Bad Apples...or Bad Orchard?
Today I am attempting to explain what I mean when I say ACAB, or All Cops Are Bad. It seems that people misunderstand the statement, and tend to focus on the fact that they "know a good cop" or that "generalizations are dangerous." To that I simply say this, POLICE ARE DANGEROUS, not my statement. If that isn't clear by now, you may have something in your eyes - oh wait, no that would be the hundreds if not thousands of protesters that have been senselessly tear gassed over the past few days.
The way I chose to explain ACAB was by using one argument I keep hearing, "You can't judge all police because of a few bad apples!" Think about it this way: Imagine going to the grocery store looking for apples. You fill up your bag with some perfect looking Honey Crisps, the sign says "These apples are great! They were made just for you!" But when you get to the checkout line, the cashier says this, "Oh...be careful. Last week one of those apples made me sick. A couple might be bad. The rest are fine though."
"But which ones? Which ones are bad?" You'd ask.
"Oh I don't know, we can't tell until after someone's in the hospital."
Any sane person would hear that and put the apples back, maybe even throw them away. A smart person would leave the store. How does that happen? How does a store created to serve people, just happen to have a few bad apples? Why isn't someone checking the apples? Why are they still selling the apples? How in the hell is this store still open?
Now ask yourself this: What kind of system trains and enables police officers thatjust might be bad apples. These bad apples don't just make your stomach hurt, or give you a rash, they KILL YOU. If one apple is bad, they should shut down the whole orchard. Now some people might have had a tasty apple, some might even know the farmer, but it doesn't matter if that same farmer is sending people to the hospital left and right. ACAB.
I encourage you all to listen to what comedian Chris Rock has to say about this metaphor. Another quite comedic way of saying that some jobs just can't afford to have bad apples.