Among those who weighed in on Sessions’ speech included Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, who called the phrase a “dog whistle” and expressed continued pride in his opposition to the attorney general’s nomination last year, and California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a candidate in the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election, who called Sessions an “outright racist.”

Brian Schatz

@brianschatz

Do you know anyone who says “Anglo-American heritage” in a sentence? What could possibly be the purpose of saying that other than to pit Americans against each other? For the chief law enforcement officer to use a dog whistle like that is appalling. Best NO vote I ever cast.

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Gavin Newsom

@GavinNewsom

Reminder that our Attorney General is an outright racist who wants us all to acknowledge “Anglo-American heritage.”

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In 1986, Sessions’ nomination for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama was rejected by the Senate Judiciary Committee after associates testified during his confirmation hearings that the then-U.S. Attorney had made callous comments about the NAACP and Ku Klux Klan. Sessions said at the time that the remarks were not intended to be taken seriously.

The NAACP issued a response to the speech to The Washington Post in which it characterized the comment as “racially tinged,” and said it should give “all people reason to worry.”

“His decision to link the term Sheriff to some part ‘of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement’ is an unfortunate yet consistent aspect of the language coming out of the Department of Justice under his tenure,” the statement continued, “and in the opinion of the NAACP, qualifies as the latest example of dog whistle politics.”

Source: ABC News (ADAM KELSEY)

Photo Credit: Americas Cardroom

Photo Credit: WMOT