Cliven Bundy is the Nevada rancher who has refused to pay the Federal Government, for twenty years, for grazing his cattle on Federal Lands. The Bureau of Land Management took him to Federal Court and won; but, Bundy still refuses to pay. So, BLM impounded his cattle.
Bundy claims that he does not recognize the authority of the Federal Government. Word got out and a rag-tag bunch of individual so-called militia-men rallied to his side. It kind of looked like one a thum thar barn-rasin’ events, just like in the movies. Many are believed to be from out of the immediate area. How did so many gun-totin’ “freedom-fighters” arrive so quickly? Don’t they have jobs?
Bundy claims to just be standing-up for his rights–to graze his cattle. FOX “News”, political pundits in the press and the politically-inclined types such as Mike Huckabee all have agreed that he is a true patriot–standing up to Big Government. So, what do the other ranchers, who didn’t run-up a grazing bill of $1 Million, feel about Bundy’s right not to pay for all these years, while they did.
There was a stand-off recently, Bundy with all of his “guests” with shotguns and rifles at the ready, and BLM on the other side. Bundy certainly was the gallant leader as he and his band of “true patriots” put a bunch of women in their front ranks. So as not to cause unnecessary bloodshed, BLM left. FOX phrased it as if BLM chickened-out.
Oftentimes, some people view our Freedoms through various prisms. Back in the 1960s and 70s, groups like the Black Panthers carried guns to fight the centuries-old oppression of Blacks. They were regarded as Domestic Terrorists and given the harshest sentences possible–if they even lived to make it to Court. There was no FOX “News”, at that time, and the Gun Industry hadn’t started financing the NRA with a substantial portion of its revenue.
Things start to be interpreted differently when “they don’t look like us”. Army Lieutenant William Calley led a platoon into My Lai South Vietnam, where they killed between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians. The three soldiers who tried to stop the massacre were shunned and branded as traitors, even by some in Congress. Thirty years later, their heroism was recognized and they were awarded medals. Of course, by then, the atrocities that were committed at My Lai were forgotten.
We moved whole tribes of Native Americans off of the their lands and corralled them on reservations–mostly in desolate areas in the West. Then, we went to War with them, killing many Men, Women and Children.
During World War II, we moved Japanese-Americans out of their homes and moved them to ill-furnished Internment Camps. And, when their Sons and Husbands came back from the Front, fighting for America, they were Interned, as well. Oddly enough, German-Americans and Italian-Americans, mostly in the East, didn’t face Internment. Was that because they looked like us?
Blacks seem to be feared the most, perhaps, because they are in larger numbers. And, let’s face it, they (as a race) have faced four hundred years of various types of oppression. And, once again, they don’t look like us. Part of the “Right’s” problem now is that there is no “US” anymore. The demographics are changing as “minorities” (while that term may still be appropriate) are collectively stating to become the majority.
So, what would the National Response have been if a bunch of “Black Patriots” rallied to a Black Cliven Bundy’s side? SWAT Teams? Snipers? Armored vehicles? The really simple question to answer is: if we are given the exact same set of circumstances, why would the answer be different just because it was Blacks rallying to a Black Rancher? An interesting article, from Slate, is attached: http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/04/15/bundy_ranch_and_bureau_of_land_management_standoff_what_right_wingers_anger.html.
NOTE: Cliven Bundy is now claiming ancestral rights to there land he has been grazing his herd on. Tell that to the Indians! His Grandmother move to the area–but not that property–in 1901. His Parents bought his current ranch during the 1950s. Frankly, Bundy is like the little crybaby lying on the floor–kicking the floor and shouting that he doesn’t want to.