Why do 'anti-fascist' protesters hate the police so much?

Why do 'anti-fascist' protesters hate the police so much?
© Anna Moneymaker

The small group of white supremacists who formed the “Unite the Right” rally Sunday in Washington, D.C., were vastly outnumbered. Thousands of counterprotesters surrounded the White House, and the pathetic spectacle of a couple dozen far-right agitators gathering to make fools of themselves didn’t last long, as they cut their grotesque rally short.

Bigotry had its brief moment in the public square, and it was about as popular as a small pox outbreak. This is clearly a good thing, and should give some reassurance that this is still America, a great country overwhelmingly full of good, decent people.

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But there was an undercurrent at this event, one that much of the press seems determined to skip past or downplay in their reporting. Many of the protesters — not a random one or two, but at least hundreds of them — were openly and viciously disparaging the police, including the officers whose presence at the rally was to ensure the safety and First Amendment Rights of all.

 

I saw some of this hostility firsthand at the event. The first chant I heard shouted by a mass of protesters was “all cops are racist.” Perhaps this is not surprising, as there is video of protesters in Charlottesville from the same weekend yelling the same “all cops are racist” chant.

I also saw a woman who, as she passed a number of D.C. Metro police (of whom several were African-American), shouted obscenities at them, including “F--- the police.” There are plenty of videos of similar acts on social media, though very few major outlets give them any coverage.

As seen at the weekend’s protests, animosity to the police has found far too friendly an ear among leftist activists. In several press releases from groups claiming to be affiliated with the counterprotests, the rationalizations for anti-police rhetoric were made explicit.

One such release distributed by Balestra Media to The Hill states “we will continue to challenge the white supremacy inherent in policing and other institutions.” Another stated that “the institution of policing was created from a system of slave patrols. Today the function of police continues to be to over patrol Black communities, target people of color and protect wealth.” This is irresponsible and destructive rhetoric, but it explains much of what I heard on the streets of D.C.

Why would protesters in both Charlottesville and Washington chant about “racist” cops? Don’t they feel even a little gratitude to the officers who — from what we know so far, without exception — acted in an entirely professional manner to protect them from any harm and to keep order under very tense circumstances?

Apparently not. It is one thing to march around our nation’s capital with silly banners calling for some unspecified revolution. If a group of protesters want to pretend they’re waging an existential struggle against a corporate-capitalist tyranny, that delusion is their constitutionally protected right.

Hating the cops is another matter, however, one that should not be overlooked or downplayed. It has damaging effects across our society that will last long after the protests end. Anti-cop rhetoric has real-world consequences. We know that there have been numerous instances in recent years of police being attacked — even executed en mass by assailants who seemingly took the “all cops are racist” rhetoric literally — and decided to act on it.

For those of us who have worked with police, or have law enforcement in our families, it is simply disgraceful to see cops spoken of disparagingly on a day when the real opponent is supposed to be fascism. The police in Washington, D.C., and across the country deserve respect for doing a tough job, and doing it well. Our law enforcement officers should be revered, not reviled.

The good news is, the white nationalists were humiliated. The rights to free speech and free assembly were respected on all sides. No serious injuries were reported, and no major riots occurred. But this was due in no small part to the police.

That so many leftist agitators would take the time to defame the police, when white supremacists are within eyesight, says much more about the current state of progressive grievance activism than it does our law enforcement community. And none of it is good.

Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) is co-host of Hill.TV's "Rising" and host of the nationally syndicated "The Buck Sexton Show” on radio and podcast. He is a former CIA analyst in the counterterrorism center and the Office of Iraq Analysis, and served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.