Monday, January 04, 2016

What's The Difference

Did you see the news about the terrorists that have taken over a wildlife sanctuary in Oregon? I normally write about trans stuff but this has gotten my dander up.
FBI Monitoring Armed Standoff in Oregon National Wildlife Refuge
By Kelly Stevenson, Emily Shapiro, and Neal Karlinsky
Jan 4, 2016

The FBI has taken the lead in monitoring an armed standoff in Oregon where a group of militia members, along with some members of the family of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, are occupying a building on federal land at a national wildlife refuge.

The FBI is "working with the Harney County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and other local and state law enforcement agencies to bring a peaceful resolution to the situation,” the agency said in a statement.

The militia members who occupied the wildlife refuge buildings set up a roadblock, and two armed members had manned a guard tower that is usually used to spot wildfires. But there was no sign of law enforcement in the area, and local police said they had no intention of going to the scene, not even to keep watch on the militia.
The two men were convicted of setting fires on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), "on which the Hammonds had grazing rights leased to them for their cattle operation," according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

"We all know the devastating effects that are caused by wildfires," Acting U.S. Attorney Billy Williams said. "Fires intentionally and illegally set on public lands, even those in a remote area, threaten property and residents and endanger firefighters called to battle the blaze."
  1. They said that they are protesting for their rights
  2. Peaceful march
  3. Unarmed
  4. Government response; SWAT teams, snipers, and armored vehicles
  1. They said that they are protesting for their rights
  2. Threaten to shoot any law officer who tries to stop them
  3. Armed with semi-automatic rifles
  4. Government response; monitoring the situation..
What is the difference?

One group are blacks and one group are whites, can you guess which one is black?

One group is protesting the police shooting of an unarmed black man.
One group is protesting the arrest and conviction of an arsonist who set a wild fire to cover-up their poaching.

I believe that the way they responded in Ferguson was wrong it was an overreaction to a peaceful, lawful protest. The way that these two incidents (I say incidents because in Ferguson it was a protest and the other is an armed insurrection) show the difference in how some police departments deal with blacks compared to whites.


Update 10:30 AM
Why aren’t we calling the Oregon occupiers ‘terrorists?’
Washington Post
By Janell Ross
January 3, 2016

As of Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post called them "occupiers." The New York Times opted for "armed activists" and "militia men." And the Associated Press put the situation this way: "A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking militia members to join them."

Not one seemed to lean toward terms such as "insurrection," "revolt," anti-government "insurgents" or, as some on social media were calling them, "terrorists." When a group of unknown size and unknown firepower has taken over any federal building with plans and possibly some equipment to aid a years-long occupation — and when its representative tells reporters that they would prefer to avoid violence but are prepared to die — the kind of almost-uniform delicacy and the limits on the language used to describe the people involved becomes noteworthy itself.

It is hard to imagine that none of the words mentioned above — particularly "insurrection" or "revolt" — would be avoided if, for instance, a group of armed black Americans took possession of a federal or state courthouse to protest the police. Black Americans outraged about the death of a 12-year-old boy at the hands of police or concerned about the absence of a conviction in the George Zimmerman case have been frequently and inaccurately lumped in with criminals and looters, described as "thugs," or marauding wolf packs where drugs are, according to CNN's Don Lemon, "obviously" in use.
You will note that while the group gathered in Oregon is almost assuredly all or nearly all white, that has scarcely been mentioned in any story. You will note that nothing even close to similar can be said about coverage of events in Missouri, Maryland, Illinois or any other place where questions about policing have given way to protests or actual riots.
And she sums it up beautifully,
The sometimes-coded but increasingly overt ways that some Americans are presumed guilty and violence-prone while others are assumed to be principled and peaceable unless and until provoked — even when actually armed — is remarkable. 

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