washington Post, in 1986, he was denied a federal judgeship because former colleagues testified that Sessions used the n-word and joked about the Klan, saying he thought they were “okay” until he learned that they smoked marijuana. That same year when he was attempting to become a judge Coretta Scott King wrote a 9-page-letter to Congress asking that he not be nominated because he used his office to suppress the Black vote in his state.
And while a lot of the accusations against Sessions have been swept under the rug over the years, one woman who believes she was the victim racism, is not over it. Not even after 33 years.
When Evelyn Turner, sat down with CBS Evening News, to discuss her feelings toward Jeff Sessions, her reaction was visceral.
“Oh my God! Do I have to? I just despise the guy.”
Turner, who is eighty-years-old now, has such strong feelings because of what Sessions did to her and her family. Turner and her late husband, Albert, were Civil Rights activists who worked to help get people registered to vote. In 1984, the Turners and another man were accused of altering ballots. They were dubbed “The Marion 3.” A grand jury indicted them and the case was prosecuted by the US Attorney’s office for Southern Alabama, led by Jeff Sessions.
The couple was eventually acquitted; but during the three-month trial, Turner lost her job and the Turners had to sell the family farm.
When CBS asked Turner what she thought the charges were an attempt to do, she said, very plainly, that its goal was to “stop Black people from voting.”
Then the interviewer asked Turner if she thought it possible that 33 years could have possibly softened Sessions’ heart.
“Have you ever seen a leopard change his spots?”
Despite the strength of her feelings, Turner’s son Albert Jr. believes that Sessions was merely doing his job at the time, that there is a balance to his record on race.
He told CBS, “I know that Jeff Sessions prosecuted a White Klu Klux Klansman and sought the death penalty and got it for the killing of an African American in Mobile, Alabama. And I’ve never seen an indication that he had a racist attitude or dislike or disdainment for African American people or other minorities.”
The family agrees to disagree on the matter.
As for Evelyn, she says, “In order for me to go to heaven, Ima have to forgive him. But I will never ever forget, as long as I stay Black. And I don’t see no chance of me turning White.” You can listen to her story, in her own words in the video below.