Something else we see in this Revolutionary world of ours is the term ACAB, which some people might think means one cab. And those same people are very confused about why this phrase is seen at all the protests. But ACAB is an acronym for “All Cops Are Bastards”. I know some of you are asking, “But how can that be Krish? There have to be some good cops out there?” A few years ago, I would have agreed with you. In fact I even wrote a bit about it!
But these so called “good cops” are removed from the system. First and foremost if people applying to become a cop score too high on IQ or Empathy tests they don’t get into the academy. The theory here is that being a police officer is a stressful job and if these cops are too nice they won’t be able to do the job. And remember the job is to protect and serve the interests of the oligarchy.
If you’re Empathetic or have a decent IQ you might try to talk to the commoner, which to the policing system is clinically insane. But there’s tons of high stress jobs. Nurses and doctors have to deal with irate patients and they don’t overdose people who stick remotes up their butts. Teachers have to deal with kids asking “Why” every 43 seconds and we don’t see stories of kinder-gardeners getting shot every day! Fuck, have you tried to be a comedian that talks about social issues in at a corporate comedy club lately? And yet under the stress of not getting paid my weight in Chicken Tenders, I have not choked out Billy Bob wearing his favorite racist Jeff Dunham T-Shirt and I nailed the drink specials!
Cops are supposed to be harden, robotic, warriors patrolling the streets that don’t understand them! They’re like an Emo Kid on Steroids! They’re listening My Chemical Romance while bench-pressing to the thoughts of how much their dads don’t love them. There’s also no psychological support for cops. The President of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police said their therapy was a shot and beer! Great, now we have to deal with Drunk cops either trying to kill us or date us!
And the cops that do push back against their own department’s violence get fired or threatened. If there were good cops in the system they would march along side the protesters and use their shield to protect the people. These cops that stay silent out of fear wind up being complicit to the murderous brutality of the justice system. So the only they can do is leave the force and become better and more engaged members of their community!
Now I know some of you thinking, “But Krish, some of them kneeled with protesters, so that’s gotta be a sign that they’re good cops!” That’s what we in the revolution call “Copaganda”. A day later these cops are violently attacking protesters on the same grounds they feigned their solidarity! [FTP 8] You have people like Sheriff Swanson in Flint, MI who put their batons down for the people. [FTP 9]
Turning a Protest into a Parade devalues what the protest actually is! It’s a protest bro! You see any fuckin’ Mickey Mouse balloons or floats with Disney princesses? No, then it’s a protests and you best recognize or your precinct could be the next Wendy’s! Cops hugging people sounds like code for illegal chokehold. Sheriff Swanson is a Prison Profiteer with a sweet Mid-Westerner accent! [FTP 10]
In the world of therapy when you’re in an abusive relationship there’s a term called ‘bread-crumbing’ that’s used to describe how abusers want praise for doing the smallest and menial of tasks. Like a gold star for NOT setting the kitchen ablaze on purpose. In reality, that’s just something we shouldn’t do! These cops are doing the bear minimum by not firing projectiles at protesters for like an hour and they want everyone to love and praise them for it. So there are no good cops when it comes to Copandanga Bread-crumbs.
Copaganda is also in the way the media portrays cops in our society. In the media cops are portrayed to be cool and hilarious where they engage in hijinks while keeping us safe from us! You have cops like Axel Foley and John McClain, the cast of Brooklyn 99 who are badasses with heart!
Cops even co-opted the Punisher, who’s a comic book character that was created out of the frustration regarding the corruption and ineptitude of law enforcement. They turned his logo of the skull into a symbol for the Thin Blue Line, which also what you call a cop’s penis. Frank Castle has beat the shit out of cops because they’re bad people abusing their powers. The creator of the Punisher was so upset about the bastardization of his logo by these true bastards that he came up with a line of new logos supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, which Frank 100% would!
There was only one instance when cops pushed back against their masters. It was during the one and only Police Strike in Boston in 1919! In 1919 the Police starting pay was $2/day and hadn’t increased in 60 years! These are Slave Patrol wages! And that was unfair, because by 1919 they were harassing black people and the working class at a much higher rate! They worked 7 days a week, 72-98 hours/week and had to stay in station houses with little sanitation, baths, beds or toilets.
Now the way this worked was the Governor of Massachusetts appointed a Commissioner but the Mayor was in charge of the budgets. So successes were credited to the Governor and the failures scapegoated to the Mayor. In June of 1919 when the AFL suggested the police unionize the Commissioner under order of Governor Calvin Coolidge, declined them. He stated they were “state officers, not employees”. Translation: “You our bitch now!”
By August, the 8 officers that tried to unionize were fired and Coolidge was about to pass legislation that would make it illegal for government employees to unionize. A banker said the governor should recognize the union as long as they promise not to strike. 4 out of 5 Boston newspapers sided with the banker’s compromise. And so did 4 out 5 dentists. It’s unclear as to why they voiced their opinion but good for them.
Now let’s be clear, the banker’s call to ensure the police shouldn’t strike wasn’t about solidarity, but it was about protecting his wealth. He wanted the cops to get paid more so they’d protect him when the people came for what was rightfully theirs. Only 1 out of 5 Dentists saw that.
Coolidge rejected the compromise and delegitimized the police union. So the cops got together and voted to see if they should strike. Out of 1100 members only 2 objected. On September 9, 1919 at 5:45pm, 72% of the Boston Police didn’t report for duty. Coolidge panicked and called in the Metro Park PD and over half of them refused to participate in solidarity with the Boston cops.
During the first night with no cops, one cigar store got busted into, there were a few purse snatches but the rest of time people were kinda just partying. There was music being played, drinks to be had, outdoor gambling, this was the first time someone wore a barrel as an outfit. People were violating some cardinal rules, like going into stores with NO shoes or shirts and still getting service! The establishment saw this as mayhem! “There will not be fun unless the state mandates your fun with specific guidelines and all the correct paperwork is filed”
So the Mayor panics and not only calls for the State Guard to be activated but ALSO deputized Harvard Students to go on patrol as volunteers. The children that had become police couldn’t handle the mobs of people who saw them as enemies. It turns out you can’t tell people to go home by quoting Shakespeare at them; it only pisses them off.
The Guardsmen had to be called in to save the children and then Coolidge activated 5000 more guardsmen who used live rounds against civilians in Boston! Fortunately only 9 people were killed, which was a bummer for the war machine. They would’ve preferred double digits on that death toll. Businesses had boarded up and closed early or taken up arms themselves. Samuel Gompers of the AFL reached out to Coolidge urging him to reinstate the officers and open up negotiations. Coolidge said no, because you know…Russia.
By the fourth day, the guard crushed the strike with force. The police officers remained fired and were replaced by out of work World War 1 veterans with untreated PTSD. They would’ve been better off with the Harvard kids! The new cops got a pay increase, better hours, benefits and clean living quarters; All the things the striking cops were asking for. It’s not that state can’t afford to improve our lives, it’s that they wouldn’t!
This was a message to the police that they are the slaves of the state. So there are no good cops because their masters won’t allow them to exist in the force. So because of all that All Cops Are, in fact, Bastards. As my friend Eleanor Goldfield points out, “Indeed when we say “All Cops Are Bastards”, we do not mean that all people go into policing want to harm the public but rather that the institution of police ultimately harms the public. It’s in their DNA”.
In 1919 it became illegal for police to unionize, until the powers that be saw that it would be highly beneficial to them. Today there are several union organizers that want the AFL-CIO to remove the Police Union’s affiliation with them. They say “police unions serve the interests of police forces as an arm of the state, and not the interests of police as laborers.”
Real Unions are the key to pushing back against the overpowered, over-funded, corrupt, crybabies in the Police Unions. Real Unions aren’t about membership, but about solidarity with the working class and improving the lives of workers while fighting for social justice. There’s a long standing history of Unions standing up for racial justice, because REAL Unions stand up all of the working class regardless of skin color, gender, creed, religion, sexuality or whether you want to wear a barrel as suit!
Police Unions on the other hand have raised funds for killer cops like Darren Wilson, who murdered Mike Brown, Daniel Pantaleo, who murdered Eric Garner and several others. They don’t represent the people, because the police don’t represent us. But with leaders from the Transport Unions standing with their workers who refuse to bus protesters to prison or cops down to protest means we can use our solidarity as a strength to push back against the Bastard Cops and amplify the Defund movement.
So why do officers like Derek Chauvin, Darren Wilson, Daniel Pantaleo think they can murder with impunity? Because they know their masters will protect them, because they protect their owners’ stuff. The police were never created to protect and serve the masses they were created to protect the serve the masters! But we’ve decided that we’ve had enough of this lop-sided manufactured war being waged on us. There is no reforming systems that built off inequality & bastardism. So we can work to create new ones that built out of logic, compassion and have equality at its core.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!