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Last April, Federal agents from the Bureau of Land Management (BLS) arrived at the home of Cliven Bundy, a cattle rancher that has been grazing his cattle on public land for the last 20 years without reimbursing the government for upkeep of that land, to evict his cattle from said public land and demand he pay the $1 million dollars in back-owed grazing fees. This sparked a face-off between redneck anti-government armed militia “Freedom Riders” and federal law enforcement. Bundy supporters decried the “jack-booted” thuggary of Federal law enforcement and declared that THIS was “exactly why we have a Second Amendment!” (no, it’s not.) Four months later, an over-militarized police force in up-armored land-mine resistant vehicles with machine-gun turrets on top, launched teargas grenades and fired rubber bullets into crowds of protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, and the same people who vilified the authorities for attempting to force Bundy to comply with the law, are stunningly silent when it comes to defending the mostly black protesters being confronted by a paramilitary police force as they attempt to express their First Amendment right to publicly protest.

One can’t help but wonder what Bundy supporters’ reaction would be if hoards of armed black protestors were training their weapons on Federal law enforcement officers. Where are the militia teanuts rushing to the defense of black protesters in opposition to the heavy-handed police tactics being employed in Ferguson, Missouri? How is the almost-hyperbolic militaristic response to a public protest not a “call to arms” for every anti-government militia group in the country?

Rancher Bundy acknowledged that he was in defiance of the law and thumbing his nose at Federal Law enforcement, stating clearly that he simply “did not recognize the authority” of the Federal Government over him. He went to court numerous times to defend his right to use public land without paying for its upkeep, and lost every time. And when the BLS came knocking on his door, demanding he pay nearly a million dollars in 20 years worth of back-owed grazing fees, armed militia groups from neighboring states rushed to his defense, railing against the “Police-State” federal government’s “jack-booted thugs” persecuting a poor innocent cattle rancher. Yes, poor, innocent, admitted criminal, government welfare moocher Cliven Bundy. When those same supporters showed up with guns and trained them on police officers, the BLS wisely just backed off and said, “You’re not worth it.” Fox “news” gave the “Bundy Standoff” wall-to-wall coverage, sending camera crews to cast protestors in the most sympathetic light (until Bundy started talking about “the Neg’ras”.)
 

Protesters in Ferguson, MO defying police
Black protestors in Ferguson, MO

 

Protesters at Bundy Ranch in Nevada defying police
Bundy supporter Eric Parker from central Idaho
Militiaman in support of Cliven Bundy Militiaman blows war horn in Call to Arms Bundy supporters in defiance of Authorities

 

Let’s be clear about one thing: Those of us who defended the government against Bundy are NOT “hypocrites” for now criticizing the governments response to protesters regarding the shooting-death of an unarmed black teen (who was in the process of surrendering to authorities after already being shot twice, then shot three to six more times til he was dead) last week. Bundy was already in defiance of the law and there was no question of his guilt when federal authorities arrived to fine… not arrest… Mr. Bundy.

Despite a video released after-the-fact that appears to show Brown committing petty theft (taking a handful of cigars from a local convenience store), the officer who shot the unarmed Brown twice when he grabbed Brown through the window of his police car, then fired 3-6 more shots killing him as Brown attempted to surrender, did not know about the robbery when he confronted Brown. And regardless, YOU DON’T SHOOT AN UNARMED MAN EVEN ONCE (let alone EIGHT TIMES) while they are in the process of surrendering.

The always excellent Media Matters also noticed the hypocrisy of Fox radio host and frequent Fox “news” contributor Laura Ingraham, who chastised the Media for inflaming the situation in Ferguson, saying that their presence there was only making the situation worse as protesters were “playing to the cameras”, likening them to “a lynch mob”. But four months ago, Ingraham struck a very different tune as she appeared repeatedly on Fox to describe the pro-Bundy armed militia protesters as “engaging in an act of civil disobedience”, chastising the federal government for its “ridiculously disproportionate response.”

Quite honestly, when I started work on this op/ed and Googled “Cliven Bundy” “Michael Brown”, I expected to see… at the very least… a half dozen other sites questioning the stunningly different reactions towards the use of military-style police force against protesters… one white, armed to the teeth, defending a man in flagrant violation of the law threatening the use of violence against a very menacing-looking police force… the other black, unarmed (alleged reports of “Molotov-cocktails” being thrown at police have never been substantiated), teargassed and shot with rubber bullets by local police in military vehicles wearing camouflage (in the city?) in full riot gear. I didn’t. Not one single news story remarking on the disconnect, and not even a handful of stories on the web (perhaps three) commenting on the obvious hypocrisy. But I expect that number to grow quickly.

I also expect to see the NRA out there any day now defending the black protestors’ right to take up arms against local authorities.

NOT.

UPDATE: Almost on cue: Fox defends Ferguson police response as “What needed to happen”.

So predictable.

 


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