After surviving a contentious nomination process, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rang the NAACP President Cornell William Brooks to arrange a sit-down meeting on his very first day on the job. Now just three weeks into his new role, Sessions met with Brooks and NAACP General Counsel Brad Berry on Friday at the Department of Justice.
In a meeting that Brooks described as, “politely and necessarily blunt, cordial, and candid,” the two discussed voting rights, voter suppression, and policing. “I told him history is upon us. It will be a civil rights crisis in the next few weeks or months. We’ve been here before and there’s unrest.” Brooks said in an interview with NBCBLK. “People will look to the Department of Justice for reassurance, impartiality, and fairness. The weight of history is on his shoulders.”
Ever since Sessions’ nomination, the NAACP and other civil rights organizations have expressed concern that Sessions would not uphold and protect civil rights. Showing opposition to Sessions’ nomination, Brooks and other members of the NAACP were arrested after a series of sit-ins outside Sessions senate office in Alabama on January 3. During heated confirmation hearings, Rep. John Lewis, Sen. Cory Booker and a chorus of other lawmakers told their congressional colleagues that Sessions was unfit to lead the Justice Department. Brooks says now that Sessions has taken office, he and the organization still stand by the opposition to his nomination and will hold him accountable.