White Justice and the Injustice of Color: Cliven Bundy vs Ferguson MO

In the past few months we have all watched two events unfold that highlight to people of color the vast double standard of the way the US government responds to white protest and people of color protests of law enforcement.

Militia Sniper at Bundy Ranch with his gun trained on government agents

Militia Sniper at Bundy Ranch with his gun trained on government agents

 

First we had the Cliven Bundy stand off where militia snipers pointed guns at government agents over unpaid taxes. Angry white men showed up to the Bundy Ranch in Nevada. A ranch I might add that was on disputed Indian Land of the Northern Shoshone.

Cliven Bundy a Mormon activist proclaimed his “God given right to the land”, land that has long belonged to the indigenous people of Nevada, the Paiute and the Northern Shoshone. Masses of militia supporters showed up pointed their rifles at the government and the government literally ran away. It was a bizarre scene and he got away with it. Message? “If you don’t want to pay your taxes you just need an army of angry white men and the government will go away. 2 million dollars is yours if you have enough angry white men to back you up.

Then we go to Ferguson Missouri, and a dead unarmed black teen Michael Brown and the community response to his killing.

Military Response to peaceful protest in Ferguson MO

Military Response to peaceful protest in Ferguson MO

Largely peaceful crowds of protesters have been met with the most militaristic response in recent history. Not one police officer has been killed or even hospitalized. The government response has been overwhelming. Protesters are being gassed. Tanks rolling up the street. Machine guns pointed at peaceful community members trying to respond to state violence. How can the government justify it’s lopsided responses? Are unarmed African Americans more dangerous than hundreds of white militiamen? No. Are African Americans presenting a terrorist threat? No! One has to ask themselves  exactly what the hell is going on in the minds of Eric Holder and Barack Obama to allow such a stark double standard to unfold before our very eyes.

How does the government back down in the face of a handful of angry white men with guns and then crack down on a black community that is unarmed and peacefully protesting? Well it is simple there is a double standard that has been going on in this illegal country since the beginning.

Let’s look at the case of Wounded Knee in 1973, when armed American Indians in their own land stood up and protested. The government came down on the American Indian Movement with armored personnel carriers, helicopters, and automatic weapons. When the Black Panthers entered the California State legislature under Ronald Reagan the state changed their gun laws. There are two standards of justice. One of mutual respect when white people like Cliven Bundy stand up for themselves and the what is happening in Ferguson MO. The cases are legendary the Brown Berets, the MLN of the Puerto Rican Independence movement, The Black Panthers, all crushed under the weight of a militarized law enforcement response to people of color demanding justice.

Police in Ferguson MO point there guns at an unarmed African American,

Police in Ferguson MO point there guns at an unarmed African American,

The truth of it is that American justice is lopsided and certain people have access to justice and certain people do not. White people have it and people of color do not. Case after case in American history shows that white people’s grievances are taken seriously and people of color are trampled under the American flag in the name of Democracy. We do not have the same rights.
We do not have the same gun rights. People of color don’t have access to the 2nd amendment.

In the week of August 11th-16th police in Ferguson Mo repeatedly entered into the community with guns blazing, and armored personnel carriers, tear gas, rubber bullets, and all sorts of nonsense. Repeatedly we heard the excuse. “There were reports that a man had a handgun so police moved in.”

Why didn’t they move in on Cliven Bundy? Why did California change their gun laws after the Panthers exercised their 2nd amendment rights? The answer is clear and we have seen it in the comments of white people in social media over the last weeks. “The police had to do something you couldn’t just have those protesters armed and tearing up the town”. Yet when white people gathered to defend Cliven Bundy who was grazing his cattle on disputed treaty land in Nevada, the feds packed up the truck, gave Bundy his cattle back, and almost apologetically turned tail and ran away. The sad truth is there has been no evidence of armed protesters in Ferguson. Except for the reports that the police are sending informants in to start violence on purpose.
White people wonder why people of color are angry. Think about the facts I have laid out before you. Then think about the fact that a Ferguson MO police officer Darren Wilson pumps hot lead into a retreating Michael Brown from the safety of his car. No charges, no arrest, no perp walk, and in fact, tonight as I write this white people have sold our of t-shirts supporting  officer Darren Wilson and more and more support is coming in from the KKK to right wing websites. White people wonder why people of color are angry? I can’t believe the level of control over the anger that we see that is in the streets of Ferguson in light of all the facts I have just stated.

The picture above says it all. 20 police officers with automatic weapons pointed at an unarmed black man with his hands in the air and white people wonder why the African American residents of Ferguson are so angry. As an American Indian who has watched at least 4 unarmed American Indians gunned down without any charges in recent years. The case of the woodcarver John Williams in Seattle. Deaf, he did not hear officer “Ian Birk” yelling for him to “drop the knife” before he blasted Williams into the next world. NO CHARGES FILED!!!  There are numerous cases of American Indians and Latinos who have been gunned down under the same circumstances that Michael Brown was murdered over the last 3 years. Just like the people of Ferguson we are angry as hell and wish it to stop.

Meanwhile back at the ranch Cliven Bundy is reunited with his cows and so far he has faced zero consequences for his armed standoff with law enforcement. Where is the outrage. He has stolen US Federal resources, he has been living off of Indian land, he threatened federal officers. Any of those things in a community of color would have resulted in a heavy handed response from law enforcement.  We live in two Americas one with white justice and one with no justice for people of color.

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2 Comments

  1. Well said – thanks for posting this!

  2. Thank you!! 🍂


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