Y’all Qaeda

Nobody ever hears about anything that goes on in the Middle of Nowhere, Oregon, but when they do, it’s about approximately 150 heavily armed white men all topped with a cowboy hat or a camo baseball cap. Amazing.

Protesting beginning on Jan. 2, this group that calls themselves “Citizens for Constitutional Freedom” occupied a government building on the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve located in Princeton, Oregon, refusing to leave, and even rejecting the local sheriff’s offer for a safe leave. As of right now, they’re on their eleventh day of protest.

On Tuesday, LaVoy Finicum, one of the group’s leaders, said that they will be revealing the date of their departure on Friday.

Led by Ammon Bundy of the infamous Bundy family, the rancher took to Facebook to post a recruitment video for his cause. In the video, he evokes “American patriots” to arm themselves against the U.S. government to “assist in helping the people of Harney County claim back their lands and resources.”

However, on Jan. 6, the Native American Paiute tribe claimed the land to be part of their ancestral land, so let me rephrase the protesters’ goal: they want to “assist in helping the people of Harney County claim back [the] land and resources [their ancestors stole from the Native Americans after torturing and killing them].

But there’s no need to worry: Bundy promised that “we are not terrorists.”

Well, of course they aren’t terrorists. Terrorists are supposed to be dark skinned, non-Christian, and not American. This group of armed, devout Mormon, anti-government group of white men can’t be terrorists, right?

In truth, just because Bundy claims his group is not a terrorist group doesn’t make it true. I could say that I’m family friends with Queen Elizabeth, and it doesn’t take much to know how false that is.

The Department of Defense Dictionary Military and Related Terms defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence, often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs, to instill fear and coerce governments or societies in pursuit of goals that are usually political.”

A large group of heavily armed men propelled by anti-government ideology with no legitimate power have possessed Federal property, threatening to resist government officials with their weapons if the officials exerted any force to evacuate them. Their goal is to force the government to complete their politically driven want: turning over land to people they say they represent. This is without a doubt, 100 percent, terrorism.

With this, it’s alarming that major news sources are still calling the group “militia,” “occupiers,” and “armed activists”– terms far from the derogatory, fear-instilled word, “terrorists” that would be automatically implied if the protesters were dark skinned.

The double standard is unsettling. In 2014, Tamir Rice, a 12- year-old black boy playing with a toy gun was shot by a police officer in Cleveland, no second thought given, and these heavily armed men can refuse a peaceful offer to leave the building from the sheriff. Unarmed black men– “thugs” –as the media deems them, in #BlackLivesMatter protests are beaten by police with batons and tear gassed while the protesters lounge in the government building, being comfortably interviewed by various news sources. A group of Muslims could mirror the actions of the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, but they would not be entering day eleven of their protest.

They would be dead by now. And America would be exuberant that the feds got rid of the “terrorists.”

Why are the police willing to wait? Politicians and law enforcement should begin to acknowledge the harsh truth that extremists that “look American” with “American” names can too be a threat.

I’m certainly not saying that the protesters should be beaten and killed, how the police treat any person of color without even thinking twice. However, it’s prevalent that the double standard in our flawed justice system, along with the media, prefers white men over any person of color.

#GoHomeOregonTerrorists

Commentaries are the expressed opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Fourcast staff, its adviser or any member of the Hockaday community.


Cheryl Hao – Asst. Castoff Editor

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Cheryl Hao

Cheryl is a left-handed, Houston-raised senior who loves erging and is a proud fanny pack owner. #staywoke

Blog Comments

From a completely unbiased point of view, it is exactly the fact that they’re lounging at the center that makes the police less likely to use violence. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege This is an example as to why the police will no longer use violence, and serves as an example where police used violence.
[T]he term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents”
Here is terrorism defined in the USC Title 22 Chapter 38, a slightly more legally binding version of the government’s definition. The Bundy group has certainly made threats of violence in “defense” but has not carried out any attacks on their own.

I believe the Bundy gang is lawless and should be prosecuted, as they as a family also owe over 1M in backtaxes for the land they use to graze. However, when making bold claims about groups like this it is necessary to look at precedent and legally binding definitions of terms.

Reply

Educated Counterpart

Dear Concerned Student,

When you say that “police will no longer use violence,” do you mean after they stalk and brutally murder the next woman of color who “seems suspicious” driving around with her 4 month old infant? http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/. Do you know that white police killed over 100 unarmed black men in 2015? This article is addressing the institutionalized racism in this country which is clearly evidenced by the treatment of the white, Christian terrorists who have occupied this sanctuary vs. the treatment of innocent children of color, like Tamir Rice. This article does not insinuate that the “armed militia” should be treated as cruelly as minorities are, just that we should not negotiate with groups who are clearly perpetrating acts of terrorism. And yes, they are terrorists. As you so kindly pointed out, terrorism is defined as premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated agains non combatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. If you ask me, the Bundy family fits this definition perfectly. I believe in respecting everybody’s opinions and hearing them out, however when making bold statements about how mass murderers are “technically” not terrorists, it is necessary to do some soul searching and ask yourself- “Am I really going to exacerbate this crisis by making tall, pretentious claims about the official definition of terrorism?”
As a friendly peer, I encourage you to reconsider your original comment because we all want the same thing- social justice and limited ignorance. Stay woke, my friend.

Dear Educated Counterpart (nice name, ad hominem is something I grew out of a while back but evidently am picking up again),

If you had taken the time to read the section immediately before I said that statement that you kindly took out of context, you would realize I was saying why they weren’t acting violent in this scenario.
In regards to your example, I looked at your page, ctrl+F’d suspicious, and found a case about a man and did not see another case. Being a curious person, I also took the liberty of googling “woman suspicious driving with 4 month infant killed” and didn’t find any results either (I did so without the quotes, if you’re wondering).
Also did you know that 117 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2015, out of about 765,000 sworn-in (arrest powers). Of the 38,929,319 African-Americans in the United States, over 100 died at the hands of police. You must realize that the world we live in is not perfect, and if we force the police to act excessively lenient then their deaths may rise as well. Tamir Rice is a good example of what not to do at a police encounter, possess an airsoft gun without the orange tab. The shooting was over the top; however, when you know you tread on thin ice, why would one do something like that? DO NOT miss my point here as you have demonstrated your ability to do so in your last reply, as I am not belittling his death. But me driving over to Hockaday in a big white van wouldn’t be met with kindness, either, and in this scenario, split seconds aren’t decisions between life and death.

Since the Bundy’s seemed to fit the definition perfectly, I selected the part about the definition “politically motivated violence perpetrated agains non combatant targets,” and once again spent time searching for “Bundy family violence” and unfortunately didn’t find any. =\

And yes, I am getting into definition technicalities. The legal field is rife with them. Forcing CCW licenses is not “technically” infringing on the right to own guns, despite it being a large hurdle in the way. Laws prohibiting hate speech with implications of intended violence is not “technically” infringing on the First Amendment. Quite honestly, I don’t really understand the full legal foundations for these laws, but judging as they still stand, someone evidently cared enough about technicalities to help them find their footholds.
I’ll do one with a law that you most likely care more about. Plessy v. Ferguson was upheld by the USSC. Obviously, a technicality enabled this flagrant example of what we would now consider inequality. In the legal field (the field governments draw authority from), definitions are the basic foundation.

Thanks for approving my comments on this controversial topic, I trust that you only delete flagrant trolls.

Reply

Educated Counterpart

Concerned Student,

Along with ad hominem, you should have probably also grown out of your social ignorance.

I most certainly took the time to read the section because I like to be informed before I make an argument. I also understood perfectly that you were explaining why police were not using violence- I was just expressing my disagreement. The police did not use violence because the people occupying the sanctuary were white and Christian, not for any other reason.

In regards to my example, if you actually took the time to scroll through my page, you would have seen multiple examples of unarmed black people who were killed by white police. As for the woman who was killed along with her infant, her name is India Kager. She was killed on September 15, 2015. But you probably haven’t heard of her because of predominantly white media coverage. You can read more here. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/with-6-month-old-baby-in-car-both-parents-killed-by-virginia-beach-police/2015/09/08/2e64a83c-565a-11e5-8bb1-b488d231bba2_story.html. I recommend you thoroughly do your research before you tell me that I’m lying. I hope I confirmed your “suspicions.”

I know that the world we live in is not perfect, but we cannot use this as an excuse to dismiss institutionalized racism. Nobody is asking the police to be excessively lenient, we just ask that they refrain from committing hate crimes. Tamir Rice was a twelve year old boy. Like any child his age, he wasn’t considering the fact that a police officer would murder him for playing with his toy gun. Don’t try to justify Tamir Rice’s death. I AM NOT MISSING YOUR POINT. You driving to Hockaday in a big white van would certainly not end in your unjustified death – you would be questioned first. The police would most likely not immediately open fire on your van. Police officers go through training. Something they learn training is how to aim their gun and how to make those “split second” decisions. In those decisions, they, as strong, trained adults, should not be perceiving a 12-year-old boy as a threat. If our policemen and women are seeing small children as threats, we have a HUGE problem on our hands.

Terrorism doesn’t necessarily have to be an act of violence. It just has to be the usage of terror in order to achieve political objectives. Is a bomb threat not seen as terrorism in America? The Bundys are threatening violence unless they do not get their way.

Do not miss my point as you have demonstrated your ability to do so in your last reply. Rather than nitpicking on legal definitions and terms, you should be realizing that there is a fundamental problem in America’ s justice system. The author is pointing out that if the Bundys were minorities, the police would most likely have used violence against them. She deduces this based on patterns we see occurring within the American police departments. Here are links that prove this point.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2015/08/08/black-and-unarmed/
http://www.mintpressnews.com/776-people-killed-by-police-so-far-in-2015-161-of-them-unarmed/209127/
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32740523
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/01/us-police-killings-this-year-black-americans

Please read links thoroughly before making false accusations.

To your point about definition technicalities, it was definitely not a technicality that enabled this inequality- someone’s life is being threatened. As I stated earlier, this is not about legality. It is about basic morals. Stay #concerned, my friend.

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