Don’t Call Me Barney Fife, It’s Racist


Barney Fife Don Knotts in 1970 IMG Wikipedia
Barney Fife Don Knotts in 1970 IMG Wikipedia, By CBS Television – eBay Item photo Public Domain,

USA – -( As a young child I lived in Scotland and was taught that nation’s history while attending a three-room schoolhouse in the small village of Innellan.

We learned of many famous warring tribes and clans of ancient Scotland. One of the families I learned about was the Fifes. They were descended from the warrior tribes that made up the Picts. My headmaster would tell us stories about these Picts who would go into battle naked to scare their enemy and then return victorious with the severed heads of those the Picts had killed in hand-to-hand combat.

The Pictish descended Fife family has lent its members to the cause of war, from battling Romans who occupied what became England in Jesus Christ’s lifetime, to the modern wars of the 21st century serving in the armies of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The Fifes were a warrior class family with many of their members immigrating to the US.

Enter the fictional law enforcement character of deputy sheriff Barney Fife of Mayberry, North Carolina.

If you have ever seen the Andy Griffith TV show, you know who Barney Fife is. Sadly Barney did not live up to the warrior class manhood of the Scottish Fife family. If Barney Fife ever stripped down naked and ran into battle, the enemy would run away laughing.

Instead of using his Pictish designed sword, spear and shield, this 1960s member of the Fife family would pull out his empty revolver and attempt to insert his one green (from corrosion) 38 special round of ammo he always kept in his uniform shirt pocket.

No one was afraid of Deputy Barney Fife, and that Hollywood image of a bumbling failure of modern law enforcement has remained to this day.

I would suggest that millions of people around the world since the first season of the Andy Griffith show aired on TV in 1960, have at some time in their life negatively referred to their contact with law enforcement, as dealing with a Barney Fife. It is not flattering and “cops” at the federal, state and local levels of law enforcement are not amused.

Now given the fact that there is a real Fife family and that they have a history of a warrior class race of northern European people, if you besmirch the Fife name are you not in fact besmirching the race of people that the Fife family in Scotland descended from and currently represent?

If you are making open and hostile remarks about one Fife that are so negative most of the English speaking world know it is a derogatory, demeaning and yes race-based negative, hurtful, and mean-speech way of degrading a respected class of employment (being a cop) in our world, I submit that is racist.

Our American society cannot, must not and will not tolerate racist attacks on any minority or majority class of people in this country, including those who wear blue.

I have spent most of my adult life in law enforcement, and yes, I have been called a Barney Fife more than once in my long career. In the old days, you just laughed it off.

No longer can this vicious demonstration of hate, this deliberated attack on the defenders of the law of the land by profiling, demeaning, and attempting to isolate by oral oppression be condoned, it must stop.

The descendants of the warrior class family of Fife spread out to the English speaking nations of the Five Eyes must take an international stand and say “no more” to the race-baiting, hate-mongering attacks on law enforcement while denigrating the ancient Pictish-Scottish family of Barney Fife’s ancestry.

The racially charged maligning of police offices by calling them Barney Fife is as severe a DNA- based attack on a protected class of people, as the nefarious oral attacks on the CNN news anchor Chris “Fredo” Cuomo who is descended from Italian DNA.

If calling an Italian-American a“Fredo” is akin to calling a black person the N-word, then surely calling an upstanding and vetted law enforcement member of our nation a “Barney Fife” would be as derogatory as that dreaded N-word?

Dare I suggest that the re-runs of the old Andy Griffith show be boycotted and perhaps removed from the TV airways in an attempt to put an end to this half a century (plus) attack on America’s finest, her “cops.”

We can no longer abide the never-ending onslaught offensive on the good name and hard work of American law enforcement in their tireless effort to defend, protect and serve their community and this nation 24 hours a day.

To my brothers and sisters in law enforcement around the world, rise in one voice and say “I am not a Barney Fife and “Fifing” any cop is racist.”

No one in law enforcement in the state of North Carolina was harmed by the writing of this column.

Major Van Harl USAF Ret.

Major Van Harl USAF RetAbout Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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I like Barney Fife and enjoyed the Barney One Bullet video clips but as for the rest of this article it is total nonsense and I hope the Major has a full time job other than writing.


Reading this it seems like its intended to be sarcastic and poking fun at how the entitlement/snowflake generation gets offended at everything.

If its serious then Id say its time to crawl in a hole and hide.

moe mensale

Is this article supposed to be tongue-in-cheek or an actual attempt at seriousness?

If it’s the former I’ll give it 0 stars out of 5 and hope that you stick with your day job, whatever that may be.

If it’s the latter I’ll just say that you display the same sense of self-importance and smugness that pervades much of law enforcement today. Look no further than your own words here to see why there’s a lack of respect from your fellow citizens.

Go give “Fredo”a hug. Sounds like you both could use one.


That is hilarious! Thank you, sir! You made my day.

That’s the best spoof, and most intelligent mockery, of Liberal actions and attitudes that I have ever read.


If you get overly upset because someone called you a name. Even a derogatory one. You need to reevaluate your mental outlook on life. Being called a name regardless of it’s perceived hurtfulness and allowing it to command your emotions. Show a lack self worth. When someone calls you something you perceive as derogatory. Ask yourself? Do I have respect for this individual. If Yes. You need to reevaluate the your connection to this person. If No. Why let it bother you. Letting them control Your emotions with the use of name calling. Only shows a weakness within one’s self… Read more »

Chris Mallory

Sadly in this day and age ( a term so beloved by cops) we would be better served if cops were limited to one moldy bullet than we are by the roided up, militarized thugs that now pretend to “protect and serve”. Calling today’s cops “Barney Fife” is an insult, to the made up character of “Barney Fife”. Fife never lied on a warrant application. Fife never shot an unarmed man claiming to be “in fear for my life”. Fife was brave enough to do his job, never uttering the phrase “go home safe at night”. Fife never shot someone’s… Read more »


Comedy, and satire in particular, is hard and should be left to those who are gifted in it. Otherwise innocent bystanders could get hurt.


Using the term “Barney Fife” is racist? Since when did being a police officer denote race? That’s a hell of a stretch, Barney.


What about “Cluseau” for an apparently incompetent detective? (spelling may be incorrect for the “Pink Panther” character)


Major Harl, If you are trying to be funny you need to practice some more. If on the other hand you are REALLY that thin skinned after a career of law enforcement, mercy. Go get counseling. Leave my Andy Griffith show alone and leave Barney out of this discussion. Barney was a sincere, benevolent, patriotic lawman who wanted to do everything the right way. He was just frustrated that he did not live in a crime infested city. The Andy Griffith show has been used to illustrate and teach life on many occasions and in various ways. Numerous Bible studies… Read more »


Me thinks some people on here would melt if they heard Carlin or Pryor!!!

Dave in Fairfax

Nice troll, Major. You kinda went over the top with the hurt tone, though.

Will Flatt

Right, we don’t want to offend anyone’s damned snowflake sensibilities by comparing cops to the Fife clan. Better to compare bad, inept cops to the legendary Keystone Kops of the early 20th Century… especially the federal idiots best known as “F-Troop”. Denigrating the bad apples in law enforcement isn’t racist, and claiming it is… is stupid. As for “Fredo” Cuomo, he personally used the term Fredo along with virtually all of his CNN propagandists prior to his blowup, which negates his self-proclaimed assertion that ‘Fredo’ = ‘N-word’. Snowflake libtards say EVERYTHING is racist, which only serves to diminish the word,… Read more »


I sure hope this is a parody!

We are arresting people after their homes been searched over a meme for man made crime of possession of a 30 rd magazine and who know what else the state Unconstitutionally made Illegal. If the police who do this can’t see they are violating their oaths, the Fife is a very candy apple name to be called for their tyranny.

1776 Patriot

Is this some sort of belated April 1 article? The last time I read anything similar was in the Onion or the Babylon Bee.


This is great illustration on how the radical left operates. Barney May have been a clumsy goofy deputy but he was also a kind and caring man was loved by everyone in Mayberry. Let’s not forget Barney was elected sheriff of Mayberry.Unfortunately Barney was fictional but the radical left is not..


For those poking fun at this article and the author, let me remind you of the trash the MSM puts out loud and long with premises much more foolish than this one and the left eats it up.


PC is stupid is as stupid does on steroids!


Good stuff, Major. Keep ’em coming. I am totally surprised at the number of commenters who actually don’t get it. Is everyone so uptight that they’ve forgotten how to laugh or digest a bit of wit? Also thanks for the reference to the single greatest character from the best show that’s EVER been on tv. I will brook no argument on that point…no, not even Seinfeld. It’s in second place and there is no third.


No one is making fun of the name Fife. They are making fun of the man fife.
Justly so. Many modern day L.E. deserve it, resemble Fife, should not be armed and are drunk with authority.

Ej harbet

Chris coumo will forever be fredo to me.i had my way id strap him in a chair in a soundproof room and endlessly play hello fredo from a medium volume speaker until he went nuts.


While I agree slinging insults is not good form… Before using such a quote if calling an Italian-American a“Fredo” is akin to calling a black person the N-word,” You should have taken some time to look it up….. the actual definition of Fredo and I quote “The name Fredo is of Italian origin. The meaning of Fredo is “peaceful ruler”.” so if calling someone of Italian decent “Peaceful ruler” is an insult then what would actually calling them something that is actually an insult result in…. Just remember “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt… Read more »

uncle dudley

Barney gave plenty of laughs but he couldn’t keep his finger off the trigger.
Andy was lucky not to have been shot by him, if that show was written for today’s time the writers would have Barney killing innocents with his gun handling


Major Van Harl has been writing stories for Ammoland for a long time and his articles are good reading. For you commenters that are fairly new here maybe it would be more appropriate if you could look for some wisdom in what he says rather than be rude. I have never seen anything he has written that hurt anyone or made them quit reading the articles.

Carl up North

Not many sky cops ever impressed me and you don’t disappoint. Now if you had stood Minot guard mount and alert outfitted in your kilt in January blow that might.