The Race Double Standard - Why the Oregon Militia Was Treated Differently
What started as a peaceful protest turned into an armed occupation of a federal building
The "Peaceful" Protest
On January 2, 2016, Armed anti-government protesters took over a building in a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. They claim the federal government is punishing ranchers who refused to sell their land. The group is led by Ammon Bundy, the 40-year-old son of Nevada ranche Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who two years led an armed standoff with the government that resulted in no punishment whatsoever. The group who has taken over the federal refuge claim they want to restore "people's constitutional rights" because the refuge has been destructive.
This protest comes on the heels of an actually peaceful rally where Bundy's group protested the conviction of two ranchers who set fire to BLM lands. Even though the protest was silly, because the defendants admittedly committed arson, that even was peaceful. Not happy with their constitutionally protected right to peacefully assemble, the group picked up their assault weapons and took over a federal buidling.
Armed Takeover of Federal Lands with Threats to Kill Anyone who Apporaches seems to bother no one
Where is the National Guard?
In light of the mass shooting at San Bernadino and the fear of Isis, an armed takeover of a government building must frighten the good citizens of America. After all, a group dedicated to the destruction of America as we know it has now declared war by taking by force Federal Lands.
Funny thing is, no national guard has been called. No calls to arms have been made. According to CNN, and retired US Marshal Art Roderick who specialized in armed militia group, the plan appears to just wait it out. Wait, what? An armed group of people have taken by force federal lands? They are pointing guns at law enforcement. They are threatening to shoot anyone who approaches? And everyone is ok with this? Really?
Such a double standard
The Double Standard
So a group of militants, armed to the teeth, take over a Federal Building to effectuate change based mostly on religious principles, and nobody is concerned? Interesting, I thought this was the very thing we were supposed to be afraid of. What makes this different than the shootings in San Bernadino? Where is Anderson Cooper? Don Lemon? Anyone?
More notable, why is this protest being treated as "peaceful" even with the guns and the raising of a hostile flag on American Soil, yet the folks who marched on Fegerson and Baltimore were automatically treated as thugs and the national guard, swat teams, riot police arrived before a single weapon was brandished? Gee, I wonder what the difference is? This is a puzzle that nobody can figure it out. Oh, right, the guys with military weapons who took over a federal building by force are white. Therefore, they are patriots, at least according to Sean Hannity and Fox News. The people in San Bernadino and Ferguson are black and brown, therefore thugs and terrorists.
This is law enforcement reaction to a peaceful protest in a black neighborhood
What is going on?
In light of the shootings of unarmed black men by the police with no consequences, and every brown person being automatically suspect of carrying weapons of mass destruction, nothing signifies the institutional raciism that still exists in America more than the reaction to extremists who resort to violence that happen to be white. The guy who shot up a planned parenthood wasn't a terrorist according to media reports and conservatives, he was a guy who, in a misguided way, was fighting for his principles. Cliven Bundy and their ilk are not terrorists or militia groups that are a real threat; they are concerned citizens trying to fight against a tyrannical government. Really?
Then why did the folks in Ferguson who took to the streets to protest the killing of an unarmed teenager get met with cops in riot gear, tear gas? Why is it every time someone of color points anything that could reasonably, or unreasonably, be construed by an over zealous police officer as a threat get shot and everyone asks questions later. Yet, when these "patriots" point AK 47s at the police, like they did 2 years ago, nothing happens? The fact that law enforcement is waiting for the white folks to shoot before considering them a threat is institutional racism in a nutshell. The white folks with guns are considered patriots, black folks with or without guns are considered "thugs" regardless of what they are doing. And brown folks, are terrorists, rapists, and murderes. That is racism. That is the double standard.