Jason Johnson, politics editor for TheRoot.com, a sectarian site dedicated to “black news, opinion, politics and culture”, appeared on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle Tuesday morning to discuss President Trump’s verbal spar with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In keeping with the hyper-racialized rhetoric that litters the site (including a piece this morning entitled “I Can Understand Why Some Black People Couldn’t Care Less About Justine Damond”), the editor went on a slanderous tirade against Attorney General Sessions.
First, Johnson began with a sloppy yet predictable leftist trope, proclaiming that Jeff Sessions wants to “steal the right to vote from tons of people.” The accusation is sordid on its face, but it bears repeating- those who claim that requiring voters to display some form of identification is a tantamount attempt to disenfranchise minority voters are profiting from the same obfuscatory, backwards-glancing politics that African-American author Jason Reilly claims “treats blacks not as individuals with agency but rather as a group of victims who are both blameless and helpless.”
Later, bemoaning the fact that the Trump campaign dared to attempt to undermine the Democrat monopoly on inner city American politics, Johnson made a statement which seemed to defy civility, assigning nefarious motives to his political opponent:
Look, I think because Trump is confusing what real ideology is versus his own personal issues. Jeff Sessions is a real ideologue. Jeff Sessions is going to fight against that horrible America, those devastated cities that Donald Trump says is [sic] a problem and he's not going to get caught up in the fact that Trump is in in his own trouble. And I'll also say this--like you were mentioning, he's waited his whole life to be in a position to make all these people suffer. Jeff Sessions is not going to pass up this opportunity just because his boss has a problem.”
Johnson, without so much as a sentence of resistance from Ruhle, proclaimed that the Attorney General of the United States has a sadistic desire to “make all these people” in the inner city “suffer.” It’s a masochistic tendency so deeply embedded in Sessions’ psyche, Johnson chided, that he “is not going to pass up this opportunity” to inflict this pain “just because his boss has a problem.”
While Sessions’ decision to recuse himself has been controversial, and some on the right have taken issue with his positions on civil asset forfeiture and sentencing prescriptions, it is clear that an insatiable preoccupation with race can lead to uncharitably reading race into every move made by your political opposites. It has become increasingly difficult to express any dissension from mainstream leftist orthodoxy without the cloud of ill-motives being cast over divergent points of view.
Read the full July 25 transcript below:
MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle
9:08 AM ET
RUHLE: Why not just say, you're out?
JASON JOHNSON: Because at his core, I think either Trump or members of his administration, they're afraid. This is one thing about Jeff Sessions that is different than a lot of these other senators. Jeff Sessions is his own man. I have serious disagreements with him and his desire to steal the right to vote from tons of people and take asset forfeiture, but he is his own man, he is a true conservative, and he is not going to leave this position. He's going to make Trump fire him. And if he does, they don't know what the he might be willing to say, because Jeff Sessions feels relatively protected. So Trump thinks he can bully this guy--you can't bully this guy. Jeff Sessions is too tough for him.
9:12:02 AM ET
RUHLE: But isn't that what's so demented about this? Jay, you're saying, 'Listen, I don't agree with the guy, but he shouldn't step down.' Things have gotten so warped that knowing Jeff Sessions' views, knowing what he's doing in terms of criminal justice reform, you're still telling him, 'Sit back, Beauregard, hang tight?'
JASON JOHNSON: (laughs) Look, I think because Trump is confusing what real ideology is versus his own personal issues. Jeff Sessions is a real ideologue. Jeff Sessions is going to fight against that horrible America, those devastated cities that Donald Trump says is [sic] a problem and he's not going to get caught up in the fact that Trump is in in his own trouble. And I'll also say this--like you were mentioning, he's waited his whole life to be in a position to make all these people suffer. Jeff Sessions is not going to pass up this opportunity just because his boss has a problem-- and my sources, I spoke to someone yesterday who said, 'look, Rience has already all but said, dude, we'd really like you to resign, and Jeff said you're gonna have to fire me.' That's what I heard from one of my sources yesterday.