Home Opinion Matthew Braunginn: An open letter to the self-described “good cops”

Matthew Braunginn: An open letter to the self-described “good cops”


This is an open letter to all of the self-described “good cops,” the ones who have sat there, who have believed they are good because they don’t do things other officers do, even if they don’t work to stop them. The ones who have sat there ignoring the looming threat of white supremacy in their ranks because Black Lives Matter dares to want accountability and the ones who engage with BLM protests far more aggressively than those who are openly threatening to violently overthrow democratically elected governments within this nation

Let me say this clearly: the base of the GOP — filled with Nazis, general fascists, neo-confederates, regular old white supremacists, conspiracy theorists, and other far-right people — has declared war against the United States. They were saying they were at war before January 6, and many didn’t believe them. Then on January 6, a rally where Thin Blue line flags, flew alongside Confederate, Nazi, and other fascistic flags (as it has been a fascist symbol for years, flying alongside confederate and Nazi flags for years), turned into an open insurrection. Capitol Police said they had no warning this would happen, which seen with growing evidence is not only a lie, but there is evidence there were rank members of Capitol Police who aided and abetted this insurrection; not to mention ranks of the mob that had former and current law enforcement members in them from around the nation. On top of that, there doesn’t seem to be a large outcry by national law enforcement representation, and some tepid support, such as the head of the Chicago Police union, that defended the traitors.

These people are rejecting the will of 81 million Americans. There is a reason they highlighted Black and Brown cities as the epicenter of “voter fraud,” with zero evidence. The problem they have with Democrats isn’t their so-called “socialist” policies (they aren’t socialists), but the fact Democrats have — even at the most tepid of levels — embraced the idea of a multicultural democracy (i.e. race traitors). Any denial of this is a denial of your own eyes: this has been going on for years, far longer than Trump.

In fact, this rejection of a multicultural Democracy in American conservative ideology (one Democrats used to hold before the political realignment in the middle of the 20th century), has been prevalent since the founding of this nation. This is the same idea that brought about the Confederacy, it is the same one that pushed white reconciliation and forgiveness of the southern traitors. It is one that led to the violent insurrections during Reconstruction. The idea of forgiveness and unity was what overthrew and abandon Reconstruction. But this was a white unity, not a national one. At this point, the abandoning of reconstruction was the abandoning of a multicultural democracy by both political parties — the abandoned idea Democrats picked up years later. But also let’s be clear, this idea was abandoned not by this nation’s Black residents, but by its white population. 

Do not think of the civil war, though, as the model; think of the overthrow of Reconstruction, of a violent insurgency spread throughout the united states, willing to use violence to obtain political control over governments. Asserting a white hegemony within the United States. And before, during this insurrection, law enforcement, like now, took part in it. They took part in it by sitting by as Black people were terrorized, killed, and lynched. They took part in it by actively participating in the terror and lynchings. They took part in it by enforcing racist laws they knew were racist. They took part in it by enforcing laws with racist intent, even laws that weren’t designed to be so. 

To put it plainly, your institution is rife with racists and white supremacists, it is rife with being asked to enforce racist and oppressive laws. Your institution, your profession, has allowed itself to have white supremacists within its ranks since its inception and has done nothing to combat that outside of “implicit bias” training — as if none of them have explicit bias. Your profession allows itself to justify not just racist and oppressive laws, but the racist application of those laws, such as the drug war. 

And now, because of this, your profession and institution have an unknown many, who either: 1. Sympathize 2. Are complicit in through inaction 3. Agree with or 4. Are actively taking part in an insurrection against the United States, and in turn the threat of a multicultural democracy. While it holds Black Lives Matter, a movement calling for the expansion of democracy and a taking down of racist institutions, as enemies of America. 

There is no reforming law enforcement as we know it, and, in fact, there is no reforming the entirety of our justice system as we know it. You cannot reform an institution built upon the subjugation and oppression of others. You can’t reform slavery just as much as you can’t reform these things. We must wipe the slate clean of these institutions and build new ones that uphold the social contract, while not being oppressive. They didn’t suddenly become like this; they were built like this. You cannot find a department that “does it right” because one can’t exist as currently structured. 

If you are a self-described “good cop,” you will not only openly condemn the failure and actions of your counterparts, but will embrace the abolition of the entirety of our justice system so we can build something in its place not built on violent racial oppression. You will embrace investigating and rooting out sympathizers and traitors in your ranks. You will look past tepid reforms and actively work to take down your racist institution. You will reject the idea of the “Thin Blue Line” and the flag that comes along with it (looking at you UW-Madison Chief Kristen Roman). You will refuse to enforce racist and oppressive laws, as you clearly have a lot more leeway to enforce laws as you see fit. 

The Thin Blue Line has shown it is the line of fascists. You can draw your own line in the sand, one where you embrace democracy – a multicultural democracy. Or you reject it and side with fascists. You can’t straddle this line. As January 6th has shown, these insurrectionists will treat you as a traitor, beat and kill you without a second thought if you don’t fully embrace their wickedness in reasserting white racial dominance in this nation.


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