As a retired Victoria police officer, I feel compelled to respond to the art being displayed on the brick walkway at Bastion Square, where artists have inscribed the initials ACAB within the art piece. This acronym means All Cops are Bastards.
I fully support the need to end systematic racism in our communities, to end violence by police, and to build stronger, more transparent and inclusive relationships between our police departments and our various communities.
Let’s open up the lines of “quality” communication. Painting a picture that all police are “bastards” would be like someone saying “All Blacks are …” or “All Indigenous people are …” or “All members of our LGBTQ community are” or “All Seniors are…” We all know this isn’t true, so why are we so intent on making such broad statements to move our cause?
If we want to make meaningful changes in our communities, we all have to do our part and stop these general and disrespectful statements and to take issue with those who do. By making these general statements we will just cause more anger and resentment between the various groups, which is the opposite of what we want to accomplish. It will just drive people away from the real issues or worse, ignore the issue, which won’t lead to any real/constructive solutions.
We cannot say this is “freedom of speech or expression,” it is just another form of hate. Let’s all stand up and put an end to all this hate in our communities by remembering one thing: It all begins with you.