There is a reason in the American education system, at least the public education system, students are exposed to the U.S. Constitution and American civics (government) classes at least twice in the last four years of a twelfth-grade education. If one listens to a certain demographic that hews to right-wing fanaticism, it may appear that the Constitution or government is either never taught in school or is incomprehensible to self-professed “real Americans” calling themselves patriots preparing for a second revolutionary war.
Unfortunately, this is America and there is a particularly virulent strain of “I don’t care” what the real Constitution says, or how it says government works infecting “real Americans” battling the government. In fact, one of the defining traits of an increasingly dangerous and heavily-armed insurgency is its concept of what “the Bundy constitution” says about the United States government owning land. It is a concept that has another Bundy leading yet another armed standoff against the federal government the insurgency claims has no authority over its own protected land.
What is really fortunate for the armed insurgents is that because they are the “white” color, law enforcement takes a completely “hands-off” approach to their acts of sedition and threats of violence against the government. What is unfortunate for Americans of the “wrong color” is that law enforcement preserves its “hands-on” tactics for unarmed African Americans exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate. It is good to be white and heavily-armed in America and it is particularly true if one’s name is Bundy.
For the third time in less than two years, a Bundy is at the center of another armed anti-government standoff to protect their fantasy constitution and force the United States to surrender its land to the white anti-government insurgency. First it was a Bundy summoning armed militias to confront federal officers in Nevada to start a second revolutionary war; all because in Bundy-world government land belongs to the insurgency. Then it was the Bundy-clan tearing down gates to trespass and destroy Native American heritage and burial sites in Utah’s Recapture Canyon; all because in the Bundy-world sacred Native American and government land belongs to armed insurgents with Gadsden and American flags a-waving; and something about a sheriff determining what is constitutional and what is tyranny.
Now it is happening in Oregon where armed Bundy insurgents broke into and seized a federal building and land because in the rebels’ mind that land and property belongs to armed Bundy insurgents. The all-too-typical insurgency began when “the Bundy-ites” protested the conviction of two Oregon ranchers who admitted they committed arson that burned 130 acres in a wildlife refuge on federal government land. The two ranchers have stated they do not want the Bundy insurgents’ help and that none of armed militiamen are welcomed or “speak for the Hammond family.”
The insurgency’s leader, Ammon Bundy, claims their invasion is to force the “federal government to restore the people’s constitutional rights.” Bundy says a federally-designated wildlife refuge on government-owned land is “destructive to the people,” and the government is doing it specifically “against the people.” Now Bundy claims the insurgency invaded Oregon and seized federal property because the government “has to be put in its place because we’ve had enough of this tyranny.”
To reiterate, Bundy’s insurgency claims tyranny against the people is when the United States government designates its own land as a refuge, and had the audacity to prosecute two confessed arsonists for attempting to burn it down nine years ago.
The reason the Bundy insurgency feels emboldened to challenge the federal government a third time in a year-and-a-half is because they know the justice system will look the other way and pretend nothing ever happened. And, it will continue happening as long as the insurgents are rewarded with praise from conservative groups and allowed to carry on as heroes by a justice system founded on a racial double standard.
One immediately noticed that law enforcement has not responded to very angry, white, heavily-armed anti-government militias daring the government to show their faces; a completely different kind of response peaceful African American demonstrators see from law enforcement. But according to an anti-government militia expert, there is justification for America’s racist criminal justice double-standard.
A law enforcement analyst and retired U.S. marshal who has investigated anti-government militias for years, Art Roderick, warned that because Bundy summoned more armed insurgents to war in Oregon, the already illegal invasion might “turn into a bad situation.” Roderick said “What’s going to happen hopefully (is) … we don’t go out there with a big force, because that’s what they’re looking for. The last thing we need is some type of confrontation.”
According to Roderick, law enforcement learned how to handle heavily-armed white criminals as opposed to how they handle peaceful African American protesters. If they are Black, in their neighborhoods, unarmed and pose no violent threat, law enforcement instantly deploys military-vehicles, the National Guard, and heavily-armed police soldiers to literally beat down and force protestors to disperse. It is what law enforcement did in Ferguson and Baltimore with impunity and earned high praise from Republicans, various conservatives, the Ku Klux Klan, and armed Aryan militias.
However, when confronted with heavily-armed white militias who broke into and took over federal property, the best approach according to law enforcement “is to stay away and maybe figure out how to bring a peaceful end to the standoff.” The armed militia expert said that law enforcement has learned how best to accommodate armed anti-government insurgents; many of whom are current or past law enforcement. Remember, none of the Bundy clan or their armed militia supporters have faced any criminal charges for their sedition in Nevada. Republicans and the conservative patriot movement will not allow it and it is evidently why the insurgency descended on Oregon and invaded a federal refuge without fear of prosecution.
It is noteworthy that, regardless what the Bundy insurgency claims, their motivation is not founded on “restoring the people’s constitutional rights;” it is about inciting a revolution against the government the insurgency claims has no legal right to own land. It was the driving force behind the Nevada and Utah incidents and one Republicans serving the interests of the Koch brothers wholly support and condone as patriotic.
One of the Bundy clan admitted the invasion in Oregon is a preview of the insurgency expanding to seize federal land nationwide; a long sought-after goal of the Koch brothers. Ammon Bundy said,
“We will occupy this as long as necessary as a place for individuals across the United States to claim their lands and resources. The American people can’t get ahead because the federal government is using the land and if it is continued, it will put the people in poverty.”
Bundy’s proposal is to marshal as many “armed patriots” as possible to come and live in a “Bundy-proclaimed” self-rule zone independent of federal authority he, like his father, claim have no authority; especially over federal land. As a Bundy lieutenant claimed, the insurgency’s hope is that the invasion and occupation in Oregon is just the beginning of a nation-wide movement. Blane Cooper said the insurgents have “had enough tyranny” and that their illegal actions “will not stop here. The hope is this spreads through the whole country, the whole United States.”
Obviously no-one wants violence or bloodshed, except of course the Bundy insurgency. One of the Bundy brothers, Ryan, said the insurgents “are willing to kill and be killed in necessary;” likely to spark the 2nd revolutionary war promised during the Bundy ranch standoff in Nevada. However, the Bundy insurgents know they will never be killed, or confronted, or investigated, and certainly not charged with a crime.
This event, like the two previous attempts to incite a rebellion, will never be prosecuted because the rebels are white and hate the federal government. What nearly every American alive today knows if that the insurgents were people of color, law enforcement would already have swooped in and slaughtered the lot with extreme prejudice. But because they are white, heavily armed, hate the government and claim to oppose tyranny the insurgency will continue unabated and Republicans will hail them as patriots.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.