If you got to Twitter today, you'll notice a new trending hashtag:
What's it all about? Well, it's all about the courageous actions of Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts who was brave enough to speak up against racism in action when she saw it.
“She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” pic.twitter.com/wx4EwYWx7o
— Shannon Carey (@scmaestra) February 8, 2017
The racism in question? The appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as the new U.S. attorney general.
When Jeff Sessions was nominated for the role by Donald Trump, it caused a firestorm of controversy.
Jefferson Beaureguard Sessions is named after not one, but two confederate generals. In his tenure as a junior senator from Alabama, he voted against repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, as well as the 2009 economic stimulus bill and the Affordable Care Act.
The biggest controversy surrounding Sessions came years ago when then-President Ronald Regan nominated him to a federal judgeship. Sessions' beliefs ultimately lost him the position.
Those beliefs range from shortsighted to full on evil.
They include his ideas that the ACLU and NAACP are "Un-American and Communist-inspired." He also said that they did more harm than good by trying to "jam civil rights down the peoples' throats."
He also shared that he thought the Ku Klux Klan was a cool organization until he learned that they smoked pot, thus decrying perhaps the only remotely cool thing about the KKK.
So yeah, he's one of those guys — a conservative Southerner who putters around quietly hoping that the South will rise again.
Senator Elizabeth Warren knew she couldn't stand idly by and let a man whose racism was already in the pages of history books take such a major office.
So she spoke up in Congress. Because she is a freaking warrior queen.
Among her remarks was a letter by the late Coretta Scott King, widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., opposing Jeff Sessions' judicial appointment almost 30 years ago.
As Warren began to read the letter she was stopped by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
According to McConnell, by reading the letter Warren had violated Rule 19 which states: “No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.”
Those same rules state that Warren could have been given leave to speak by the full Senate.
Instead, Warren was forced to sit down and has been forced into silence for the rest of the hearing on Sessions.
But that didn't stop her. She simply walked off the floor and read the rest of the letter on Facebook Live.
In response to criticism of his decision to silence Warren, McConnell issued a statement that would blow up in his face:
“She was warned. She was given an explanation,” he said. “Nevertheless, she persisted.”
I don't know about you, but that sounds like the makings of a pretty good presidential campaign slogan, don't you think?
What McConnell failed to realize was that in just 11 words he had inadvertently described the struggle that every woman faces.
How many of us have been warned that something we were doing wasn't right for us, wasn't appropriate, wasn't going to work out? How many of us have had well-intentioned people "explain" to us why our lives choices were the wrong ones? And yet, here we are:
Did GOP leader realize when he said "nevertheless, #shepersisted" that I wouldn't be here today if I'd given up? #letlizspeak #ShePersists https://t.co/ns8nC953tZ — Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) February 8, 2017
By silencing her in such an eloquent fashion, McConnell has started a rallying cry of support not just for Senator Warren, but for ANY woman who summons her courage and power to speak up against oppression, bigotry, and racism when they see them.
Lest you think that McConnell and his supporters were simply upholding the rules of the office, let's talk about how TWO men already read Corretta Scott King's letter without being censored. Mark Udall read the letter to enter it into the congressional record Wednesday morning and Sen. Jeff Merkley was allowed to read from King's letter Tuesday night.
I've been accused of crying "sexism" often, but if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it's a duck and it is sexist as hell.
In closing, I'd like to take this opportunity and share the entire body of Coretta Scott King's letter. Because it's important. Because it shines a light on Jeff Sessions' true nature and underlines why a man like him should be nowhere near an office like that of U.S. attorney general:
Keep persisting, you guys. It's all we've got.