Jan 21, 2016 (San Diego) I am sure that by now you have heard of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge In the state of Oregon. I am sure of it since you pretty much need to be off line to have missed the jokes, as well as the trending Twitter #vanillaisis and #YallQaeda. Quite honestly I even have my favorite of these.
While we all have had a grand all time making fun of these people, there are things to consider about this. For starters, this is not the first time that the Bundy family is involved in this kind of law breaking. Cliven Bundy, the father of the two masterminds in Oregon, has had a 20 year plus stand off with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing fees, and whether to pay them. (As of this writing Cliven has not done such). Some have even termed this a new safe brush rebellion.
His sons, especially Ammon, are busy leading a group of ranchers, who are on the far right, in the occupation of the bird refuge. Among other demands are the surrender of this federal facility, first started by President Teddy Roosevelt, to the local, or at least the state government. But there is another detail that is brazen to any observers. These guys are white.
When one does a review of other occupations, by people’s of color one does not find this highly unusual kid glove treatment. In 1979, for example, President Jimmy Carter ordered the removal of African Americans from a wild life refuge.
According to the Oregonian reporting:
On May 2, 1979, U.S. deputy marshals “forcibly removed” the men, according to a story in The Oregonian. “Their bodies taut and motionless,” the men were dragged out of their tent, handcuffed and hoisted into a waiting van.
Supporters taunted the police, shouted insults. One woman screamed, “Slavery is over with!”
At a Savannah news conference, Timmons protested: “You can’t tell me that geese, wild birds, cows, lizards and snakes have priority over a taxpaying American citizen.”
A judge sentenced the four men to a month in jail for trespassing.
There is more, none of these people were armed, unlike our friends in Oregon. So that should be a clue as to why there is an obvious sense of entitlement to the Bundy crew. This is the second time they face off with federal officials, and they have yet to see chargers. In Nevada they even took aim at federal officials from sniper positions.
Then there is Wounded Knee.
This incident started in February 27 of 1973. On that day 200 Oglala Indians occupied the town of Wonder Knee in South Dakota, in the reservation. This meant that the occupation technically occurred in a foreign country. This did not stop the FBI from coming in with force to expel them.
There were people killed and injured on both sides, but in the end the authorities did isolate the occupation and stop it. There are no rides (in government vehicles) to Safeway to resupply the snacks. Nor was there a pretty much leave them alone kind of an attitude.
There are many other similar incidents, including the Occupy Wall Street movement, which was suppressed by the Federal Government, never mind it was unarmed
It gets worst. Our brave occupiers of a bird sanctuary in Oregon have now destroyed an archeological dig and paved roads on the refuge. In fact, the AP reports that the occupiers are controlling pre-Columbian articles and there is fear they will end in the black antiquities market. And Indian Country reports they have bulldozed over native American archeological sites.
Now this is the kind of behavior that minorities could not get away with. So far the optics from the FBI and other Federal Agencies is that they can pretty much do whatever they want.
If they were holed up in the building, it could be the butt (and was) of many a joke. That includes me. But now we have reached the point that the Federal Government, whether they fear WACO II or not, needs to act. At the moment this looks like a textbook example of white supremacy.