Yesterday morning, I woke up to a stunning surprise. Oregon was apparently "under attack". #OregonUnderAttack was the #1 trending topic on Twitter and I was concerned. But for some odd reason...no one else was. I decided to investigate.
Was Oregon actually under attack? No. Was white privilege in full effect? You got it!
"A group of militiamen on Saturday occupied the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon in support of two brothers who are slated to report to prison on Monday on arson charges, the Oregonian newspaper reported."
About 150 heavily armed white men overtook a federal building with ease - with no shots fired by authorities.
When asked how long they intended to continue the occupation of the federal building, Ammon Bundy, one of the occupiers, told the Oregonian, "We're planning on staying here for years, absolutely."
Years. An illegal occupation for YEARS.
Ironic isn't it?
Considering people like Tamir Rice, LaQuan McDonald, and Walter Scott died for a whole lot less, right?
It's also ironic considering when many gathered to protest these heinous killings, the largest protest occurring on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, authorities met these individuals not with precaution but instead with rubber bullets and tear gas.
Some in the media even called those protesting "race baiters" and "thugs".
The key difference between these two protests? Well, sadly there's only two...race and reason.
What's happening in Oregon right now isn't a show of protest. This is a show of utter white privilege. Now while some are quick to dismiss the term, let's define it first. According to the Southern Law Poverty Center,
"White skin privilege is not something that white people necessarily do, create or enjoy on purpose. Unlike the more overt individual and institutional manifestations of racism...white skin privilege is a transparent preference for whiteness that saturates our society. White skin privilege serves several functions. First, it provides white people with "perks" that we (white people) do not earn and that people of color do not enjoy. Second, it creates real advantages for us (white people). White people are immune to a lot of challenges. Finally, white privilege shapes the world in which we live -- the way that we navigate and interact with one another and with the world."
When black people became tired of seeing their own people slaughtered within their own communities, they rose up and protested. However much of their efforts weren't met with sympathy but we're instead met with brute force and horrible, egregious name calling. Many were labeled thugs by the right wing media.
But, when it comes to Oregon, the conservative media has been astonishingly quiet. However, that doesn't mean everyone has. In the bowels of Twitter, a few people have poked their heads out applauding the militia for "fighting the man" and "standing up to big government"
Many of these individuals are the same people who condemned the protesters of Ferguson, Missouri for standing up against police brutality - the most grotesque example of government overreach in today's era.
What a whopping and disgusting double standard.
Another key difference I highlighted above between these two situations is reason. These individuals in Oregon are angry because they're arsonist friends are being served justice. Black Lives Matter...they're angry because the people that murder their sons and daughter never receive justice.
Take a second and dwell on that.
So, if you're applauding these militants in Oregon for rising up and fighting their fight while at the same time disparaging the Black Lives Matter movement, you're not only just ignorant.
You're probably a racist in desperate need of a check on your privilege.