Sunday, February 18, 2018

Yes, We Should Celebrate Our Anglo-American Heritage

Trying to make our 'Anglo-American heritage' seem racially exclusive is not an answer to white nationalists. It's an echo of them.
The latest Outrage of the Day is Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking before the National Sheriffs’ Association and referring to “the Anglo-American heritage of law-enforcement.” This is a hideous racist statement—if you have been educated extensively in how to seek out offense but have learned next to nothing about history.
We do in fact have an Anglo-American system of law in this country, in the literal sense of being derived from English law. “Anglo-American law” is a widely accepted alternative term for the common law tradition that came to America with English settlers and formed the basis for our judicial system. Part of that tradition is the office of sheriff—originally a “shire reeve,” an Anglo-Saxon office that predates the Norman Conquest.
This is unique to England and former English colonies, and it is considered a bulwark of liberty, since it puts law enforcement in the hands of an independent local official, rather than concentrating it in a central power. As Sessions explained, “Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people.”
But a series of online scolds, from noted legal scholar Alyssa Milano all the way up to the NAACP, declared this was really a “dog whistle” meant to convey Sessions’ loyalty to white nationalism. To an awful lot of people, the prefix “Anglo-” does not mean “pertaining to England” but is just a shorthand for “white.” I am certain these people also believe they are totally above simplistic racial stereotyping.
What is most disturbing about this is not merely its ignorance of language and history. It is the assumption that America’s English cultural heritage is inherently racially exclusive. I can’t imagine a more condescending assumption, as if people of other races are somehow unable to grasp the concepts of habeas corpus and “innocent until proven guilty.” This kind of racial separatism—these are the same people who rail against “cultural appropriation”—is becoming the new orthodoxy among those who posture as “progressive.” But trying to make our English common law heritage seem racially exclusive is not an answer to white nationalists. It’s an echo of them.
Read the rest from Robert Tracinski HERE at The Federalist.

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