Enough is enough.
I had always assumed that my line would be if cancel culture ever came for the seminal Christmas movie “Die Hard,” but it turns out that it didn’t even have to reach that point.
I’ve reached critical mass on the absurd attacks of police officers, and there has nary been a mention of John McClane in the zeitgeist.
To get this out of the way, yes, there are bad police officers out there. They should face the full, unbridled consequences for their misdeeds.
And, yes, substantive discussions about criminal justice reform are both uncomfortable and absolutely necessary.
But cancel culture isn’t just coming for bad police officers or calling for meaningful discussions about criminal justice reform.
No, cancel culture is rather going after … entertainment?
The most infuriating part of this all is that cancel culture appears to be winning.
As if that wasn’t ridiculous enough, social justice advocates have also gone after beloved children’s show “PAW Patrol.” A cartoon about dogs fulfilling various first responder jobs apparently needs to be canceled because Chase the dog portrays a “good cop.”
Again, cancel culture appeared to get at least a small win given this tweet from the show’s official Twitter account:
In solidarity of #amplifymelanatedvoices we will be muting our content until June 7th to give access for Black voices to be heard so we can continue to listen and further our learning. #amplifyblackvoices pic.twitter.com/NO2KeQjpHM
— PAW Patrol (@pawpatrol) June 2, 2020
And now, the once venerable Rolling Stone magazine is going after “Law and Order: SVU” for reasons that include the fact that viewers likely won’t see fictional main character Olivia Benson “making an effort to hire more police officers of color.”
It’s not just television. Video game website Kotaku was particularly upset that Spider-Man had a good working relationship with the New York City Police Department in the web-head’s latest digital outing.
“Many video games depict police as purely altruistic, not reflecting any of the bitter reality of prejudice and violence,” Kotaku writer Imran Khan wrote.
“The games will either be seen as publicly supporting causes like resistance against police brutality and black civil rights, or reinforcing a propagandist call to trust police as morally pure heroes,” Khan added.
That last quote doubles as an apt summary of the general ongoing war against police depiction in entertainment. Which is all to say, cancel culture’s “with us or against us” narrative has gotten completely out of hand.
What’s wrong with presenting police officers as paragons of virtue? What’s wrong with setting a fictionally high standard, realistic or not, for cops? What’s wrong with Chase from “PAW Patrol”?
For the record, here are the answers, in order: Nothing, nothing and absolutely nothing.
Portraying “good cops” on television doesn’t somehow absolve the bad police officers out there. If anything, it reminds the societal conscience that this is the standard we should want. Even if it’s an unrealistic standard, coming up well short would likely still produce a quality officer.
More importantly, what’s the purpose and goal of portraying bad police officers? What good can come of that? It only deepens the division and worsens the tension between citizens and police.
That, in turn, only amplifies the chances that an encounter between police and civilians turns hostile, or worse yet, deadly.
How does that nurture or improve the relationship between the aggrieved and officers? Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.
If you’ve managed to get this far into this article, I’m sure there are some that will accuse me of being a bootlicker.
Well, I’d rather lick the rubber outsole of a shoe than be a mindless, shambling husk of a woke mob ambling toward irreparable division in the United States.
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