Jeff Sessions went full-on White supremacist on Monday and positioned himself as the defender of the “Anglo-American heritage” style of policing while speaking to a room full of sheriffs. It was the attorney general’s latest dog whistling attempt to tell law enforcement they will get all the legal protection they need under the president’s law-and-order crusade against people of color.
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“I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process,” Sessions said at the National Sheriff’s Association winter conference in Washington, D.C., before reportedly going off script. “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement.”
The term “Anglo-American” (read: White) was an ad-lib that was not in his prepared remarks, according to CNN. His transcript had the term “legal heritage.”
Sessions’ clearly racist views shouldn’t come as a surprise. Coretta Scott King warned back in 1986 of Session’s racism in a letter in which she predicted that he would reverse civil rights advances if appointed to a federal judgeship. As attorney general, he’s already taken steps to relaunch the war on drugs in which the criminal justice system warehoused a generation of African-American men.
During his first year as attorney general, he’s chipped away at President Barack Obama’s progressive criminal justice policies, including removing government oversight of police reforms. After a wave of high-profile police shootings of unarmed Black men, the Obama Justice Department entered into agreements with several of the most troubled police departments.
In the middle of Black History Month, the attorney general appears to be rounding up a White posse of police to ride into town.