Reactions To Jeff Sessions' "An Island In The Pacific" Comment Show This Won't Go Away Soon
If you're the Attorney General of the United States, it's probably not a good idea to minimize and disrespect one of those states on talk radio. Reactions to Jeff Sessions' "island in the Pacific" comment were swift and harsh, but apparently he still hasn't learned his lesson, because when CNN's Kate Bolduan gave him every opportunity to apologize, he declined. Sessions was discussing Judge Derrick Watson's order blocking President Donald Trump's travel ban on The Mark Levin Show on Tuesday when he said, "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."
When Bolduan asked Sessions if he thought he'd disrespected the judge or the state, he responded, "No, I think the island is a fabulous place ... I was just raising the point of that issue of a single judge." Sessions still failed to acknowledge that "the island" is part of America, a bad look for someone whose track record on race is already closely scrutinized. Of course, if he can get confirmed after calling the NAACP un-American and reportedly only taking issue with the Ku Klux Klan after they found out they smoked pot, according to The Washington Post, he's pretty much bulletproof. Sessions hasn't responded to Romper's requests for comment on those previous statements.
But even if he's won't listen to his critics, that doesn't mean they're not still talking. Hawaiian lawmakers are furious, and all four of the state's members of Congress took the opportunity to weigh in (some of them in a series of escalating tweets).
.@USAGSessions: Hawaii is home for the United States Pacific Command with an Area of Responsibility (AOR) of about half the earth's surface.— Colleen Hanabusa (@RepHanabusa) April 21, 2017
Hey Jeff Sessions, this #IslandinthePacific has been the 50th state for going on 58 years. And we won’t succumb to your dog whistle politics— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) April 20, 2017
Our 50th state #IslandinthePacific is home to the only US WWII battlefield at Pearl Harbor. AG Sessions, have some respect.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) April 20, 2017
Citizens are equally offended. Some Hawaiians took Sessions' comments personally, and rightfully so. Many were quick to remind the Attorney General about a pretty damn significant event in U.S. history that occurred in Hawaii — maybe you've heard of a place called Pearl Harbor?
Jeff Sessions calls it "some island in the Pacific"— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 20, 2017
We call it the 50th state and site of the only WWII battlefield on US soil. pic.twitter.com/vhz8Ij0kB6
Apparently, according to our Attorney General, the 50th state which I live in is now "Some Island In The Pacific". Got it.— James Petruzzi (@Hawaiianimages) April 20, 2017
And some recalled that this wasn't the first time Hawaii was treated like the forgotten cousin of the states. It gave us our last president, and this is how we thank it? Or perhaps that's part of Sessions' beef, who knows?
My home state can’t catch a break. First Hawaiian birth certificates aren’t real, now it’s not even a state — just an island in the Pacific. https://t.co/peEZQKyyQH— Blair Miller (@blairmiller) April 20, 2017
So I live on some island in the Pacific, but I keep filing taxes with some country 2,500 miles away. Weird.— Lorelei Armstrong (@fusepark) April 20, 2017
Residents of other states were quick to join their voices in solidarity. It's good to know that some people still remember what the "U" in U.S.A. stands for.
I guess Jeff Sessions doesn't realize that the "island in the Pacific" is ACTUALLY a part of the United States.#JeffNeedsAGeographyLesson— Alan West (@apwest) April 21, 2017
He's the AG of all 50 United States of America, not 49 and an island in the Pacific. Sessions has got to go.— EricRenzWhitmore📘 (@ewhitmore) April 20, 2017
And of course, we've got jokes. Righteous indignation is fine and good, but sometimes, we need a laugh, right?
Sessions is "amazed" an "island in the Pacific" judge can block the travel ban. Just like how I'm "bewildered" a "racist elf" can be AG.— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) April 21, 2017
I'm amazed a President from an island in the Hudson River with a statue welcoming immigrants continues to push anti-immigration policies https://t.co/H7YkOQxyF5— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) April 21, 2017
Also, why couldn't The Professor just FIX THE BOAT SERIOUSLY PEOPLE COME ON NOW LADIES BACK ME UP https://t.co/IHgHwVZ9sg— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 20, 2017
No amount of scorn is going to change Sessions at this point, so perhaps it's best to just sit back and laugh about what a mess America's gotten itself into.