It used to be that negative all-encompassing, stereotypical statements were anathema for serious public discussions.
However, contemporary progressivism has largely ignored this convention, especially if the target is deemed “acceptable.”
Higher education is chock full of such examples. “All whites are racist” is a common one, and the 2016 election made pariahs of Trump supporters: They were “not welcome” on campus, allegedly craved political power at the expense of black people, and, of course, were labeled “Nazis.”
Now, with the death of George Floyd, similar sentiments regarding law enforcement have become commonplace.
Writing in the University of Washington Daily, Anna Miller proudly affirms a now-popular-among-radicals acronym: “ACAB,” or “All Cops are Bastards.”
“Yes, all cops are bastards,” Miller opens her article. It doesn’t matter that the overwhelming majority of police officers — as with any profession — are good and just. That’s because cops in the United States, Miller contends, have “never been about protecting people.”
If you look up its origins, you’ll find that the six-pointed star every kid was obsessed with while playing “Cops and Robbers” is exactly the same star that identified a member of the “slave patrol,” just with a bit of paint and a new name. After the Emancipation Proclamation, the brand-new “sheriffs,” the slave patrol’s new alias, could now pretend that what they were doing was totally different from their slave-catching history.
With this history in mind, it isn’t a surprise that racism and profiling are so deeply ingrained in the police force of the 21st century. It isn’t a surprise that trials involving Black people get stalled. It isn’t a surprise that the police officer responsible for the death of Breonna Taylor was only charged for the damage to the neighbors’ walls from the bullets that missed.
As Jonah Goldberg noted a few months ago, while there is some truth to the historical connections of police to slave patrols (in the American South), the concept of policing itself — “enforcing the law, preventing crime, apprehending criminals” — goes back at least as far as the Roman Empire. In colonial America, the first constables came about in 1630s New England.
“They were not created to search for runaway slaves,” Goldberg notes.
Ms. Miller goes on to make use of a single former cop’s testimony to justify her sweeping generalizations: Cops don’t actually care about protecting people, they merely “protect their own.”
“We need people who don’t look at the civilians they are charged with protecting,” Miller concludes. “Especially those who are people of color, as though they might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We especially don’t need people like cops who would rather shoot first and check later if the life they’ve ended is a wolf after all.”