Jeff Sessions Celebrates "Anglo-American Heritage of Law Enforcement"

Comments

1
Please enjoy the ensuing excuse-making, false equivalencies, and whataboutist attacks. have at it, New Slog!
3
Good job with this one, Rich. I was afraid I'd find a bait article that didn't mention the common law context, but you did and also pointed out he coulda just said common law.

A traditional dogwhistle is plausibly deniable on any single occasion, it just becomes an undeniable pattern over time. We're just not used to real dogwhistles anymore, we get so much of the crude stuff.
4
It must be really fucked up to work at the DOJ and have your former boss Loretta Lynch, the nation's first black female Attorney General, swapped out for Jeff $e$$ions, who wants uppity black people to be lynched.
5
@2: slippery slope fallacy. thanks for bringing it so quickly. 1 minute!
6
@4 No, not ALL the uppity negroes -- definitely NOT Clarence 'Uncle' Thomas,
who's already, according to himself, suffered a high-tech lynching.

And yet, against all odds, there he is securely enshrined on Chief 'Justice' John Roberts' Supremist Court.
7
Each of us needs to take all the anger and energy we feel whenever the likes of Jeff Sessions reminds us of our new official racism and direct it constructively into your arm and down to our fist with which we punch the nearest Berine Bro. Then check to see if racists still control the executive branch, and punch again, as needed.
8
@4, not lynched, just diverted to privatized prisons where they can labor at $0.10 an hour.
9
@3: Hence logic dictates that the Attorney General went out his way to be deliberately provocative with full knowledge his added words would be received as racially insensitive.
10
If it walks like a Southern Fried Racist Pig, and it oinks like a Southern Fried Racist Pig, then it's bacon,,,Time for this Ham bone to retire to his Southern Fried Racist Pig home and reflect on his racist ways....
11
@7 - That'll definitely improve our political system! Add more violence! :D
--
Another recent history of the police furnishes this succinct description of their creation:
The authorities created the police in response to large, defiant crowds.
E.g.
-- strikes,
-- worker riots in the North, and
-- slave insurrections in the South

People with little left to lose, willing to throw down to improve their living & working conditions. [Linkity!]
12
Sigh. So for once, a conservative actually got it right when it comes to legal history (Roy Moore's inclusion of the Ten Commandments as a foundation of American jurisprudence was actually factually wrong as well as a violation of Church and State; our legal system, with a few notable exceptions, is, in fact, based on English Common Law). But because he's who he is, this factual correctness must be a "dog whistle."

Sheriffs (i.e. shire reeves), are actually hugely important officers in English legal history, because they were the sole representatives of royal authority in each county. The text of the venerable writ of habeas corpus is actually a letter addressed from the king to a sheriff ordering him to produce a prisoner (it literally means, "You will have the person...." and goes on about where to produce this person so that his imprisonment can be challenged in court; this was back in the days when the Crown regarded it as offensive to its dignity that any subject be held without proper cause).

So Sessions is absolutely, completely, 100% correct, historically speaking, when addressing sheriffs and impressing upon them the importance of the offices historically.

Naturally, because we live in a time when proper education is held by all sides in such contempt, these remarks will only be looked at as an an opportunity to once again whip up the masses with breathless blog posts about how horrible our eternal blood enemies are.

Shit like this post makes me despair for this country. The right spiraled off into cloud cuckoo land years ago. Now Trump is doing the exact same thing to the left. The inmates are truly running the asylum.
13
@9 he's certainly a guy who would, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he didn't think it through like that, if the flattery he was dishing just suggested the choice of words signaling more moral uprightness in his mind.

@12 if you don't mind, do you buy the concept of a dogwhistle and argue this doesn't qualify, or would you say dogwhistles are a paranoid liberal fantasy altogether?
14
@7 “Each of us needs to take all the anger and energy we feel whenever the likes of Jeff Sessions reminds us of our new official racism and direct it constructively into your arm and down to our fist with which we punch the nearest Berine Bro. Then check to see if racists still control the executive branch, and punch again, as needed.”

Oh, good, so it was NOT 'our' wholly-corporate-owned, raking-in-the-Billions Mass Media selling ads that turn the stomach of even the Candidates themselves. When every single one of Bernie’s platforms held (and still hold) majority-favorable positions.

Nor was it gerrymandering. Not easily-hackable voting machines. And definitely not voter-rolls purges. So glad we cleared all that up.

Go, Hillary! Nevermind them $200,000.00 speeches to Wall Street! Never did get to read any if them myself, but I’m sure they were all just Business, as per usual….
15
@13 My position is that we don't know the intent behind what Sessions was trying to say. He was invited to speak at the event by virtue of his office. The obvious intent would be to give the sheriffs there a "rah rah" encouraging speech, just like any other Attorney General would have done in his place. In that context, pointing out the historical importance of the office is a reasonable tack to take in such a speech.

What I am arguing for here is Occam's Razor. Not everything is a conspiracy or a secret code. In the absence of actual evidence that Sessions was organizing a covert KKK chapter, we probably should stick with the simplest explanation.

I'll point out that this so-called "dog-whistle" never actually would have be publicized for racists to hear if hypersensitive writers hadn't turned this non-story into a thing.

To answer your question directly, I frankly think that if there are such things as "dog whistles" they are quite rare because they'd sail over way too many heads, including the heads of those whom the whistles are meant for.

For example, when the Obama campaign said Mitt Romney was "not one of us" in the 2012 campaign, was that a dog whistle attacking his religion, as the Romney campaign claimed? Or should we have taken the obvious interpretation that Romney wasn't one of us because of his wealth? Occam's Razor suggests the latter, especially given the context of the ad about coal miners in which that line appeared.

Personally, I find it a waste of time to analyze speeches and ads and the like line by line and word by word looking for "dog whistles." Almost anything can be spun into a "dog whistle" if you have enough of a conspiracy-addled mind.

I don't need to spin Sessions' drug policy as racist in order to know that it's bad policy. Maybe he's pursuing it for racist reasons and maybe he's not; I don't know what's in his heart. But bad policy is bad policy and good policy is good policy and figuring out which is which doesn't require attempting to parse out people's intentions.
18
@15 you Occam's Razor this by comparing a motivational speech based on historical content to a secret society -- "that Sessions was organizing a covert KKK chapter." but that is NOT the comparison. of course Sesson's isn't organizing a secret society. come on. that he might be expressing ideas in a racist framework, or trying to speak to people to demonstrate his like-mindedness is not remotely far-fetched.

you use a straw-man in your Occam's Razor to get the outcome you want.

Sesson's decided to insert that term specifically *after* the speech was written. Since it was not necessary to communicate the legal or historical ideas he was conveying, it is more likely -- using your Occam's Razor -- that he intentionally inserted these redundant words in order to bring attention to the historical significance of the rule of law as it relates to sheriffs, or that he wanted to encourage these sheriffs by coding to them that he's still on their side, that he's one of them, that he's going to make sheriffing great again?

i'd say Occam's Razor isn't really the appropriate tool to evaluate this particular case, but if you did use that tool, you might find the simplest explanation is in fact he cannot escape his racist predilections.
19
Jeff Sessions was denied a federal judgeship by the senate in the 1980s for being too racist so if we're applying occam’s razor, Jeff Sessions serving as attorney general under donald trump in 2018 is also racist. This is just affirming something we've known for decades.
20
@17:

I had a dog named Bub once, nice coonhound/German Shepherd mix, came lickety-split when you whistled "Dixie" - are you in any way related?
22
@21:

So, you ARE related...
23
When Mein Trumpfy said "We're gonna deport all them scary damn Moosluums!" during his Campaign -- I know, I know -- it was just a stupid Campaign -- when courts tried to figure if his then-new immigration policy (nobody from 'certain' countries!) was, indeed racist, they had to look no farther than his 'presidential' Campaign.

So when Jeffrerey Boreguard Sessions (the Turd) (too fucking racist to be a Judge?!) (in the fucking South?!!!) refers back to The Glory Days of Anglo-Saxonism, of fucking course we Leftys are gonna put two and two together.

If it talks like a duck. etc.
24
Ooops -- Anglo American, not /\ Anglo Saxon. /\
To heck with the Saxes!
25
@15,18, et.al.-- I think this simplest explanation is that Sessions has a morality based on a fairly rigid hierarchy, and whites are on top of that hierarchy. His statements and his policies all follow from this core value set.

Cf. "The Conservative Moral Hierarchy" (about half way down that webpage)