SEATTLE — When customers buy a beer from the small Seattle-based brewer, Mirage, they might see a message on the bottom of the can.
In June, a beer called "Choosey Lover" had a stamp that read "ACAB means all cops."
ACAB stands for "all cops are bastards."
In a text message, Mirage owner and brewer Michael Dempster wrote, "I used the markings because I stand against institutional racism, of which modern policing is a militarized arm."
Portland-based sociologist Randy Blazack said ACAB has become a polarizing signifier of the movement.
"It's not about individual police officers, it's about a system. But I think to the casual observer, it seems like an attack on individual police officers, all cops," Blazack said.
Mirage's marking triggered blowback on social media, with some customers saying they'll no longer buy the beer.
But supporters doubt it will hurt sales.
Dempster wrote, "If it means someone won't buy my beer anymore, good. The beer was not created for them. I make my beer for folks who are actively anti-racist, anti-Trump, anti-fascist and pro-equality."
While Dempster's message is more pointed, other breweries are joining the Black Lives Matter movement.
Around the country, several are brewing their own versions of a beer that shares a single label called “Black is Beautiful.”
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