Military and Police

Overuse of ‘Racist’ Reduces the Word’s Impact — Could Overuse of ‘Idiot’ Do the Same Thing?

The leftist radicals love to dole out the word racist as if they’d scored a truckload of the invective on sale. For example, AOC and her uniquely unpleasant Squad-mates draw racism quicker than Doc Holiday drew his pistols.

The problem with this overuse is the word, racist, has lost much of its impact. It used to be if you called someone a racist, it was one of the worst indictments you could make. Now, it’s become the proverbial “crying wolf.” Conservatives, Republicans, libertarians—anyone who disagrees with the radical left—now expect it. “Racist” now strikes the leftists’ political targets with all the force of a Nerf insult.

Still, I’ve found something useful in this melodramatic overuse. I thought to myself, the same thing could happen to the right if we overuse the word idiot. I don’t want idiot to lose its impact like racist has. But it’s hard… Oh, it’s so hard not to call an idiot an idiot.

Take, for instance, some idio…uh…I mean, town officials in York, Maine. Mary Black Andrews, the widow of a Maine state trooper who a bank robber shot and killed in the line of duty 55 years ago, wanted to honor her fallen husband. Andrews is also a former York town selectman.

Her family mounted a Thin Blue Line flag in a flag bracket on a telephone pole at an intersection near her family’s residence. The flag looks like an American flag but is black and white except for the first horizontal stripe under the stars, which is blue. Just like the sticker I have on my truck.

(Credit: WClarke/Wikimedia Commons)

Law enforcement officers and their supporters across America know this flag well. But some (oh, I already want to use the “I” word) officials sensed someone passing through town might be offended. These…social justice-saturated officials belong to the (okay, biting my tongue) York Diversity Forum (eyeroll). The forum’s president, Susan Kepner, “had real concerns about the message it could be sending.” A “racially charged” message. Here’s another “I” word for you: Ignorant.

Now, I want you to read this next quote from the story and see if my original “I” word doesn’t pop into your head. Although the “point” is elusive to me, according to the Portsmouth Herald, this point is not lost on Town Manager Steve Burns. What point? “The juxtaposition of a flag flown to honor a slain police officer with a flag, also known as the Blue Lives Matter flag, that some white supremacists carried during the Charlottesville, Virginia, demonstrations in 2017…” (Okay, I believe I’ve bitten through my tongue).

White supremacists also wear Nike sneakers and use iPhones. Better ban those shoes and cellphones, eh? After all, we all know how right-wing radical Phil Knight (Colin Kaepernick) and Tim Cook’s companies are. And some white nationalists also carry American flags. So, we’d better ban…

If some idio…um…okay, I’m gonna use one of my idiots, here: So, an idiot white nationalist displays a Thin Blue Line flag with the slogan Blue Lives Matter on it. So what? It doesn’t change what the symbol stands for just because these truly racist malcontents use it.

When York Town Manager Burns talks about the “juxtaposition of a flag [Thin Blue Line] flown to honor a slain police officer [not racist] with a flag, also known as the Blue Lives Matter flag [not racist]” it’s pretty clear he is also an idio…um…a misguided soul who’s helping the left hijack a symbol traditionally associated with honoring cops.

Is it just me, or does anyone else realize just how difficult someone has to work to manufacture an issue out of this nonsense?

So, do I have this right? This town manager wants an elderly widow’s cop-supporter flag taken down because he says the flag was used by white nationalists in Virginia, and “it could be sending a racially charged message.”

This, um…town manager may be doing a bit too much thinking for his own good. After acknowledging the widow’s feelings were hurt, Burns nevertheless said he’s glad it’s down. After all, this virtue signaler doesn’t “want some visitor to think it’s a racist flag.” Hey, idio…um…town manager! One way they’ll think the flag is racist is if town officials like you take it down.

Okay, that’s it! This idiot feels because a white nationalist may have carried a Thin Blue Line flag with a Blue Lives Matter slogan on it during their demonstration, it might offend people visiting their town because they may think the flag is racist. Only an idiot thinks like that. He’s falling for the radical left’s attempt to demonize the police by demonizing this pro-cop flag.

Think this idiot Maine-iac (I’m giving myself permission to use this term as a native Masshole) sees the slippery slope here? I do. Anyone also see American flags during white nationalist marches? Yup, all over the place.

Putting personal flags up in brackets on public property reserved for town-authorized displays, likely the American flag on national holidays, is another issue. One the York police chief says should probably be addressed.

However, the chief had an interesting take on the meaning of the “Thin Blue Line” for cops. First, he babbled something about the Thin Blue Line flag meaning “different things to different people,” depending on interpretation.

Then he said, “For most officers that’s the thin blue line flag,” he said. “Just because you’re an officer doesn’t allow you to do anything you want. You can’t cross that line. That’s what it means to most of us.” Oh, man…I can feel that “I” word rising again like a bit of vomit in my throat. I’ve never heard another cop interpret the thin blue line that way. Where did he go to the police academy?

For most cops I know, the thin blue line represents the few law enforcement officers standing between lawbreakers and the law-abiding. In a country of some 300 million people, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported only about 701,000 sworn law enforcement officers on duty in 2016. Incidentally, and not surprisingly, this number is down from 2013 when it was 724,000.

Anyway, when you consider these numbers, the actual meaning of the thin blue line becomes obvious: the few risking and sometimes sacrificing their lives to protect the many from evildoers. And the meaning of the Thin Blue Line flag (with or without a Blue Lives Matter slogan) is equally obvious. Well, obvious to everyone except for the… Okay, I’ll let you fill in the “I” word.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at

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