Jeff Sessions gave a speech to sheriffs on Monday sprinkled with a bit of white supremacy. In Sessions’ attempt to commend sheriffs for doing what they do, he evoked his love of law enforcement’s “Anglo-American” heritage.
“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 Sheriffs’ Association winter meeting in D.C. He then adds, “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office.”
According to NBC, Sessions was originally supposed to say “the legal heritage of law enforcement,” but decided to add that Anglo-American bit in there—because why not advocate for white supremacy in law enforcement, right?
He’s also not wrong, though: Modern law enforcement today is built upon whiteness or an “Anglo-American heritage.” That heritage includes a history of federal officers imprisoning African Americans. That legacy lives on today.
But Sessions definitely didn’t make that unsavory comment to teach us a valuable lesson about the police’s racist past, so why did he decide to throw in that ad-lib? As the Root writer Stephen A. Crockett Jr. puts plainly, “well, racism.”
People on Twitter reacted accordingly. Bernice King also reminded everyone that Sessions’ personal past is similar to the law enforcement’s. It’s littered with the racism that her mother, Coretta Scott King, spoke out against in 1986.
source: complex.com BYSARAH JASMINE MONTGOMERY