Home Opinion ‘ACAB’ Achieves Nothing But The Perpetuation Of Labelling Theory And A Self-Fulfilling...

‘ACAB’ Achieves Nothing But The Perpetuation Of Labelling Theory And A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The idea of ‘All Cops Are Bastards’, teaches young black men that all police are racist and out to get them – this produces nothing but fear and unease.

With the left-wing narrative indoctrinating black men that the entire system is ‘corrupt’ and that all police officers will deliberately target them, what is going to be their first thought when being stopped by police?

Answer – it is not going to be: ‘How can I be compliant and respectful towards the police, and assist them?’ Instead, their attitude may be one of defence, agitation and in some cases aggressiveness.

“All Cops Are Bastards graffiti, Islington, London, UK” by gruntzooki is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The exacerbation of this ‘out to get me’ attitude is only going to contribute towards Labelling Theory, as police officers are more likely to be cautious around BAME people who they stop, if their personal experiences entail more confrontation from young black men (in particular), even if they do not commit more crime.

Though comic characters, such as Sacha Baron Cohen’s Ali G, make light of this with his catchphrase, “is it ‘cos I is black?”, this begs the question: where did this stereotype come from?

Though his character is white, this mimic of a young, black, working-class man is a stereotype re-enforced as a result of negative and exaggerated media coverage (moral panics) and a subsequent attempt from the police to clamp down on crime in certain ethnic communities. As a result of an increased ‘zero tolerance’ approach, this anti-establishment and anti-police sentiment will also increase. Thus a relentless cycle occurs.

“Ali G and Ricky C and” by Digital Sextant is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Due to Labelling Theory and stereotypes re-enforced by the media and young black men themselves, the idea within black communities (especially in cities where gang crime is significantly higher) that the police only target black people because it is seen as institutionally and unapologetically racist is more accepted.

Labelling Theory (at the fault of the police and media) and the re-enforcement of black stereotypes by black people themselves will also inevitably lead to a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, whereby the life expectations of young black men are significantly reduced. Therefore, there is no effort or incentive provided to aspire their way out of lower socio-economic circumstances (for example), which can be a factor in participating in gang culture or other criminal engagements. The cycle of the self-fulfilling prophecy is as follows:

  • Beliefs influence expectations
  • Expectations influence behaviour
  • Behaviour influences results
  • Results re-enforce beliefs
“UK Police” by tbz.foto is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If in a school analogy, a young child is told consistently by their parents and teachers that they will not possibly achieve satisfactory GCSE results, their beliefs are set. Thus, the expectation is to perform poorly. In the mindset of the child, why should he/she then work hard and behave well (at school and at home), if the expectation is to fail? The negative mindset of ‘I’ll fail anyway’ and lack of hard work will only inevitably lead to poor results – consequently, his/her life chances have been significantly reduced.

This is same concept can be attributed to the relation of the negative and unsubstantiated stereotypes of young black men by other young black men, the police and the mainstream media. Therefore, the idea being taught that ‘the police are out to get black people’ contributes nothing positive for progression or policy reform. It doesn’t fight the establishment or get police forces to tackle existing biases, but subconsciously re-enforces them into the minds of black people, police officers and the mainstream media.

This harmful belief will sadly, but inevitably, cause more young black men to enter a life of crime as result of lower life chances (for which all parties are to blame).