Is Jeff Sessions 'Anglo-American heritage' remark a new "dog whistle?"

AG Sessions invoked “Anglo-American heritage” in an off-the-cuff remark during a speech at the Sheriffs' Association.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday invoked “Anglo-American heritage” in an off-the-cuff remark during a speech at the National Sheriffs' Association winter meeting in Washington. “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement,” Sessions said. “We must never erode this historic office.” Sessions’ prepared remarks did not include “Anglo-American,” and the line in question reads: “The sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage.” His comment appears to reference the English origins of a sheriff’s office.

"The attorney general received some attention on Monday for referencing “the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement” during a speech to the National Sheriffs’ Association. CNN and The Daily Beast took note of the phrase without drawing any conclusions, while other outlets made their point more clearly. Splinter’s Emma Roller, for example, concluded that Sessions “let his racism peek through a little more than he may have intended to.”

The American Sheriffs English heritage.

Let's not forget that in real English folklore the sheriffs are villains. To become a legend, Robin Hood needs bad guys to trick, outwit, rob, bedevil... The sheriffs in the popular English tradition were greedy, sadistic men oppressing the people and making Robin Hood look good.

It's Robin Hood's legend, not the Sheriff's, right?

​Without question, Robin Hood's archenemy is the Sheriff of Nottingham. The sheriff is the legal authority in the Robin Hood legend, appointed by the king.

The sheriffs were unpaid by the king, and had to pay a yearly sum to hold the office. No matter. The sheriffs made enough money from their various duties to pay off the king and still make a handsome profit. There were many attempts to reform the sheriffs, but there were always some rotten apples.

The sheriffs that Robin Hood fights are greedy and corrupt, abusing their authority by collecting too many taxes. The sheriff might be the legal authority in Nottinghamshire, but he was most certainly not the moral authority.

The sheriff changes from story to story. He has different names, and often times he is given no name at all. The title is more important than the person.

In some stories, the sheriff is an overweight fool, mere comic relief to nastier foes. Other times, he's a smooth political operator with a sharp wit. Or he can be the leader of a magical cult. He can be silly, sinister or merely psychotic. Once in a while, the sheriff is portrayed as a good man doing an unpleasant job. Such interpretations are rare though. Usually, the Sheriff of Nottingham deserves everything Robin Hood does to him.


All of Nottingham's sheriffs appear to have been 'hard' men and those in court at Nottingham who took part in the Peasants Revolt were all either heavily fined or outlawed. Incidentally the sheriff of Nottingham at the time, John de Oxford, was one of the worst criminals ever. He stole wheat, barley, oats, malt and 200 large oxen which he sold back to their owners for his own profit. The Archbishop of Canterbury at this time, Simon Sudbury was one of the most unpopular men ever and when he became chancellor he imposed a tax of three groats (one shilling) on every man and woman over the age of the fifteen. This was three times higher than previously and the rich only had to pay the same as the poorest peasant. Taking all this into account it is hardly surprising Robin Hood told his men to do no harm to the ploughmen who tills the soil, the yeoman, and the knight and squire but to beware of the bishops, arch-bishops and the sheriff of Nottingham. The Geste of Robin Hood was written within living memory of the Peasants Revolt and William Langland who wrote Piers Plowman which gives us the first literary mention of Robin Hood was written at the time of the Peasants Revolt.
Source: Robin Hood Outlaw Legend of Loxley

What's get MORE "Anglo-American" than Disney's versions of history?

In the Disney version of Robin Hood, the Sheriff is a large anthropomorphic gray wolf voiced by Alabama-born comedian Pat Buttram. He serves as Prince John's chief enforcer, collecting unlimited taxes from the people of Nottingham and hunting Robin Hood and Little John.

Watch in the video below: