I’m not doing the “good guy vs. bad guy” thing for my kids, but it should be obvious that this crew is going to be at odds with most of the other crews. Their job is to enforce the laws. They enforce laws to protect people’s possessions and to capture and punish people who have caused harm to others. As enforcers, their job is not to ask questions about fairness (or unfairness) of the current system. They don’t try to address the root causes of harm. The enforcers just enforce the laws.
I want to teach that this unquestioned allegiance to laws that maintain inequality is wrong. I want to teach that this type of law enforcement doesn’t fix the real causes of harm in society. And the fact that each of these enforcers is Black and all of them (except maybe Wiley Escoe) were formerly enslaved shows that it is far from automatic that Black people will fight against all forms of systemic of oppression. We are all taught certain worldviews that support the current system, and, out of a desire to survive, these Black people found a way that they fit into the unjust system based on their talents and experiences. For example, for most of Stagecoach Mary’s life, she was always getting into trouble because of her bristly demeanor and eagerness to pull a weapon. This was especially true during the many years that she worked at a convent. But those traits fit perfectly with what the mail carriers wanted in a person protecting money being transported across long distances. So, as an enforcer protecting property she found a home–a place where she can be herself. A similar story could be told about Bass Reeves being valued for his language skills and critical thinking. The point is for my little one to see that the cause they are fighting for is wrong, but the people are not evil. Sometimes the other crews will have to physically resist The Enforcers, but, eventually, these people might be persuaded to join others in the fight for freedom.