the grinch who stole christmas

Cops Continue To Misunderstand the Entire Point of How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Grinch's small heart grew no sizes that day.
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CBS News tweeted out a video Friday showing police officers “arresting” a person dressed as the Grinch during a tree-lighting celebration in Hewitt, Texas.

This sort of ostensibly silly copaganda skit is entirely common. Police departments regularly use these sorts of characters to present a softer image of themselves and their institutions to communities—specifically to children.

Departments across the country have been doing this same “arresting the Grinch” schtick for years and local news outlets—which often act as little more than PR agents for the police—report on it as a fun little bit of theater:

A list of Google search results showing articles from multiple years about olice departments pretending to arrest the Grinch.

image: Google

This has always been ridiculous but following a year and a half of increased conversations nationwide about the role of police in communities, people’s tolerance for cutesy copaganda is at an all-time low.

What makes this use of the character of the Grinch so especially outrageous is that it so completely misses the entire point of the story. No one in Whoville ever even considered calling the police about their stolen presents. The Grinch was never incarcerated! Instead, it was the townsfolks’ sense of community that rehabilitated him.

If ever there was an emblem of the incredible potential of redistributing police departments’ massive budgets to fund alternative social support systems (aka “defunding the police”), it’s the Grinch.

All the cops here did was prevent the Grinch from developing a love of Christmas and community. They tried to be cute and as a result, absolutely no one’s heart is growing three sizes in that video.

(image: Warner Bros. Television)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.