(NNPA)—The apprehension that I felt upon Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election has only increased as he has announced the appointments of his chief of staff, strategist and cabinet members. As of this writing, he has mainly announced the selection of older White men, including the racist Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, to lead the Justice Department. The senator’s use of highly inflammatory racial rhetoric (including describing the NAACP as an “un-American” organization and expressing support for the KKK) prevented his confirmation to the U.S. District Court in 1986. Now, he will be charged with law enforcement in our nation.
Equally troubling has been the selection of Stephen Bannon, his campaign chairman, as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Bannon is the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a news website that has been the home of the alt-right, the source of lies, hate, nastiness and racist rhetoric. President Barack Obama had to walk away from Minister Jeremiah Wright because one of his sermons was considered racist by some Whites. Trump openly embraces racists and is applauded for it.
The position that Bannon will hold does not require Senate confirmation, while the position that Sessions will be nominated for does. With 54 Republicans in the Senate, Sessions is almost certain to be nominated. Hopefully Democrats have retained enough of a backbone to raise questions about Sessions’ racism. Senate newcomers Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., may be among the first to raise the questions. Still, Republicans will have the votes to confirm anyone they want to confirm. Welcome to the age of Trump.