Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Standoff In The Desert
I am always amazed when people speak of freedom and their reaction to it. Recently in Nevada, a group of white right-wing American’s faced down the Federal government – armed! Now let me be clear, these so called patriots not only showed up in support of a man named Bundy who is a rancher that does not believe the government has any authority over him nor his enterprise.
So group(s) came from all over the country in support of his cause – I did say armed and trained their weapons on government agents in tactical positions. In the days leading up to the government's withdrawal, the movement had reportedly grown to 600 men, women and children, although conflicting counts emerged from the two sides. Demonstrators rallied together, bonding by campfires at night, while local protest leaders warned people not to wear camouflage and to keep their weapons inside their vehicles.
Bundy’s long standing problem with the government is that he owes reportedly a million dollars to the government for using federal land and refusing to pay the grazing fee as require. Wait, he has owed these fee’s that accumulated for about twenty years, all while continuing to make money for himself from the results of the beef he sold. Both Bundy and his co-conspirators call this freedom, and they came to Bundy’s aid in support of “liberty”. This is the abbreviated version of the back story.
I have had the government come after me for unpaid parking tickets. The law, meaning the police, often times come with guns drawn when they pull black people over for a traffic ticket. Every day in this country the government comes down heavy handed on the least of thee and when they come; the police always come with guns. In addition, most people are not afforded the luxury of not paying a government debt for twenty-years.
What if the Bundy’s were black and the ranch was owned by a black rancher? I’ll answer that; they would have been called terrorist and shot down like dogs and everything they own would have been confiscated. In fact, there are hundreds of cases where the cops will fire on black people based on the perception of their being armed.
I saw a congresswoman being interviewed, and she asked, when has the government ever come armed to arrest an American citizen? How about everyday and all the time! Let me remind this excuse for a leader that there was a black group in Philadelphia - MOVE - who saw things differently that the government and had guns. Guess what? The government stormed the group held-up in a row house and in the attack they dropped a bombed the building that killed all, but one or two of its occupants to include five children.
This is just one example, and there are many, yet I have not mentioned the assaults of the civil rights movement. This speaks to privilege and the actions of the militia are virtually nothing more than terrorism. If the script were reversed and the group(s) where of people of color, the history of race in America demands that hostile actions would certainly be present during the actions of law enforcement.
You may believe the opposite or lie to yourself – if you will - but the fact remains, this would never have ended this way if the people pointing guns at the cops would be alive today. Let’s put it this way, Bundy is simply a modern version of George Wallace standing in the doorway of the schoolhouse. Except these folks are armed and dangerous. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…