Race An Issue Before Sessions Confirmation Hearing Begins

Protestors dressed as the KKK while many took note of Sessions' prominently placed Asian granddaughter

Jan 10, 2017 at 10:46 AM ET

The issue of race was front and center at the confirmation hearing for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, the Alabama senator whose track record on racial issues is spotty, to say the least. Before the hearing even officially commenced, the senator was confronted with protestors posing in faux KKK robes to mock the hearing, and a flurry of online critics who accused him of using his half-Asian grandkids as props.

As Sessions walked into the room where his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is being held, two protestors who appeared to be with Code Pink suddenly put on KKK robes, complete with giant white prop #1 fingers, and began cheering for Sessions. As police moved to arrest them, one said “you can’t arrest me! I’m white! White people don’t get arrested!” and “white people own this country!”

Sessions, meanwhile, brought his family to the hearing. This included his daughter, her husband, and their children, one of whom Sessions held on his lap as the confirmation began. Session’s son-in-law is of Asian descent, and many people on both sides picked up on the fact that as he prepares to come under fire for his track record on race, he made sure to demonstrate that he has Asian grandchildren.

Some accused Sessions of using his grandchild as a prop:

Others said that Sessions’ grandchild showed that he was not racist:

Sessions’ granddaughter hung out on his lap for several minutes before she was returned to her nearby parents’ waiting arms. She will now watch her grandfather’s hearing, which is surely fascinating viewing for a toddler.