On May 12, The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation hosted a live call to action online to show support from Black women leaders and allies who want Department of Justice nominee Kristen Clarke confirmed as the Department of Justice’s U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. Heads of Jack and Jill of America Inc., The National Council of Negro Women Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. are among organizations standing with Clarke. Racial discrimination, a rise in hate crimes, attacks on affirmative action, and voter suppression were just some of the issues raised by leaders who say that Clarke could properly address these kinds of issues if confirmed as the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
“We need someone fully prepared and equipped to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, and that person is Kristen Clarke. If you hear opposition to her, the opposition to her is not because of Kristen. The opposition is because they know that she is fully prepared to take that department, lead that team, and reinvigorate civil rights enforcement in the Department of Justice,” Sherrilyn Ifill, president and Director- Council NAACP Legal Defense Fund said.
Black women leaders asked all day for online event attendees to use the hashtags #ConfirmClarke #WinWithBlackWomen via social media, and call senators and tell them they want Kristin Clark confirmed to prepare for the Senate Judiciary’s decision to consider voting for her nomination.
Yahoo! News said that the Senate Judiciary Committee did advance Clarke’s nomination, but her confirmation is still uncertain. Some key moderate senators have not announced their stance regarding Clarke.
“She also has a history of making highly controversial statements, including a 2020 Newsweek op-ed headlined: “I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police—But Be Strategic,” according to Yahoo! News.
Democracy Now! reported that Republican senators in Washington are trying to block Clarke, who is a prominent voting rights advocate.
“The Senate Judiciary Committee has deadlocked on an 11-11 vote on whether to move Clarke’s nomination for assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to the Senate floor for a full vote,” Democracy Now! said.
It was also mentioned that Clarke would be the first Black woman to hold the position if she wins the vote.