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Response to Oregon Militia Standoff Reveals Stark Double Standards


Social media is having a field day.

If you depend on the corporate media for your news, you may not have heard that 150 gun-toting militia are claiming U.S. government property for themselves. Social media users observing the media’s response to the armed takeover of a federal building by right-wing militia over the weekend are pointing out obvious double standards in how the media is treating white, right-wing militia members compared to black protesters.

Since taking over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge building southeast of Burns, Oregon, militia members led by Ammon Bundy, son of notorious Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, have made their intent clear to turn the building into a refuge for so-called “patriots” who wish to ignore federal government laws and regulations.

The occupation began after a protest in Burns against the re-sentencing of Dwight and Steven Hammond, who are facing 5 years in prison over setting fire to over 100 acres of federal property between 2001 and 2006. The armed occupiers have threatened to fire upon law enforcement officers and federal officials who attempt to re-take the building, saying they aren’t afraid to die for their cause.

The occupation has, at the time of this writing, gone largely unnoticed by the major media networks. While the burning of a CVS in predominantly-black Baltimore during the Freddie Gray protests received wall-to-wall coverage on almost all of the networks, and while nearly every media outlet in the country covered the burning of the QuikTrip store in Ferguson that was burned following the non-indictment of Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown, the lack of coverage of an armed, white, right-wing mob forcefully taking over federal property seems like an afterthought to most of the corporate-owned TV networks.

Investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill pointed out the obvious double-standard on Twitter. Other journalists took part, along with activists pointing out the careful language the media uses to differentiate between black and white people with guns.

The militia members have called on other “patriots” to join the occupation, and to bring weapons.

 

 

Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact Tom via email at [email protected]



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