Frustrated with the lack of response by both media and the government to address a group of armed White men with anti-government views currently occupying a federal building in Oregon, Twitter users utilized their best tool to highlight just how much of a racial double standard this reveals.
Enter the world of hashtags.
Creating the tags #YallQaeda, #WhiteSIS and #VanillaISIS, Twitter users were able to comically expose the stark difference between how America responds to White men with guns versus unarmed Black people. Many pointed out the non-action of the government in this case, noting that the National Guard was called to police communities in Ferguson and Baltimore, even during non-violent protests and demonstrations to affirm that yes, Black lives matter.
Even after Ammon Bundy, the leader of the “militia” group, told outlets that the men were willing to fight and die if they are forcibly removed from the property, a handful of media outlets still failed to realize how potentially dangerous the group could be, calling the protest before the occupation and the break-in at the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge “peaceful.”
Yes, that happened.
As NewsOne previously reported, the group’s goal is to force the government’s hand in turning over land to ranchers. The ongoing battle was refueled by the case of two Oregon ranchers, 73-year-old Dwight Hammond and his 46-year-old son, Steven Hammond. The two — facing up to five years in prison — are scheduled to report to federal prison today for setting fire to public land in 2001 and 2006. Bundy, his brothers, and a group of armed men from neighboring states have attached themselves to the Hammonds’ case for land rights, even though they expressed they don’t want the “support.”
According to the Oregonian, the two changed their minds about Bundy’s occupation “after being warned by federal prosecutors to stop communicating with the militia.”
So there’s that.
It should also be noted that Ammon is the 40-year-old son of Cliven Bundy, the rancher who gained infamy when he refused to pay more than $1 million in taxes on grazing land for his cattle and held an armed standoff with federal agents in 2014 to defend his cause.
Spoiler alert: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management retreated, leaving Bundy to claim a victory. In the days that followed, Bundy told a crowd that Black people were better off as slaves.
Yes, that happened too.
And while the hashtags provide some sense of relief during a time when many are frustrated with the government’s cavalier attitude toward the armed men, they reveal a larger and more menacing American problem of absolving the bad behavior of White men while demonizing people of color: White men are always given due process or painted in a softer light, while Black and Brown people are automatically terrorists.
Leave it to Twitter to keep it real.
SOURCE: Twitter | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter, Getty