Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, speaking to the National Sheriffs Association, praised the local sheriff as the “critical part of Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”
People familiar with the law were quick to point out that he was probably referring to the “common law” that we Americans inherited from the British system and that the local sheriff is an office passed down from medieval times. Perfectly innocent.
Sure, okay. But “Anglo-American” and “heritage” are also terms that are commonly used by white supremacists to justify their long history of oppressing minorities in the name of racial purity, and “heritage” has been heard most recently to defend the Confederate battle flag flying over town squares next to statues of Robert E. Lee. And Mr. Sessions has a long history himself of racial insensitivity.
And it should be noted that he veered off the prepared text to insert “Anglo-American.” It’s like the dog whistle wasn’t loud enough already.