||You would have expected them to paint "the belief system of the cops = racism" or "cops are racist".
No no no, you wouldn't. How could anybody who is wise and educated assert that "cops are racist" when - look around you - so very many of them are black? Certainly no one of the high intellectual caliber of the average graffiti artist would commit such a solecism!
I suspect that the original graffito, like most of the graffiti I see, was in all-upper-case, not
cops = racism
COPS = RACISM
That explains it! You are probably unaware of this fact - as an intellectual and Adequacy editor you certainly never descend into the gutter of mainstream TV programming - but on that degraded Fox TV network they regularly broadcast a television show called COPS.
COPS is, indeed, a horridly racist show; what it consists of is staged sequences showing the violent and dramatic arrests of mostly black "street criminals" (actually, actors wearing blackface) by mostly white "policemen" (actually, B-grade Clint Eastwood wannabes with, obviously, no police training at all).
Let's discuss for a minute how COPS is obviously fake. Have you ever seen anyone actually being arrested by a real live policeman? Why, the officers are quite courtly about it all; they calmly address the arrestee as "Sir" or "Ma'am" and they apologize quite respectfully when they fasten handcuffs on their charges, assuring the person being arrested that the handcuffs are required by department policy and that's the only reason why they are forced to submit the arrestee to such indignity. Indeed, to spare the arrestee embarrassment, they commonly shoo away bystanders and onlookers at this junction with the formula "Nothing to see here, move on, move on." Whereas in the staged arrests on COPS the faux-policemen chase the faux-criminals up and down rain-glistening cinema noir alleyways howling imprecations, when they catch up with the "criminals," without so much as a rectitation of the "Miranda" formula, they hurl them to the ground and recklessly grind pistol barrels against their heads, etc., etc., while all the time a cameraman records the dramatic action for broadcast to an entire nation.
The fact that a network cameraman is present to record all this mummery is further proof that the "arrests" depicted on COPS are blatant fakes. As we all know, in a tiny fraction of real arrests, those involving the most deranged and incorrigible criminals, one regrettably witnesses the use of firearms. Indeed, police work is occasionally mortally perilous to the officers! The on-the-job death rate among policemen (32 per 100,000 per year) is far higher than that of, say, an office worker like a computer systems administrator (7 per 100,000 per year), is practically as high as that of my own profession, land surveying (33 per 100,000 per year) and is almost comparable to that of a minimum-wage-plus-25% convenience store clerk (55 per 100,000 per year). Well, obviously no police department would allow a civilian cameraman to ride along with their brave officers in a patrol car, when doing so would possibly expose that Hollywood softy to the chance of being shot in action! The thought of exposing the Police Department to post-mortem liability would rule out such a reckless policy. So there you have it: COPS is fake fake fake.
What is the purpose of COPS? It is simply an attempt, on the part of that notorious multimillionaire racist and fascist Rupert Murdoch, to propagandize the most ignorant and impressionable part of the American electorate into believing that our country is in the grip of an ever-increasing wave of criminality. This flies in the face of official FBI statistics showing that the rate of violent crime has been steadily decresing for the least decade; but of course the average Fox Network viewer can't even spell "statistics," much less can he read and understand them. It is that beast Murdoch's hope that stupid voters, terrified by this factitious "crime wave," will vote for pro-fascism candidates. All this just to get a tax cut! Shameful! Alas, it seems to work; look at the swine who infest Congress, not to mention the White House. The vulnerability of the stupid to propaganda is the Achilles's heel of democracy.
And this brings us back to that curious graffito that hauntedattics saw. What the graffiti artist obviously meant to convey is, "the TV series COPS is an appalling instance of blatant, repulsive racism; down with Rupert Murdoch; kill your television!" I, being a literal technical person, spell it all out, gaining in clarity while I sacrifice concision; but the graffiti artist, being an artist, employs litotes after the style of Ernest Hemingway to phrase the same notion more compactly. It's that simple.
Yours, WD "prolix" K - WKiernan@concentric.net
Getting into my Chevrolet Magic Fire, I drove slowly back to the office. - L. Rosen