As the small group of ‘militiamen’ took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last weekend, to protest the BLM land grab practices, social media erupted with calls for their deaths at the hands of government.
These calls for “disemboweling” the non-violent group of men in Oregon are brutally ironic as they came mostly from those who have been pushing to stop police brutality.
Calls to “drone bomb the place” or “mow them down” blanketed social media Sunday by a hypocritical group of ostensibly peaceful activists. Instead of realizing that the police state in America is violent on all fronts, these groups were blinded by their hatred and could care less if state violence was used against non-violent people–so long as it fit their world view.
What the Bundys are doing in Oregon is certainly questionable, and they have undoubtedly broken many local, state and federal laws. However, none of their actions warrant a death sentence.
On Thursday, three Oregon sheriffs met with the leaders of the armed group to talk them out of leaving the ranch.
“There are some positives that could come out of this,” Harney County Sheriff David Ward and his colleagues told Bundy and his group.
“Before this thing turns into something negative, which would ruin all of that, I think we need to find a peaceful resolution to help you guys get out of here,” Ward said.
This is where the double standard comes in. Many people are claiming that had the Bundy’s skin color been a shade darker, they would have already been shot–these people are probably right.
So does that mean that the so-called militiamen should be killed? Of course not.
Just like the Bundys don’t deserve to be killed, 38-year-old Jason Harrison didn’t deserve to die when he held a screwdriver in his doorway during a mental breakdown.
If the armed militia doesn’t deserve to die, then the unarmed and naked veteran, Anthony Hill most assuredly didn’t deserve to die last year in the midst of his mental breakdown.
Where was the sheriff outreach for the 107-year-old Monroe Isadore when he was involved in a standoff in his own empty house? That’s right, there wasn’t any. Instead, SWAT busted in and filled the mentally ill elderly man full of holes.
When it’s one of their own, however, they somehow manage to find a way to bring about a peaceful end, even when there are hostages involved. San Antonio cop, Daniel Lopez was involved in a standoff in July of 2013, in which he was armed and held women and children hostage. Not only was Lopez brought in without incident, but he was also given a slap on the wrist and got to remain a cop.
When Americans watch as three sheriffs, who all have easy access to heavily armed and militarized SWAT teams, simply shake hands with armed men who took over a government building, they cannot help but be enraged–especially considering that cops killed almost 1,200 people last year–many of whom were children, innocent and unarmed.
However, this rage over the preferential treatment of the Bundys is misguided as people call for their deaths. Instead of calling for more police action and violence, this case needs to highlight the ability of police to be peaceful.
No one is arguing that police kill minorities at a far steeper rate than they do white people. But this is no excuse to call for more violence. Instead, this non-violent reaction by the sheriffs in Oregon needs to serve as an example for cops nationwide.
If police can negotiate with armed occupiers of a federal building without killing them, it exposes the sheer murdering cowardice of cops like Timothy Loehmann, who gunned down a child for doing what so many other children do every day–play with a bb gun.
If this standoff in Oregon teaches us anything, it’s that the time to end this double standard in policing is now. However, citizens calling for violence to be equally applied to all Americans is a dangerously hypocritical notion. Instead, this example should be used to expose the sheer savage nature of ‘Peace officers’ in America killing more than three people every day.