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.
— Floyd (@FloydXXI) January 3, 2016
— TariqTouré (@TariqToure) January 3, 2016
Did I miss the call for the national guard in Oregon? I recall them in Ferguson and Baltimore. #OregonUnderAttack
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 3, 2016
We send national guards & military to #Ferguson for protesters & watch on every network but white militia take over a federal building, nah.
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) January 3, 2016
150 domestic terrorists take over a fed building. Can only assume there's wall-to-wall cable news coverage, right? Oh. #OregonUnderAttack
— Sahand (@Sahand_1) January 3, 2016
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.
Not a single cable network is covering this Oregon militia situation
— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) January 3, 2016
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 3, 2016
So what qualifies you as a "militia"? Cause last time I checked 150 men with semi automatic weapons in my hood is a gang #OregonUnderAttack
— Glenda TheGoodBitch (@jstcallmesweet) January 3, 2016
— D.B.Anderson (@DBAnderson1) January 3, 2016
— Indigenous Threat (@remembermarias) January 3, 2016
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]