Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) was not a fan of Wednesday’s testimony schedule for Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) confirmation hearing regarding his appointment to U.S. Attorney General.
In fact, Richmond dedicated the first moments of his testimony to the fact that a black senator (Sen. Corey Booker, D-N.J.), a black representative and prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement (Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.), as well as several other black witnesses were left to speak at the end of the hearing.
Richmond said that he had a desire to address some issues before he began with his testimony, including his “concerns about being made to testify at the very end of the witness panels.”
The representative could not believe that “a senator, a House member and a living civil rights legend” spoke at the end of the panel discussions. In fact, Richmond compared the order to “being made to go to the back of the bus.”
Though he stated that he did not mind speaking towards the end, he especially criticized Lewis’ placement on the schedule. He said that a message was sent to the members of the Congressional Black Caucus as well as the black Americans they represented:
But to have a living legend like John Lewis handled in such a fashion is beyond the pale, and a message sent by this process is duly noted by me and the 49 members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and the 78 million Americans we represent and the over 17 [million] African-Americans that we represent.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus could be seen shaking their heads in agreement behind Richmond.
Following the ordeal, Richmond shared his statement on Twitter: