I learned a new pop culture word this week.
Texas now allows the open carry of side arms just about anywhere; an ammosexual is a guy who carries his penis in his holster for all to see. The bigger the better.
How would I feel if I was walking with my kids near a bubba carrying his gun? Not comfortable.
But you see, it’s ok. It’s a white guy.
How would those good Texans feel if suddenly lots of young black males or, heaven forbid, Muslim guys started parading around fully armed carting guns for all to see.
Hey! The law applies equally to every one, right? This old guy recalls when the Black Panthers began carrying legal guns in California when Ronald Reagan was Governor. He didn’t like it one bit when armed black men showed up on the steps of the state capitol.
Meanwhile up in Oregon the gun toting white guys of the militia seized an empty federal government building in the middle of nowhere to protest “tyranny”. This gun-toting terrorist insurrectionist “militia” is led by the sons of Cliven Bundy—the Nevada rancher who, with the aid of an armed group of anti-government protesters, stood down federal authorities in 2014 because he did not want to pay his his back taxes and grazing fees.
Can anyone of sound mind deny the connection between white privilege, state violence, guns and right-wing politics?
Ask yourself this.
What if radical black leftists, Black Lives Matter or a group of Muslims protesting recent comments from GOP Presidential candidates had seized this federal government building and occupied it?
Seems that there is more than just a bit of hypocrisy regarding how the United States government and its agents are apparently much more likely to use violence against people of color (and especially Muslims in the post 9/11 era) than they are white Americans.
Along with that observation, a powerful example can be summoned: Tamir Rice, a black child playing with a toy gun was summarily executed by the Cleveland police; white people like the Bundy clan can brandish real guns and point them at the police and federal authorities, yet somehow they manage to survive unharmed.
Of course there are the ignorant, those locked inside the right wing closet defending the Oregon “militia” brigands with claims that they are “freedom fighters” who are standing up against “tyranny”–as opposed to the plain fact that they are insurrectionists protecting poachers.
“Are the events in Oregon about more than race? Absolutely! Bundy’s Brigands are a nexus for many other important matters of public concern in American society.
The Oregon insurrection is an example of how the right-wing media has cultivated a culture of anger, aggrievement, anti-government conspiracy theories, and victimology among its consumers. The idea that publicly held land is a form of tyranny is absurd. However, the right-wing media and the Republican Party are part of a political religion which holds that the government is always the enemy.
In all, there is something profoundly wrong with America’s sense of civic virtue and righteousness when some would hesitate to call Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Black Lives Matter activists freedom fighters, but those same people enthusiastically embrace using such language to describe right-wing militias and anti-government activists who want to suck off the public teat while avoiding paying any taxes or fees to do so.”
Meanwhile Bundy’s goons are called a “militia” in the public media when all they are is rabble; terrorists if you like, taking up guns against a democratically elected government.
“Bundy’s Brigands are also an example of how certain economic interests are protected in America. If this group of terrorist insurrectionists had staged their “standoff” at Wall Street for example, they would have been beaten up, arrested, and disappeared by the police, private security forces, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation”.
One need only examine how the police and government agents treated the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. And they didn’t have guns. If Bundy’s Brigands were liberals and progressives demanding a fairer and more equal democracy, forming grange associations, or people’s economic collectives and banks, the reaction by the United States government and the corporate news media would be very, very, different. Moreover the efforts of the Bundys to privatize public lands falls directly into the hands of corporatists who would like to privatize everything and to whom the idea of the “commons” or the “public’ is anathema.
In the 1970’s the Feds took armed, aggressive action against the American Indian Movement and in the ’80s the police firebombed the headquarters of the African American radical organization MOVE in Philadelphia.
Bundy’s terrorists benefit from white privilege and the fact that the plutocracy supports the conversion of public land to private interest. Bundy wants to graze his cattle on public land and doesn’t think he should have to pay to do so. If the land was privately owned he could not do so without paying for the privilege. Not being allowed to graze his cows on land he does not own, land held in the public trust, however is “tyranny”.
The only reason he hasn’t been shot is that he is white. Had he been a black man who pointed guns at federal agents he would have been filled with bullet holes.
I too benefit from white privilege. But at least I am willing to admit it.
Admitting it is the first step to recovery.