Giving some thought to the situation in Oregon
So it’s the beginning of a new year. Last week’s post was kind of a bummer, I admit. Feeling a bit better about things this time around and one can’t mope forever and change the past.
So this scuttlebutt this week has been that weird story in the state of Oregon where a bunch of armed men took over a federal building in a claim against the government over land rights of some such. Of course, being the internet, things exploded with knee jerk reactions from people. Most of whom immediately are drawing comparisons to Ferguson, Baltimore, and other incidents to try and press points about police institutions of racism and how the federal government isn’t storming in and given the same reaction that happened in those cases.
To explain briefly, This started many years ago in Nevada with a Rancher named Cliven Bundy. He was one of the several ranchers that raised cattle in a part of Nevada that was designated a wildlife preserve in 1989. While all the other ranchers relocated, Cliven stayed and racked up several fees and fines for it to the federal government. In 2014, the government got sick of all this and sent in federal agents to seize a large part of his cattle. Several armed men came to Bundy’s aid and it became a standoff. In the hopes of not having a massive shootout, the fed released the cattle. Now here we are two years later, Cliven’s son Ammon is the leader of a group of armed men into a federal wildlife refuge building in a protest of the American federal Government of rancher’s rights and other things.
People have shown a lot of reaction to this, and while the internet is not known for fair and even headed reactions to pretty much ANYTHING. I’m finding a lot of things being said that just seem hypocritical to me from every side of the coin. Here’s what I mean.
-Calling these men “Patriots”, “Protesters”, or “Militiamen”
A lot of news outlets have been using terms like these to describes this group. I certainly wouldn’t call these guys patriots. I love America too but I didn’t grab my gun and take over government property, I’m running for president! Militiamen I Think is also inaccurate. Putting on camo and carry around weapons doesn’t make you a militia, it makes you a gang. This isn’t the 1770’s, and if these guys seriously think they are anything like those that founded this country, they are mistaken. I could maybe go along with being protestors though they hardly invoke the image of Gandhi or MLK. I rather describe them as a gang, a posse, or a mob. Their goals and motivations are vague at best. They seem more interested in having a shootout with the feds and being symbols of anti-government nutjobs than really accomplishing anything productive.
-The feds and police response
This seems to be the big one. I see a LOT of people posting about “Why doesn’t the government come rolling in with their armored tanks and point guns at these guns? Because they are white.” Yes, the same people who crucified the entire countries police force for the over reactions of shitty police districts are now mad that the police didn’t do the exact same thing. People are literally mad that the very thing people are protesting to NOT HAPPEN are mad when IT DOESN’T HAPPEN. And no, I’m not blaming this reaction on black or white lines. I’ve seen this from a bunch of people. But here is the thing.
In the Ferguson protests, you had hundreds, if not thousands of people, and I believe that most of them were peaceful protestors that weren’t there to cause trouble. But you also had a number of those that started shooting, ransacking buildings, and burning down places just because they could. In Baltimore, it was the same deal. A lot of real peaceful protesters, and a number of knuckleheads who just wanted to be dickheads (Who could forget one looters mom going after her son on live TV).
With this situation, yes, the men are all armed and claim they are ready to kill or be killed. But they also walked into an empty wildlife refuge building in the middle of the night. No one is being held hostage (at least directly), no shots have been fired, no one is looting the local CVS, no one is burning down the neighborhood. It’s not being racist, its what it is.
The feds KNOW what these knuckleheads want is a Waco-style siege. Seeing that these guys haven’t hurt anyone yet, the feds aren’t going to play their game. Why? Because unlike what some people want to believe, the police force of this country isn’t some single mind racist hive. The people in control of this jurisdiction saw there wasn’t an immediate danger and are deciding to wait it out. If these guys had stormed into Oregon’s state capital building armed to the teeth and took everyone hostage, or marched through the center of Portland destroying cars, firing off their guns, and burning buildings down, things would be much different, but these guys didn’t. The local authorities, as well as the feds, know that this building isn’t exactly a high priority so they can afford to wait things out for a bit.
-Referencing other incidents of the past
The big ones commenter’s are referencing are Ferguson Missouri and Baltimore protests from last year. And oh boy were their mistakes made in those incidents. The police did a lot of things that were unjustified and especially in Missouri the police force lost control. I’ve also seen the example of the MOVE headquarters disaster from 1985 brought up as well. A recent article that was published to put the MOVE incident and this foolishness in Oregon on the same plain as proof that police are inherently racists. I disagree with that assumption as they are not the same. As dumb as these guys in Oregon are, they are blaring loud music during the night in a crowded neighborhood, they aren’t taking gun shots from behind barricaded windows, and they aren’t keeping children barricaded in a building.
A point I made when reading that article, and a point I’ll make here is that the siege in Waco Texas in 1993 was only mentioned in passing and was only added AFTER the article was already published. The writer, and a lot of others, never seem to bring up that most of the people in that building were white.
But Waco should be an example in this anyway. This is what the Oregon authorities are trying to avoid! This is basically what these overhyped gun nuts are trying to do, so they can be either heroes or martyrs for whatever so-called movement they think they are representing. The fact that a siege hasn’t taken place yet is a GOOD thing.
In the end, you can believe whatever you wish to whatever your degree you wish. But before you fly off the handle about what is going on, use your head and think.
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