The other night I was eating at a restaurant when I struck up a conversation with the waiter. After managing a few restaurants, working 60 and 70 hour weeks, my waiter informed me that he had had enough of the restaurant business. He was going into law enforcement.
I don't think I was every really prepared for law enforcement. I started in 1983 and I landed in one of the richest, if not the richest, valleys in the west. Sun Valley is filled with old money, blue bloods, billionaires, liberals like John Kerry, and more Ivy league graduates than I care to remember. The place was suffocatingly liberal and when I say that- I need to be specific. These people don't think they are better than you- they know they are. They have more success than you, more money than you, a better education than you, bigger houses and jets, and they aren't afraid to make that known under the right circumstances.
They are better than you. That was a consistent message.Think Leona Helmsley.
I wasn't prepared at all for any of that, in fact I was incredibly naive and stupid. I have to tell you that the contempt those people have for law enforcement is well concealed. Outwardly, you wouldn't see it. They understand propriety better than any class of people I have ever met. Image is everything to the wealthy. Publicly, they wouldn't say shit with a mouth full. Privately, it was a different story entirely. After many years, you might say- the truth just started leaking out.
So the upper crust wasn't much different than the lower crust when it came to hating cops. They just used different tactics.
I'd be a liar if I said I didn't feel a twinge of hate anytime someone flipped me off, called me a pig, or yelled "sooeyy." If blacks don't like being called "niggers" then how could anyone imagine cops who enjoy being called "pigs." The difference is- nobody cares about cops. There will never be any marches, any litigation over hate speech because generally speaking- our society says it's ok to call policemen "pigs." It is tolerated. And it is tolerated by the masters of free speech- the liberals- the deciders of what is appropriate speech and what is not. Or it wouldn't be.
I get all that. I got it privately and I got it from folks like Bill Maher. And I got it for 25 years up until such point that I didn't have to get it anymore.
There was only one guy- in all my years- who very nearly got his ass kicked. There was the kid on one of our league's softball teams that loved to call me pig. I gave his father CPR on a gym floor before he was pronounced dead. I gave his mother money and a television before she died of lupus 15 years later, nearly penniless, but I never made a point of telling him. It didn't matter. He had a shitty life- I never expected much out of him anyway.
And so I jettisoned out. I would not have to hear the cop hating rhetoric anymore. Or so I thought.
Please don't misunderstand me. I hate victim speak. I picked that line of work and I enjoyed it. And even when I was at my worst- I'd like to think there was a lot of good in me. So mostly the good outweighed the bad. That's why I stayed for 25 years and the first one was free. I wasn't stealing from anyone, charging predatory interest rates, or gouging little old ladies in car repair shops because I could get away with it. I was trying to be the best human being that I could be and sometimes I was. I wasn't ashamed of what I did and I'm still not. But I don't make much of a habit of mentioning the old life because out here nothing has changed.
I guess I still don't get it. Everyday it seems, I stumble onto blogs and rants all over the internet about crooked cops or ne'er do wells with some attached vitriolic narrative. It's a never ending stream of shit and I have to quit thinking it's going to stop any time soon. I gotta quit confronting these people. Hatred, any kind, is just a form of mental illness. Besides, I am 30 years down the road and I doubt the liberal word police are gonna show up anytime soon. All I can do is remove those venues from my daily radar.
Law enforcement is a noble profession. Done well- cops work small miracles every day. That's a gratifying gig.
Those were the things I said to the waiter. I liked him. He was a big, happy guy with a daughter that he said he wanted to spend more time with. I remember thinking I would have hired him back in the day.
In the meantime, if any of you cop haters stumble in here and think you are gonna leave some nasty piece of vitriol in the comments, know this- it won't last long. And if Kenny stumbles in- I just wanna say thanks. He'll know what I am talking about.