For nearly a decade, “All Cops Are Bastards” has been a rallying cry for those seeking justice and retribution for the unmitigated racism of police forces across the world. The phrase rose to the forefront of political discussion in the United States in 2020, but these noble anti-cop sentiments may go even deeper into the culture than many realize.
The movie Megamind was released in theaters in 2010 and became widely regarded as the best cinematic experience of all time, a view that holds true to this day. Critical acclaim for the movie indicates overwhelming positivity and praise for its plot, acting, and visual elements, but overlooks perhaps the most important aspect of the movie: its anti-cop message.
The titular character of the movie is placed in a position of oppression from a young age, while his oppressor, Metro Man, is born into a place of privilege. Metro Man represents the “typical” American: a white Christian male with an arrogance level that matches his hairline. Megamind is the victim of a myriad of hate crimes as a child at the hands of Metro Man and his cabal of bigoted goons, including both verbal and physical harassment. Despite facing increasingly hostile resentment, Megamind resists oppression by procuring vast scientific and technological advancements and utilizing them to fight back against his oppressors.
This mindset of resistance to tyranny is admirable and crucial for us to remember in the face of fascist fools like Donald Trump. It is also an essential component of the ACAB movement. ACAB sentiments are directly expressed in Megamind during a scene early in the movie. Megamind is imprisoned simply due to his skin color (the ability of this film to predict the future is truly extraordinary) and taught basic language skills along with the fact that cops are evil. Society distinguishes Megamind as “abnormal” due to his blue skin, a line of thinking that was far too prevalent in 2010 and continues to corrupt our culture even today. Implanting anti-racist ideas early in childhood is something all parents should strive to do because as we see in Megamind, those ideas are just as important as learning to walk and speak. Without this background, Megamind would not have been able to stand against the very system that seeks to destroy his agency.
Megamind’s inspiring character has been maliciously transformed into a object of scorn through a meme comprised of his face with the text “No B*tches?”. This derogatory language promotes the oppression of womxn and other minorities, something that Megamind himself would have fought against. Instead of misinterpreting Megamind, we should reclaim this cultural hallmark by challenging “No B*tches?” with “No Bastards!” as an exhortation to those in power that their systemic injustice can not, and will not, stand. We resist.