GOP Congressman Sessions blames gun violence on diversity

In the wake of the horrific shooting in Virginia last week, in which a reporter and cameraman were murdered on live television, America has gone through its familiar cycle of mourning and then dismissing gun deaths.

We are currently in the phase where everyone offers suggestions for what we could do to prevent shootings like these from happening in the future — suggestions that will almost certainly be ignored. And while the father of one of the victims has already said that he will make it his life’s mission to advocate for restrictions on access to handguns, Congressman Pete Sessions (R – TX) has some other ideas for how we can make our society less violent.

For starters, make it whiter:

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Said Sessions:

It has a lot to do with distrust of people. Chris, I have been in lots of societies, we could say like Japan, where they have a homogeneous society, where people are more alike. And we have this thought process that we have to have diversity in America. We all have to be ethnically completely apart but respect each other. And the bottom line is that we should and we need to work for that. But we have a group of people that are in our country that we’re afraid of — that have created chaos and confusion. And now our country is confused. And we need to carefully work back towards trusting each other and being together. 9/11 didn’t help, but we’ve got to go to that.

There’s a lot going on in that overtly racist word salad: Our problem is diversity, which apparently means respectful segregation. Which is actually a good thing! But maybe not right now. Because 9/11.

Pete Sessions, via Wikimedia Commons

Pete Sessions, via Wikimedia Commons

Sessions then went on to discuss his sponsorship of a bill that would deny federal funding for police departments operating in “sanctuary cities” that don’t actively prosecute undocumented immigrants. He closed by asserting that ten percent (!) of children born in the United States are “fraudulent,” i.e. born to non-citizen parents who came to the United States in order for their child to have American citizenship.

There are a lot of baffling explanations for gun violence, ranging from, as ThinkProgress compiled, “‘welfare moms,‘ gun-free zones, not enough guns, overmedicating kids, absent fathers, and video games.” But even for a Republican NRA apologist like Sessions, this one’s pretty bad. Sessions, who acknowledged the fact that shootings like the one in Virginia take place on literally a daily basis, has no problem ignoring the clear and negative correlation between the strength of gun laws and the prevalence of gun violence. Nope, it isn’t that. The problem is too much mixing of the races. As Hunter at DailyKos wrote, “You can’t expect Americans to keep a level head and not murder kids or theater patrons or news anchors when they’ve got all this diversity to work through.”

The Republican platform on gun violence has always been less “Crime, boy I dunno,” and more “Crime, something the coloreds do,” but this answer represented a confusing amalgam of the two. Diversity is all well and good, per se, but when we’ve got so many not-white people going around scaring us like this, what’s a good Texan to do?


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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16 Responses to “GOP Congressman Sessions blames gun violence on diversity”

  1. 2karmanot says:

    One word: Idiot.

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  3. Tommy Devito says:

    I mean humans are just prone to fight. It’s all over the internet, ex. . Giving weapons to them just makes things more deadly.

  4. nicho says:

    I think he’s right. Things started to go to hell the minute those gun-toting white Europeans set foot in what is now the US. They were a greedy, xenophobic, racist, murdeous lot. Not to mention that the vaunted Pilgrims were illegal immigrants — and thieves to boot.


    This just in Democrats to Win in a Landslide in 2016, According to Moody’s Election Model

  6. BeccaM says:

    Oh, it’s quite simple really, Fixer. Sessions wants to round up all of the not-white, not-Christian people and wish them into the cornfield forever. Or if there’s no cornfield handy, perhaps ‘camps’ where undesirables can be ‘concentrated’ prior to deportation or some other ‘final solution.’

    Then America can go back to the way it never was on Father Knows Best and Leave It To Beaver.

  7. Indigo says:

    See, this is why it’s so much fun to live Florida (the sunshine state).
    We have distractions like nobody else; we’ve got hurricanes!

  8. The_Fixer says:

    So, how does this square with the other Republican Party narrative, “Black on Black Crime.” According to Sessions, we have big crime problems due to diversity. Isn’t it a bit contradictory?

    Oh, I forgot. I’m supposed to be distracted by the anchor-babies-sponsoring-criminal-rapist-parents thing that these Republicans keep talking about. Bad me for thinking.

  9. Hue-Man says:

    Here’s a link to the OECD graph of percentage of foreign-born population by country (2011).

    U.S. 13%. Australia 26.7%. Canada 20.1%. Germany 13.1%.

    And the attached chart is also OECD. Either there’s a lot of foreign-born people in the U.S. masquerading as American-born or he’s talking complete nonsense! I know, facts have a liberal bias.

  10. Indigo says:

    All that. And congratulations on sending me off to research Japan’s Burakumin problem. That took more than half an hour right there. Whew! that’s an interesting situation dating from before the Meiji period and not nearly as well resolved as it should by now. But then, we’ve got sharecroppers all over the South and elsewhere and not one pundit or prophet of social commentary approacheth.

  11. BeccaM says:

    It’s not bad of you at all, Indigo, because you’re likely correct. A guy like Sessions would probably crap his drawers if he ever saw brown or black people with guns.

  12. Indigo says:

    How bad of me is it to suspect he thinks guns should only be available to responsible citizens like himself and all those who agree with him, WASP men, mostly?

  13. Bob Munck says:

    Sessions: “But we have a group of people that are in our country that we’re afraid of — that have created chaos and confusion.”


  14. Sally says:

    I’m far more afraid of the male white evangelical armed GOP than any diverse person in my town.

  15. BeccaM says:

    Lovely. More wingnut victim-blaming.

    It’s not because we Americans are too fucked up to realize that some crazy and violent people just shouldn’t be allowed to own deadly weapons, it’s because minorities make themselves targets merely by existing.

    More racism from a racist from a racist political party. Fascinating he should bring up Japan, too, as an example — a country where conformity is valued above individuality. But they also have EXTREMELY strict gun control laws.

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