Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn couldn't be any less subtle in her racism, trying to make a Black judicial nominee look like a criminal with a rap sheet.
January 12, 2022

Tennessee's Senator Marsha Blackburn decided to try to make a Black judicial appointee, Andre B. Mathis, look like a criminal when she said he had a "rap sheet."

Blackburn said, "On the eve of this hearing, it has been made public that he has a rap sheet."

Shouse California Law Group defines a rap sheet thusly:

A rap sheet is a list of a person’s arrests and convictions. The sheet is also referred to as a person’s “criminal history record,” or, a “Record of Arrests and Prosecutions.”

What was on this alleged rap sheet? Breaking and entering? Kidnapping? Murder? Grand Larceny?

None of these. Mathis had 3 unpaid speeding tickets, one of them for driving five miles over the speeding limit. His license was suspended when he was in his 20s for not paying these speeding tickets, but that's basically a minor infraction.

I imagine Blackburn had just watched the French Connection or some episode of Kojak to learn how to use that phrase.

Andre B. Mathis intentionally made his tickets public for the hearing, in the interest of being transparent.

Later in the session, Chairman Durbin addressed Mathis and said, "Senator Blackburn refers to your 'rap sheet,' is what she called it. If speeding tickets are a rap sheet, I've got one too."

Durbin also took the opportunity to ask if any of the senators in the room (presumably all white) had ever gotten a speeding ticket for driving five miles over the limit, implying it was ridiculous that Mathis did, illustrating just how racist and ridiculous Blackburn was in her condemnation of him.

If Mathis had been white, would Blackburn had used the term "rap sheet?" If he was white, would she have brought it up at all?

Editor's Note:

Who remembers when Sen. Blackburn got pulled over for speeding, tried to weasel her way out of it, then told her chauffer, "DRIVE!"?

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.