I tried to tell you this would happen and it’s happening.
There are so many images swirling around about this armed standoff in Oregon, but the one I can’t get over is the fact that these are white people and so many people seem relieved by that fact. I mean, there are still many who claim there is no such thing as “white privilege” — including a number of “progressives” I know — but here it is, right there in front of your eyes. Do you still deny it? How can you? Look at this? Even I called it an “armed standoff!” When black people gather for a peaceful protest, it’s referred to as a “riot,” but when 150 white guys take over federal land and threaten to shoot anyone who trespasses, it’s an “armed standoff.” Got it? White privilege knows no bounds.
I mean, how does this shit differ from Daesh, exactly?
Self-righteous men in scruffy beards take over government property and call on all others who hate the government as much as they do to take up arms and help them start a new land, where they can do whatever they want? Sound familiar? Can you say “Christian Caliphate”? If these people had dark skin and an Arabic accent, Republicans would have called for carpet bombing by now. And they don’t have to be located in the Middle East, either. Is there any question that, had these people been black, they’d all be dead by now? For Chrissakes, folks, the entire Republican leadership and much of the media refers to the #blacklivesmatter movement as “terrorists,” while they call these assholes “patriots” and seem to do so without irony.
Look at what Ammon Bundy and The Bundy Ranch have posted on Facebook and try to explain how what he says differs greatly from Daesh. Hell, one member of the “Bundy Militia” (He would only identify himself as “Captain Moroni,” indicating that he’s either Mormon or added the “i” to avoid confusion or ridicule.) has been quoted as saying, “I didn’t come here to shoot; I came here to die.” Tell him there are 77 virgins awaiting him in “patriot” heaven and he’d be likely to strap a bomb to his chest.
Ammon and his idiot father, Cliven Bundy, who also engaged in an armed standoff with federal officers in 2014, aren’t American “patriots” trying to protect the rights of the people, no matter how many American flags they drape on the property they occupy illegally. In Cliven Bundy’s case, he wanted to use land owned by “the people” for free; his goal isn’t to protect anyone’s rights; it’s to profit from “the people” to a greater degree than he had already. And instead of negotiating with the Bureau of Land Management for lower grazing fees, which is what actual “patriots” would do, he pulled out a gun and threatened federal officers. You know, those hired by “the people” to protect their interests. And Ammon Bundy’s case isn’t about the rights of anyone; he doesn’t like the fact that two friends of his, the father and son arson team of Dwight and Steven Hammond, were convicted of their crimes, so he and his pals formed a “militia.” This “militia” claims about 150 members, but also claim a much larger following elsewhere. They have taken up arms and currently occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon and claim to
This “militia” claims about 150 members, but they also claim a much larger following elsewhere. They have taken up arms, they currently occupy the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon and they claim to be “helping the people of Harney County claim back their lands and resources.” You know, by taking their land and resources. Thank goodness they have promised us they’re not terrorists, although, if anyone tries to remove them from the land owned by the people, they won’t “rule out” a violent response. They have even referred to themselves as “freedom fighters” and “patriots” and they make up their own laws and shit on laws that anyone else makes that they don’t like. They probably also talk a big game about law and order.
This is only different from Daesh as a matter of degree. And yet, the media and Republicans refer to these terrorists as a “militia.” They also don’t refer to them as “thugs” and no one one in law enforcement has fired a single shot in their direction. Compare that to Tamir Rice, who was a 12-year-old with a toy gun who was shot by trained police officers because, well, black people with guns are just scary as hell, whereas we’re supposed to just trust white people with guns with our lives.
Take Texas. No, seriously, take them. Please. They have become an open carry state and any business that doesn’t want people to openly carry a gun inside their business must now post a sign. All over social media, we have been treated to photos of white goobers carrying around assault rifles in the Subway or at the local Walmart, as if a shootout could happen at any time and they’ll save everyone. Meanwhile, you know damn well, the first time a group of black men started patrolling the mean aisles of a Texas Walmart, the sign would go up so fast, it’d make your head spin.
In all seriousness, can anyone imagine a single black man carrying an AR-15 with a 30-round clip walking in the general direction of a government building or other facility and living long enough to use it? They would be taken out faster than you could say “Ruby Ridge” and there wouldn’t even be an investigation into it. They were black, and black and brown people with guns are just too scary to live.
As I have noted quite often recently, our fear of Middle Eastern Muslim terrorism is completely irrational. The fact of the matter is, the 2009 warning by the Department of Homeland Security regarding the rise of white, right-wing terror groups was not exaggerated. The election of Barack Obama brought out the worst of them and it needs to stop, and I mean now. It was bad enough when the Republican Party started recruiting them and used them to increase its voter base, but they have emboldened the right wing fringe and made such terrorism a bigger threat than anything so-called “Muslim” terrorist groups could throw at us.