While Democratic strategist Brian Benjamin told Fox and Friends' host Steve Doocy why Jeff Sessions racist remark was troubling, the Fox News host referred to it as "That 20-year-old joke?"
The Fox News host did a segment on race relations in America after President Obama's presidency and Doocy brought up Al Sharpton's planned protests of Sen. Jeff Sessions nomination for AG over his alleged racist past.
Doocy said, "Al Sharpton is promising a season of civil disobedience in response to Jeff Sessions' nomination for the attorney general. Brian, do you think that's a good idea?"
Benjamin replied, "I think, in the case of Jeff Sessions, there are a lot of concerns.
Doocy said, "Like what?"
Benjamin said, "Well, let's look at what he said in the --
Doocy interrupted,"That 20-year-old joke?"
Benjamin responded, "That's not a joke. Him saying that the Ku Klux Klan is OK is not a joke. That's a serious issue...."
Doocy, "Well, when you look at the context --"
He continued, "Well, what context? He needs to come and explain that. The bottom line is that Jeff Sessions is not some easy attorney general pick. I mean, a Republican [Senate] Judiciary Committee in the '80s turned him down for a federal judgeship. So clearly, he is someone who does not have a squeaky clean record when it comes to being someone who is for civil rights for all Americans. Accepting the Ku Klux Klan is not the kind of attorney general I'm looking for."
Telling an African American that the KKK was OK except for all their pot smoking is not a joke.
I think many of us have made bad jokes in private about all sorts of things, but not to employees and co- workers when it involves race and or gender.
If you are unfamiliar with what happened when Jeff Sessions was denied a judgeship by Republicans in 1986:
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony during hearings in March and May 1986, that Sessions had made racist remarks and called the NAACP and ACLU "un-American."
Thomas Figures, a black assistant US attorney who worked for Sessions, testified that Sessions called him "boy" on multiple occasions and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying that he thought Klan members were "OK, until he learned that they smoked marijuana."
"On the day in question, Mr. Sessions came into my office just as I was reading a newspaper account of some the recent action of the NAACP. I casually mentioned that development to Mr. Sessions. Mr. Sessions in response stated that he believed the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Operation PUSH and the National Conference of Churches were all un-American organizations teaching anti-American values. This statement clearly was not intended as a joke," Figures said.
Doocy's job is to normalize and apologize for Sen. Jeff Sessions' prior bad behavior anyway he can and painting his remarks as a comedy routine is the best he can do.