Occupying a bizarre, yet fascinating – well, fascinating to me, at least – spot in the modern zeitgeist is the cop-hating libertarian. Now, I’ve always considered myself to be a libertarian and have been called one by people on the both the left and the right, but one thing that I’ve always had trouble understanding is the libertarian who has a vehement hatred for the police.
I understand where it COMES from. When I was a young, obnoxious teenager, I too hated anybody who wore a suit or a uniform of any type. I thought ALL of these people were assholes who take your freedoms away and stop you from having fun, while filling their coffers and enslaving people through bureaucracy. The first band I ever listened to was Metallica. In “…And Justice for All”, they sing about a corrupt politician, who uses money to subvert the justice system; in “The Shortest Straw”, they sing about how you’re put on trial Kafka-style for something you didn’t do, and no matter what you do, you’re always guilty; in “Eye of the Beholder”, they preach against censorship; in “Leper Messiah”, they attack manipulative people, who sell religion to rubes that don’t know any better; in “Fight Fire with Fire” and “Blackened”, they express their fear of imminent nuclear annihilation at the hands of the two big political powers at the time; and in “Disposable Heroes” and “One”, they condemn war since like war totally sucks. Ironically then, they go on to express the necessity for war in SOME instances in “Don’t Tread on Me.”
But THEN, when my radar moved into the amateurish, under-produced and less musically skilled world of hardcore punk, the bands had an entirely new target for their resentment. In “Police Story”, Black Flag sing about a war on the street between the cops and kids; in “Police Truck”, the Dead Kennedys shout down police brutality; In “Cop Cars”, the Exploited express their paranoia whenever they hear a police siren; in “Fascist Pig”, Suicidal Tendencies call cops “fascist pigs” (or rather, they ironically claim that “I wanna be a fascist pig!”); in “The Badge”, Poison Idea claim anyone who becomes a police officer does so because he has a thirst for power; in “Cop Killer” by Body Count (ain’t it a hoot how Ice-T plays a cop on Law and Order now?), “Kill the Police” by GG Allin and “Cops for Fertilizer” by the Crucifucks, the respective bands advocate KILLING the police; and in “No More Cops”, a band CALLED Millions of Dead Cops says the world would be a much more peaceful place, and that people would just get along all nicey-nice if we just got rid of all cops (no need to kill ’em). Hell, even Motörhead have a song called “Lawman” that attacks narco-cops (actually being a narc is pretty lame). By the end of the 80s, Gangsta rappers N.W.A. added a racial element to the anti-cop sentiment with “Fuk da Police.”
The basic message from punk, rap and some metal is that, if you enjoy freedom or, if you’re a freak or outcast of any type, the police are NOT your friends.
As people grow older, their views tend to get more nuanced, and they stop taking the messages in songs at face value. This is why they realize that it’s contradictory for a leftist punk rock band like the Dead Kennedys to sing a song called “Government Flu”, while advocating for MORE government. They realize that, when the Dead Kennedys bash Christianity in “Religious Vomit” or when Motörhead do the same in “(Don’t Need) Religion” or when Crass sing that there are no gods or masters, that it’s hypocritical to not bash Islam with equal fervor. They also realize that it’s pretty silly to say that people in the United States are oppressed, while completely acting as though the oppression in Islamic countries is no big deal or even worse, advocating Socialism or Communism as if we don’t already have models for the failure of both ideologies.
In other words, they realize that the left is the problem, that they’re the real advocates for authoritarianism, censorship and taking away whatever freedoms we have.
Yet they still hate cops.
Hatred for the police on the left is pretty simple to understand. Leftists just think that cops are racist, unfairly targeting minorities for harassment, abuse and murder. Without doing any further research into the cases of Rodney King, Michael Brown or Philando Castile, they figure, “the cops are white, the people they beat or shoot are black, so therefore, the police must be beating and shooting black people because they hate them.” When you point out that cops kill more white people than black people, that black people kill more black people than either white or black cops or that the reason that possibly blacks have more run-ins with cops than other groups of people is because they commit most of the crime. As stated many times elsewhere, blacks make up 13% of the population, yet are responsible for more than 50% of the violent crime. With the left, none of these other factors are ever considered, and based upon this ignorance, idiotic, left-wing movements like Black Lives Matter are allowed to fester and grow.
But, for libertarians, specifically cop hating libertarians, the story is a bit more complicated. My guess is that, in general, they feel that cops are part of the state apparatus, and that they have too much authority, which they can exert onto people at will. Unlike leftists, they don’t see a racial problem; they see a problem with nutsoid cops, who will attack anyone and everyone just because they’re having a bad day or someone just doesn’t look quite right to them. In their view, cops will occasionally discriminate upon the basis of race, but not to the same degree that leftist SJW’s or Black Lives Matter activists think they do. They see THEMSELVES as just as much a part of the anti-cop struggle as leftists and BLM activists, but they feel that the SJW’s and BLM activists need to worry less about racial discrimination and realize that ALL civilians are targets for the police.
Of course, all of this is silly and idiotic. I’ve heard individual stories of people claiming that cops harassed them when they were 100% innocent, and I believe they’re probably telling the truth; but as someone who was stopped by the police for drunk driving and attempted to drive away, when I was surrounded by the police, I stepped out of my car, put my hands in the air as the officers requested, and I was safe of any threats to my life. Do officers overstep their bounds? Sure. Is there an epidemic of officers overstepping their bounds and using the power of the badge to harass, beat and murder people? Now, you’re going to have to give me a WHOLE heckuva lot of evidence to prove that, kiddo.
And God forbid the mainstream media gets a hold of a story which involves a cop and a citizen because, if the right factors are involved – white cop/black “victim” – they’ll spin a wonderful yarn that excludes key details; I bet you didn’t know that Rodney King was high on PCP, and that he had two passengers in his car that both complied with the police when they were stopped. And please don’t get me started with that gentle giant Michael Brown, who robbed a liquor store and tried to grab the officers gun, before he was rightfully shot.
On one hand, cop hating libertarians fully advocate for conceal and carry because it supports the 2nd amendment, but I’m curious how they feel about the Trayvon Marton/George Zimmerman scenario. After all Zimmerman wasn’t a cop. He was just a citizen acting within Florida’s stand your ground law; he was being beat down, defended himself and was found not guilty of murder. On the other hand, they find pro-active, stop and frisk policing, which lead to a severe drop in violent crime in New York during the 90s, to be completely reprehensible; nothing short of an attempt to steamroll over the 4th amendment.
Of course this too is nonsense since the Supreme Court officially ruled that there is nothing unconstitutional about the stop and frisk method of policing, and many have seen how it’s lead to a sharp fall in crime and rise in the standard of living for people living in low income communities.
My question to these cop-hating libertarians is if they honestly equate working class men and women, who decide to become police officers of some local jurisdiction because they have no other training, to federal agents who work with the FBI or the CIA and attempt to spy on them using drones or if they feel that local and even state police are really part of the globalist machine. Because, if these allegations are true, and the cop that stopped me the night I drove drunk and said “cool shirt!” when he saw my Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! t-shirt, works for the state apparatus, then I’ve got way bigger things to worry about than getting back my driver’s license!