The Whitest Privilege in Oregon

BUNKERVILLE, NV - APRIL 24:  Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks during a news conference near his ranch on April 24, 2014 in Bunkerv
BUNKERVILLE, NV - APRIL 24: Rancher Cliven Bundy speaks during a news conference near his ranch on April 24, 2014 in Bunkerville, Nevada. The Bureau of Land Management and Bundy have been locked in a dispute for a couple of decades over grazing rights on public lands. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Let's start -- as Joe Friday might say -- with just the facts.

Ammon* Bundy, the son of tax-dodging cowboy insurgent Cliven Bundy (who was pulled from Fox News for saying things about black people that were neither fair nor balanced) has jimmied the lock on a Federal aviary in the middle of nowhere, Oregon, and made himself at home.

While Russia Today, a source widely respected for their objectivity and journalistic integrity, initially reported Ammon to be accompanied by 150 bristling citizen revolutionaries -- this is likely a bit of literary flourish.

Journalists on the ground are reporting no more than 15 heavily armed "militiamen" to be camping in the quaint, one story red-brick bastion of Federal oppression.

Supposedly, Ammon and company are following in his father's felonious footsteps by seizing this federal property in protest of the arrest of two Oregon ranchers -- Dwight and Steven Hammond, who were convicted of arson for setting fire to 127 acres of Federal land so as to protect their own property from uncontrollable forest fires.

The Hammond's argue that the Federal government was negligent in the managing of this land, and that their negligence presented a threat to their own property and livelihood.

It's worth noting that the Hammond family, through their attorney, has steadfastly denied any association with Mr. Bundy and has vowed to report to Federal prison despite their potentially compelling disagreement with the government.

Ammon -- on the other hand -- has declared that he and his merry band of freedom fighters are prepared to hold this vital government cabin-in-the-woods for months, even years, if necessary.

Moreover, he has called for all freedom loving "patriots" to rally at their newly conquered base of operations, and to come "prepared," whatever that means.**

When I was in the army, they didn't put Coors Light in the MRE's -- I hope Ammon and friends have brought enough cheap beer to last them through the winter.

This, at it's heart, is a bunch of racist bullshit.

I'll demonstrate -- when Cliven Bundy backed the Bureau of Land Management down in April, 2014, he did it with the help of the Oath Keepers -- an organization well known in the militia fringe.

These would-be revolutionaries showed up to protect our cherished ideals of life, liberty and property, by entrenching around Mr. Bundy's ranch in Nevada and pointing their rifles menacingly at Federal agents until they just... went away.

And it worked. And now they're doing it again in Oregon, or at least that's what they claim.

I think they believe this is a really dramatic way to get a reality TV show, but that's neither here nor there.

Where -- Nick -- does the racism come in?

The Oath Keepers also showed up in Ferguson, Missouri, during the protests there. But this time, they weren't pointing their guns at the cops -- they were pointing their guns at the people protesting the cops.

The Oath Keepers represent one dimension of a much wider social psychopathy we white Americans seem to have.

Here is a good example of the internal dissonance I am typing about:


I sorely wish I did not have to edit away this man's face and name, but even bloggers and law-student's must bend to ethics every now and again.

This is emblematic of a lot of what I'm seeing from the angry white man clique on social media.

I'll be unequivocal -- when protesters in Ferguson challenged government authority and abuse, you labeled them thugs. Guess what, it's 2016, you bunch of goddamn yokels -- you don't get to smash government property and point guns at law enforcement just because you're white.

That's not race baiting. That's how the law works.

If a couple dozen of my Muslim American friends seized federal property at gunpoint to protest foreign policy, their families would be black bagged and sent to the consolidated naval brig to sit in stress positions for the next seven years while a special forces team executed the "protestors."

I'm not buying this minuteman, gadsden flag, Mel Gibson's The Patriot bullshit. You're a bunch of thugs with guns with too little sense in your heads and too much time on your hands.

The same people that skewer Black Lives Matter for being discordant and disruptive, the same people that post in my feed mocking Tamir Rice, the same people who post over and over again about how Eric Garner should have just followed the rules, and the same people that say Michael Brown deserved what he got for allegedly refusing to comply with police orders -- are the exact same people who get an erection every time some stars-and-bars waving neo-confederate chambers a round in the direction of a cop.

Apparently, blue lives only matter when they're busting up civil rights demonstrations -- but not at all when they're jumping in front of bullets in abortion clinics or trying to apply the law to white criminals.

The Hammond family very well might have a legitimate grievance against the government. I'm from New Orleans, not out west, I can't speak to the burden the government foists on the cattleman.

But I can tell you this, the Oath Keepers and their ilk are breaking the law in the name of property rights -- while BLM is doing it in the name of the right to life itself. And somehow -- they are the villains.

And Ammon Bundy is a hero.

That is the whitest privilege.

*Ammon, oddly enough, is a name derived from the Biblical Ammonites -- the bad guys in the book of Genesis.

**It means guns, bring more guns. And ammo.