No photo captures the hypocrisy of the moment better than this one. It was posted on Twitter by ChefbarraeMy on October 1st. It shows a group of people, likely Proud Boys, protesting an arrest while waving Blue Lives Matter flags. One of the men in the photo is holding up a sign that says "Antifa loves cops." We have found other Twitter accounts that also posted pictures of this small gathering that took place the morning after Alan Swinney was arrested (https://twitter.com/SheaPDX_/status/1311756120894009344). One of those pictures appears to show the self proclaimed "Black Rebel" Andrew Duncomb (https://twitter.com/just__jonny_/status/1311754594591023104) among the group. From this and the fact that none of these images could be found on Google images before October 1st, we believe that the gathering did in fact take place while Alan Swinney was being arraigned.
Right Wing Hypocrisy
We will address the hypocrisy evinced by this group first. What kind of people protest what they say is a wrongful arrest by waving Blue Lives Matter flags sporting the Thin Blue Line? How can anyone claim to be friends with Alan Swinney and protest his arrest while at the same time showing support for the cops that put him in jail? It does not make any rational sense whatsoever. It is also consistent with the attitude of some conservatives lately that despite suffering severe and unjust losses at the hands of law enforcement cannot for whatever reason bring themselves to condemn institution of law enforcement. They seem to take the position that losing a few of their own people is not as bad as losing the police. If we were to ask these people how they can support the police and oppose the arrest of their friend they would probably say that they don't think the actions of the Portland Police are typical of cops across the county.
Such a position would be consistent with conservatives like the Christian family of a slain Missouri woman with whom we recently had a falling out over our criticism of ineffective protest tactics (https://copblaster.com/hashtag/hannah-fizer/). We believe that they might be acting under duress from their local sheriff (https://copblaster.com/blast/25970/hannah-fizers-family-and-friends-under-duress-in-sedalia-missouri) but we have also seen indications that bible thumping is to blame. That group has taken the position that despite their own daughter, sister, and friend being murdered that they still do not want to appear anti-law enforcement. One of her friends described Cop Blaster, after sending us tips and posting links to our site for weeks, by saying something to the effect of "their hatred of law enforcement is too much for me, we don't need hate around here." Her brother accused us of trying to use her death to further our own agenda after he made a meme out of our graphic depicting his sister's killer, her father denounced one of his daughter's biggest supporters not affiliated with us as something to the effect of a "liberal cop hating atheist" before blocking him, and other anti-police advocacy groups have told us that they rejected their offers to help just because they have members that are Antifa. The dead woman's boyfriend was black, so he was able to bring in some Black Lives Matter activists to help protest the murder at first, but that did not last long. The local sheriff sent out an open letter pleading with his constituents by asking them if they want their county "to become the test project for some Social Justice experiment for Rural America?" (https://local.nixle.com/alert/8064010/). Those people appear to have sided with the Sheriff on that issue overwhelmingly. We did not see any BLM protesting there after that and we have never seen any Antifa in that area at all. Bible thumping appears to have prevailed and the Sheriff's opposition seems to be restraining themselves in the ways they believe they must in order to remain "good" Christians. It is a classic example of how mainstream religion manipulates the masses into submission. Simply by convincing people that some mythical all mighty being will condemn them to an eternity in hell if they do all that is necessary to seek justice. As a result, the government never really has to worry about being held accountable for their actions as long as most of their constituents follow a major religion.
We personally know conservatives that just a few years ago took up arms in opposition to federal government overreach. Those people seem to believe that Antifa is a bigger threat to their way of life than government overreach. Part of that is because of the fact that Democrats in elected office created many of the policies that led to heavily armed federal agencies threatening their way of life. It is surprising to see how many people whose friend was murdered by the Oregon State Police just a few years ago (https://copblaster.com/blast/56/casey-michael-codding-the-murderer-of-malheur) that are now making overt statements saying that they still do not want to appear anti-police. One would think that after being treated the way they were that they would want to riot too, but that is not the case. Their position is that while they are very critical of corrupt individuals in law enforcement, they are not willing to condemn the entire law enforcement establishment. They consider the current Antifa/BLM movement to be a communist uprising that if successful would be far worse than the status quo. The main reason for this is a belief that an Antifa takeover would lead to the forced redistribution of wealth. An example of that would be the current demand from protesters in Portland to defund the police by 50% and give that money to communities of color. We would argue that all government budget cuts should be followed by tax refunds because we would prefer to get a check, but that defunding the police is far more important than where the money goes (https://copblaster.com/blast/25901/tax-refund-how-defunding-the-police-would-get-more-support). Some on the right support defunding the police because it would make it less likely for them to find heavily armed Bureau of Land Management agents on their land and they agree with Black Lives Matter that something needs to be done to stop the police from using heavy handed tactics on anyone including people of color. Those are steps in the right direction, but even those people will not go as far as to condemn law enforcement as a whole let alone take to the streets. They are far more concerned about an Antifa takeover leading to a forced redistribution of wealth that would cost them most of what they have.
Recent arguments from the left against things like inherited wealth support their concerns. If some people had their way nobody would be able to inherit their family's wealth when they die and that wealth would go into a community pot to be redistributed to historically marginalized groups. We've seen this argument made on CNN in favor of reparations for slavery (https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/15/us/slavery-reparations-explanation-trnd/index.html). The basic argument is that if you have inherited fruits from a poisonous tree that you should be forced to give that fruit to the descendants of those that were wronged. That argument makes perfect sense if the person with the fruit took it themselves, but not when that fruit was taken hundreds of years ago by someone they never met and it just happened to be handed down to them. The argument fails to consider the importance of that fruit in their life. What if that fruit makes all the difference between making ends meat and going bankrupt? Should that person be forced to give up something they never had any reason to think they would ever have to give up? Of course not. Imagine how big the government would have to be to enforce forced equality laws. Governments that have tried to do just that have not faired well historically (ex: USSR, GDR, Khmer Rouge). Just implementing the type of mechanism necessary to make that transfer or wealth possible would be one of the biggest threats to freedom that this country has ever faced. The best chance of gaining public appeal for such a thing is by bundling it with something that can make opponents look bad, like reparations. That way people who speak out against it can be labeled as racist. This country has a history of packaging legislation that takes our rights away with things that appear to protect our rights. The 14th Amendment is one such example (https://www.scribd.com/embeds/387804795/content#from_embed). It claims to grant everyone the equal protection of the laws while at the same time making everyone a citizen, but the definition of a citizen is basically a claim of ownership over every American. The government now has the ability to legally govern you wherever you are because you are their citizen. If you move to another country they can legally tax every cent you make because no matter where you are, you are their citizen. As a citizen the federal government has an interest in you. Don't believe us? Ask anyone that is in federal prison for something they did overseas, they will probably tell you that the government was able to legally claim jurisdiction over them because they were "born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." When people criticize the 14th Amendment they are quickly said to oppose equality because of the equal protection language. The same can be said of those that criticize reparations. They are labeled racist even though their reasons for opposing the idea have nothing to do with race and everything to do with opposing the type of big government that would be needed to enforce wealth redistribution laws. Such a thing would likely serve as a stepping stone to redistributing any wealth that the government declares ill gotten or unfair. The consequences for society would far outweigh the benefits.
Despite their commitment to the status quo and the role police play in preserving it, we still consider it hypocritical to wave Thin Blue Lives flags while opposing a somewhat wrongful arrest. We say "somewhat wrongful "because it appears that Alan Swinney is being overcharged and that overcharging will probably prevent him from being able to post bail pending trial (https://copblaster.com/blast/25988/proud-boys-activist-alan-swinney-arrested-we-break-down-the-charges). Even if Swinney's supporters are taking the position that they are only there to protest a few bad apples and the flags are there to support the rest of them, they still look to most people like they are supporting the same cops that they are protesting. They should put those flags down and say that they will not support law enforcement as long as their friend remains in jail. They should condemn all Portland Police officers for being complicit with it because if it were not for officers keeping their mouths shut while others abuse their authority it would not be so easy for the bad apples to run wild. They should condemn the entire law enforcement establishment in this area and continue to do so until their friend is free. They should take a page out of the Antifa playbook by protesting in ways that will make the police think twice before screwing with their people. If the police believe that their actions will trigger reactions that will make their lives difficult they will hesitate to take action.
Left Wing Hypocrisy
The sign that says "Antifa loves cops" highlights an important issue that we have discussed quite a bit in recent months. We do not believe that Antifa loves cops in general, but they have proven that they are willing to work with the cops if doing so furthers their goals. Most Antifas will say that their purpose is to fight fascism by any means necessary. Any means necessary includes using the cops to neutralize people they identify as fascists or fascist sympathizers/assets in the community. Once they label someone a fascist it becomes socially acceptable among Antifas to snitch them out. We are labeling that as the hypocrisy that it is. Once Antifa started protesting against the law enforcement establishment it became hypocritical for them to ask the police for help, give them information, and help them put people in prison. When they do that they are essentially saying through their actions that all cops are not bastards and that ACAB really means all cops not working for Antifa are bastards. Does that mean that Antifa loves the cops that are working for them? No, but it does show that they are not above working with the government in a way that destroys their street cred.
Both camps demonstrate an ignorance of how the world really works. An ignorance that most people that have not been on the other side of a prison wall have. They act as though they do not have to consider prison politics even though many of their people are now subject to the convict code. People can only get away with working with the cops in any capacity as long as they keep their nose clean and do not end up in jail themselves. Now that the feds are cracking down on Antifa, they are going to have to decide how to handle the rules that their comrades in custody are now subject to. They are going to have to decide if they want their people to have a bad jacket that will keep them from lasting in general population. They need to decide if they are willing to throw their own people under the bus when they get arrested or are they willing to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules that govern inmates? The rules that govern inmates are decided by inmates and although they differ somewhat along racial lines they all have a few things in common. One of those things is zero tolerance for snitches and an established definition of what constitutes a snitch that is not subject to debate. Most of the Antifas that have been arrested recently are white. That means that the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) and the skinheads under their command get to decide how they do their time. Their best chance at surviving would be to convince the independent inmates to give them a chance, but that would require good paperwork and a willingness to set politics aside at a minimum. An Antifa with good paperwork might have a chance, but that chance would require them to treat skinheads with an open mind, listen to what they have to say, treat all inmates with respect, keep their disagreements to themselves, and keep their mouths shut. Still, the white supremacists would be looking for an excuse to smash them off. Excuses like the "f*cking with sntiches" rule that says "if you f*uck with a snitch then you're a snitch too." Simply associating with Antifas that are using the cops to prosecute white supremacists is enough to justify putting a snitch jacket on someone. Even if that rule is not applied, there is a good chance that AB won't want to give Antifa a chance to have numbers, so they would probably issue a smash on site order. Smash on site orders are used to keep rival gangs from getting numbers by smashing any member that sets foot on a yard so that the prison staff ships them elsewhere. Antifas on the outside seem to be either completely oblivious to these facts or they just don't care. One prominent Antifa told us that "structuring the tactics of anti-fascist resistance to appeal to sh*thead white nationalists in prison, or anywhere, is absolutely the opposite of the point." (https://www.facebook.com/copblaster/posts/1036496746811122?comment_id=1036968063430657&reply_comment_id=1038515766609220). It appears that Antifa has probably decided to throw their comrades in custody under the bus because doing what they would have to do to protect them would be too crippling for the movement as a whole.
Hypocrisy is defined as "the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another. " (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocrisy). Calling the police for help, giving them incriminating information about other people, and working with the state to incarcerate your enemies while protesting the same system for doing the same thing to other people fits the definition of hypocrisy. People that take to the streets chanting things like "no good cops in a racist system" are using the same racist system. They might argue that just because they use it does not mean they support it. That argument fails to consider the fact that their actions support the racist system by giving it a purpose that they consider legitimate. They would have far more cred if they simply refused to work with the system under any circumstances. There are other ways to handle your enemies. Those ways may not be legal, but at least they are credibly.
Hypocrisy is running rampant on both sides of the political spectrum. They go from criticizing one thing to doing that same thing themselves. The right goes from supporting law and order to committing crimes, protesting their own people getting arrested, and at the same time express a general support for the system they are protesting. The left takes to the streets condemning the system as racist only to turn around and use the racist system themselves when it suits their needs. Both sides justify their hypocrisy as being consistent with a greater goal without realizing that their justifications serve only as explanations for their hypocrisy.