Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Medievalism and Racism: The Pendragons

A bunch of London racists tried to arrest the Mayor of London. The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is Muslim. The racists brought a noose and accused him of treachery under the "Magna Carta." Here's the story from WaPo:
But the Pendragons didn’t want to wait outside.
A small, mostly curious crowd formed around the men as they lingered by the auditorium wall, accusing Khan of subverting British law, without ever explaining how. When a reporter asked under what authority they planned to arrest the mayor, one of the Pendragons cited the Magna Carta.
Police had still not arrived after 10 minutes or so. One of the Pendragons walked up to Khan’s table and showed him an American flag, which he was holding backward.

“Mr. Khan,” the man said, “there’s millions of British people supporting Donald Trump.”
Two interesting points:

1) The idea that the Magna Carta as the sole great document of liberty empowering the people to overthrow tyrants is an American idea, not typically a British one (see the work of Peter Linebaugh).

2)  Note, of course, that the whole dispute is framed around Trump's welcome/status in the UK. He's a force for global fracture.

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