Words have meaning. Should the language in this instance say 'rightwing militia' or should we be using the word 'terrorists'? Well no, since the armed individuals are white Americans, there is no question, the word 'terrorists' is not permissible. So, by default we go with 'rightwing militia'... make that 'heavily armed rightwing militia'.
Just that information alone should indicate the consequences to be inflicted upon those heavily armed people taking over a federal property. Law enforcement will surely come in with guns blazing and inflict justice on those with the audacity to break the law in such a brazen manner. But, if the culprits are white, law enforcement has a different approach. It is like two different sets of laws in two entirely different countries.
Radical militia members from across the country descended on Harney County, Oregon today to protest the conviction of two local ranchers for arson on federal land. They claim “that the federal government had no authority in Harney County.” The militia occupying the headquarters building at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is a splinter group from the larger protest. The gambit seems intended “to provoke a standoff with the federal government.”
Ammond Bundy said that “would not rule out violence if law enforcement tries to remove them.” He called the headquarters building “the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds” and said he was “planning on staying…for years.” Watch the video.
That pattern played out in March in Madison, Wis., where police responded to reports of a man yelling and jumping in traffic.
It was repeated two months later in Los Angeles, where beachgoers complained that a homeless man was harassing people on the Venice boardwalk.
It surfaced again in Cleveland, where police were called to a burglary at a corner store. And in Tallahassee, where a man was reported banging on someone’s door. And last month in Cincinnati, where Samuel DuBose, 43, wound up with a bullet in his head after being pulled over for driving without a front tag.
Perhaps most infamously, the pattern played out one year ago Sunday in Ferguson, Mo., where a white police officer searching for a convenience-store robber shot and killed an unarmed black teenager. That incident sparked a national movement to protest police treatment of African Americans and turned 18-year-old Michael Brown into a putative symbol of racial inequality in America.
From an article published at the beginning of August, 24 unarmed black men have been shot and killed by police - one every nine days, according to a Washington Post database of fatal police shootings. During a single two-week period in April, three unarmed black men were shot and killed. All three shootings were either captured on video or, in one case, broadcast live on local TV.
Despite making up only 2% of the total US population, African American males between the ages of 15 and 34 comprised more than 15% of all deaths logged this year by an ongoing investigation into the use of deadly force by police.
Family member, Cliven Bundy was part of an armed confrontation between protesters and law enforcement that developed from a 20-year legal dispute between the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and cattle rancher Cliven Bundy, over unpaid grazing fees on federally owned land in southeastern Nevada.
Armed protesters blocked a portion of Interstate 15 for more than two hours, causing traffic backups for three miles in both directions.
Another dispute broke out in the bathroom, and it didn’t take long before a battle was underway — knives, clubs, brass knuckles and bullets flying past the familiar facades of Best Buy and Office Depot.
By the time it was over, the parking lot at the Twin Peaks restaurant was strewn with shell casings, puddles of blood, bullet-riddled cars and abandoned motorcycles. Nine people were dead, 18 injured and more than 170 arrested on suspicion of engaging in organized crime.
At the shootout scene, a mix of police, heavily armed SWAT team members, FBI and ATF agents kept guard under a tent in the rain. Police have not yet identified the dead and injured and have not said how many officers fired during the melee or whether police shot anyone.
Probably more like point-and-shoot.
Or what if the occupiers were Mexican-American? They wouldn’t be described with the semi-legitimizing term “militia,” harking to the days of the patriots. And if the gun-toting citizens happened to be Muslim, heaven forbid, there would be wall-to-wall cable news coverage of the “terrorist assault.” I can hear Donald Trump braying for blood.
Not to worry, however, because the extremists who seized the remote Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon on Saturday are white. As such, they are permitted to engage in a “standoff” with authorities who keep their distance lest there be needless loss of life.