Center on Race and Social Problems

Dean Larry Davis reacts to selection of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

However, that does not mean applying the term "racist" has completely lost its effectiveness, said Larry E. Davis, a University of Pittsburgh professor and director of the Center on Race and Social Problems. Protesters calling Sessions a racist repeatedly interrupted the hearing and were hustled out by Capitol police.

"There are people who would like to normalize being called a racist, but the word is still powerful," Davis said.