Want to Avoid Jail Time? Amber Ruffin Teaches Us How Not to Laugh at Jeff Sessions
If you haven’t heard, 61-year-old activist Desiree Fairooz was convicted of disorderly conduct on Friday for laughing at Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, meaning she could spend up to a year in jail, be fined, or both. The whole incident, which Vivian appropriately labeled “a Handmaid’s Tale B plot” illustrates how terrifying it has become to even suggest dissent or discontent with the current administration. Just today, West Virginian journalist Dan Heyman was arrested for repeatedly asking Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about the whether domestic violence would be a preexisting condition under a Trump’s health care system. Yes, this is actually happening.
So how should we all conduct ourselves now that something as seemingly innocent as laughter can be a criminal act? Amber Ruffin on Late Night with Seth Meyers came through yesterday with a segment called “How Not to Laugh at Jeff Sessions,” giving us all kinds of advice on how to avoid similar slip-ups. Don’t think about saying his full name in funny voices, as Ruffin does. “Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, get your hand out of that cookie jar!” I’d like to add that it’s actually Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third which only adds to that outrageousness. “I know it’s fun, but don’t do that,” suggests Ruffin as she continues to detail the many other things you should definitely not think about when Sessions shows up on your television spouting some gross nonsense about refusing to protect LGBTQ+ youth.
But for real, I want to encourage everyone to laugh at Jeff Sessions as much as possible and see Fairooz’s arrest not as a warning to stay silent but as inspiration to continue resisting. Fairooz has just published a piece on Vox titled “I’m facing jail time after laughing at Jeff Sessions. I regret nothing.” It’s a worthwhile read about the entire incident that I recommend, but I want to highlight this statement:
“I would like to think that my arrest for laughing was an anomaly, just an overenthusiastic rookie cop doing what she thought was expected of her. But that doesn’t explain the fact that I went on to be prosecuted for my so-called crime. Anyone paying attention since Trump became president knows that his administration doesn’t seem to stomach criticism well. Retribution often follows.
That’s why it’s so important to resist. I hope my story is a reminder that if you are concerned about peace and justice, equality and human rights, freedom of speech and your constitutional freedoms, you should step out of your day-to-day life to make your voice heard. Resist the government’s efforts to infringe upon our rights — or sit back and watch them disappear.”
So exercise your rights as an American and laugh all you want about how Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III looks like a Garbage Pail Kid named Plantation Nation. Laugh, get angry, and resist.
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