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The Right Never Gave a Shit About the Cops

The GOP freakout about the House metal detectors shows that.

republicans metal detectors
Lauren Boebert/Twitter

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If anyone has ever truly believed that the Blue Lives Matter movement was an earnest defense of the cops, the events of the past week should have totally disabused them of that notion.

Even before a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, the Proud Boys and other far-right groups were turning their backs on the cops hard. And following the riot that resulted in the death of one Capitol Police officer who was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher and injuries to more than a dozen others, the House decided on Tuesday to require members of Congress to pass through metal detectors in order to walk onto the House floor.

This, like everything else this country does, is security theater; a metal detector would not have stopped what happened at the Capitol last Wednesday, just as metal detectors haven’t stopped school shootings. Nevertheless, the response of the House Punisher Logo With a Blue Lives Flag Shirt Caucus to this request on Tuesday was extremely telling. Via HuffPost:

A group of lawmakers then formed at the metal detectors outside the floor, consistently setting the machines off and needing to be inspected by Capitol Police. Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) yelled that he was “physically restrained” from entering the floor, while Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) told police that he believes the metal detectors are unconstitutional.

It continued Wednesday:

The latter is especially rich coming from someone who claimed Black Lives Matter protesters in her city were bussed in and then, as soon as she got to Congress, turned open defiance of D.C. gun laws into a campaign ad.

It’s understandable to view all of this as simple hypocrisy. These people and their supporters have been screaming their heads off for years now that (mostly Black) people being abused, beaten, and murdered by the police is justifiable if they don’t immediately comply with every police order, lawful or not. They’ve spread vicious lies about people in the streets standing in defiance of an authoritarian state which is much closer to Orwell than asking people to put on a mask at Target. This has been their whole thing for a long time, right?

But this is only hypocrisy if you take at face value the claim that the defense of cops is actually about defending cops. What it’s actually about is the role the cops play in defending America’s caste system, a mostly racially-based hierarchy that these very same people benefit from.

The cops are just “doing their jobs” when they make House members go through metal detectors in accordance with House rules, sure. But when they’re not enforcing America’s caste system, which is the job people like Lauren Boebert and Louie Gohmert are expecting them to do, the right has absolutely no use for them. It’s very easy to square this contradiction if you understand that Blue Lives Matter would never exist without Black Lives Matter.

It’s likely we’re going to see more of this in the coming post-Trump years, particularly if there’s an actual, concerted effort to root far-right extremists out of police departments and the military. These people have felt aggrieved and marginalized for the past four years, even as they had a friendly president willing to promote their cause using the platform of the White House; just imagine what’ll happen when they have even the most milquetoast of Democrats consistently saying “white supremacy is bad.”