Believe it or not, it’s possible to believe a couple of things at once. It’s possible, for instance, to swear off tequila because of one wonderful and terrible evening in a Cuernavaca shack where you won a drinking contest but lost so very much afterward, yet you can still think it’s great to drink straight liquor. It’s possible to give up on fucking twenty year-olds because, god bless ’em, they mostly don’t know who the Ramones are, yet not give up on fucking altogether. One is not mutually exclusive of the other.
Yet the argument used by people who are pissed off about protests by people who are pissed off at cops killing unarmed people goes something like “Yeah, you’d be screwed if there were no cops.” What the fuck is that? How is that an argument? The Rude Pundit has been to protests, he’s read tons of shit written by people upset with the cops, and not a single angry person has said, “Hey, you know what’d be cool as shit? Let’s just get rid of the police and see how that plays out.”
In other words, and, really, we’re a fucking stupid society where this needs to be said, you can want racist, violent cops prosecuted when they murder someone but still be glad that the cops are around when some dickhead tries to break into your apartment. In fact, when some dickhead tried to break into the Rude Pundit’s apartment a couple of years ago, the cops and, later, the detectives he dealt with were polite, sympathetic, and helpful. Oh, and they caught the dickhead. Yeah, they found him from some video surveillance, knew who he was, followed him until he actually broke into a house, and then arrested him. The Rude Pundit can compliment those cops, he can be happy about how they did their jobs, and, watch this, he can still call out the motherfucker cops for fucking their mothers.
To state it as simply as possible, you can hate some cops and not hate the cops.
There will always be extremists in every ideology. So, sure, fucked-up, damaged people like Ismaaiyl Brinsley are out there. Tell you what, though. If we don’t treat the Tea Party differently after the Las Vegas cop killings, let’s stop acting like Brinsley is in any way representative of the justice and adherence to civil rights being sought by the post-Garner/post-Brown non-indictment marchers, even if those marchers include Al Sharpton.
Still, though, large numbers of New York City cops are acting like jerk-offs, turning their backs on their boss (and, yeah, Mayor Bill de Blasio is their boss whether they like it or not) and using funerals to protest like a bunch of “God Hates Fags” zealots. This sustained fit at de Blasio not giving the NYPD a reacharound in his remarks after the Garner decision is looking less like a free-speech exercise and more like the beginning of a coup.
Interestingly, one hilarious bit of protest, a slow down in ticketing and minor offense policing, has, if anything, made people aware of just how much bullshit fake policing they were forced to put up with as the cost of living in New York City. So…well done?
Let’s put this in context: Imagine that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has outright called teachers and their union “thugs” and worse, was going to speak to at the funeral of a teacher who was murdered in her classroom. Imagine that the gathered teachers, prompted by the head of their union, turned their backs on Christie as he eulogized the educator. Can you feel that anxiety welling in you? Yeah, it’s because you know that the right-wing media would have a rage-induced orgasm of hatred directed at the teachers. There would be calls for them to be fired. There would be non-stop discussion of their disrespect.
But it’s cops, so we’re just supposed to shut the fuck up and let them do what they want. No matter what they do.
Editor’s Note: This essay originally appeared on January 5, 2015, on The Rude Pundit, a website featuring commentary by Lee Papa. It was reproduced here with the consent of Mr. Papa.
Image Credit: www.chicago.suntimes.com