AG Jeff Sessions implies Asian-Americans in Hawaii not Real Americans

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Attorney-General Jeff Sessions was caught on tape saying the following:

““We are confident that the President will prevail on appeal and particularly in the Supreme Court, if not the Ninth Circuit. So this is a huge matter. I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and Constitutional power.”

Hawaii is the ultimate stumbling block for the white supremacist Trump administration. It is, along with California and New York, among the more ethnically diverse states in the country, with persons of Hawaiian islander, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, and Latino heritage in the overwhelming majority. Persons of northern European heritage make up only about a quarter of the state’s 1.4 million people.

Sessions’ remark was un-American in several respects. He questioned, as Tricky Dick Nixon once did, the ability of the judiciary to overrule a president. And in the service of diminishing the judge in Honolulu who struck down Trump’s second Muslim ban, Sessions attempted to demote Hawaii from being a state to being a mere “island in the Pacific.” Is one reason Sessions wants to put down Hawaii that it has an Asian-American majority?

If people like Sessions didn’t want Hawaii as a state, all they had to do is not make an illegal coup against the sovereign royal family there in 1893.

Sessions spent his career in Alabama politics but left it decidedly less well off (despite how great Alabamans themselves are) than Hawaii. Let us just compare the two places a bit.

Median household income in Hawaii is $64,514, (12th of 50 states).

Median household income in Sessions’ Alabama? $44,509 (47th of 50 states)

Alabama has, at 75.4, the lowest life expectancy in the country, unfortunately.

“Hawaii life expectancy at birth in the year 2010 was 82.4 years, which is 3.7 years longer than the US national average, where the life expectancy is 78.7.”

Not only that, but for those persons over 65, Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the United States!

In Alabama, 68 percent of his voters do not have a higher degree. Over-all, 44.88% of Alabamans have some higher education. Alabama has the 2nd-worst record in the Union in funding education, with the expenditures down 17% since 1945. Just to make sure that nobody there can read and write, Sessions and his ilk have cut higher education funding 36% just since 2008.

In contrast, as the Hawaii state government notes,

“Hawaii had more educated people than the national average. 62.6 percent of population aged 25 and over in Hawaii had at least some college education, 4.2 percent age points higher than the national average.”

People like Sessions have run Alabama into the ground, whereas Hawaii is among the best states in in the country on some measurements, and perhaps that is why Sessions is threatened by it.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

Newsy: “Jeff Sessions on Hawaii: ‘Island in the Pacific'”

16 Responses

  1. Let me suggest that dimwits with crackerjack-box law degrees who do not accept their progenitor’s loss in the Civil War are not “real Americans”.

  2. If you think one of the states in your Union is just an island in the Pacific … you just might be a redneck!

  3. Island/state remark highlights elitist/ignoramus level of a.g.
    And depravity of potus’ spirit.
    Indict & Impeach.

  4. Attorney-General Jeff Sessions is a deeply RACIST “good old boy” who got his job by GROVELING before Trump from day-one. Based on statements like “ . . . I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States . . . “ AG Sessions clearly exposes a deficiency of legal acumen required to be our Attorney General and the pronouncement to place his President above the law is flat-out scary.

    Aside from recusing himself from on-going investigations into alleged Russian machinations on behalf of Trump during our elections, Sessions wants to empower local police to become Red Hat door kickers to do his bidding. That way sanctuary cities can more easily fall under martial law and every pot-smoker in America will end up behind bars where they belong.

    Sessions is simply an ignorant LIAR and must resign.–resignation-58b9673bf78ced31417e8c11

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  5. With or without Sessions in Alabama it retains a certain capacity for inhumanity. “Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s ‘Fair Justice Act’” by Stephen Cooper – link to

    Next time Alabama wants to secede perhaps we should help all we can.

  6. Ask anyone who has been to the 2 states which they would prefer to live in. The first time I went through Alabama was in the late 60’s and I was amazed to drive on a US highway that was a gravel road. Alabama was for many years like a 3rd world country in the US. And it also had the distinction of being one of the most racist states in the country. Perhaps the fact that in Hawaii many different racial groups are able to live in harmony and prosper is why Sessions felt the need to dis the state. Trump just welcomed Ted Nugent and Sarah Palin to the White House and picked Sessions for his AG. Our country is being run by the ignorant and the classless.

      • As one old enough to live through the Civil Rights era, albeit at a distance, it’s hard to forget how marchers were treated in that state, the church bombing and the dead children, Sheriff Bull Conner, Governor Wallace, et al, and the hatred shown toward African Americans.

  7. I’m looking forward to what Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has to say about this.

  8. Per the World Health Organization’s 2010 survey, updated in 2011, deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1,000 live births:

    Hawaii has less than five, comparable to Massachusetts and Washington state, and to the United Kingdom, Brunei, New Caledonia, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark. Not in the top tier internationally, but top of the line for USA.

    Alabama has less than twelve, comparable to the rest of the Deep South (excluding Florida) and Oklahoma, and to Qatar, Montenegro, Kuwait, Serbia, Russia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Maldives Islands, Oman.

  9. “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the President of the United States”

    Thus spake somebody named for civilian, President Jefferson [Davis], and military, General Pierre Beauregard, leaders of the greatest mass treason against the United States.

    152 years after the fact we ought to grant the unreconstructed secessionists their fondest wish – independence from the US. Just make sure that on the way out every molecule of US property, including that of corporations chartered in one of the United States, is removed or destroyed.

    It isn’t vindictive if it’s justified!

  10. All this chatter aside, I would like an explanation from Sessions what he was implying. (My mother was Okinawan, so I am not exactly disinterested.)

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