On Saturday, a group of men armed with guns took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon, in what they described as an active protest against the federal government over their right to public land. Led by brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the group declared that they were ready to be "kill or be killed" in the name of their cause.
A debate about the righteousness of the group's cause aside, one thing is abundantly clear -- the reaction to the group, both by police and government officials and many media outlets, points to a double standard in the way white people are treated vs people of color when it comes to acts of protests or extremism.
Speaking with The Huffington Post on Monday, a man identifying himself as the Bundy's "bodyguard" said the degree of resistance to the armed standoff is excessive when compared to the response to protests against racial inequality.
"The Black Lives Matter movement, they can go and protest, close freeways down and all that stuff, and they don't get any backlash, not on the level that we're getting," he said.
However the backlash against the Bundys and their followers has yet to include martial law and excessive force from law enforcement or the National Guard, as was the case during the Ferguson protests. The fact that the situation hasn't escalated to violence on both sides is a good thing. But one can't help wonder if a group of armed black or brown protestors declaring they are ready to "kill or be killed" would leave with their lives intact.
Below are just a few of the tweets posted in the wake of the standoff which perfectly distill this glaring double standard:
Also on HuffPost: