Acquittal of Bundy Militia Exposes Major Flaws Within "Justice" System
Everyone remembers the infamous militia standoff last winter that took place at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that lasted 6 weeks. It was yet another flare up involving the Bundy family that most people remember starting in April of 2014 when several white militia's gathered in a standoff against the Bureau of Land Management in Clark County Nevada.
The most stunning characteristic of these incidents, and others of their kind, is the docile reaction from law enforcement and the judicial system in its entirety to open death threats made against them when it's armed white right-wing conservatives vs everyone else...especially non-Whites. This is in an era when a protest against police violence by Black people who are unarmed gets responses that includes armored vehicles and a militarized police force that looks more like a paramilitary than anything else.
What is even more stunning, is that these people were found not guilty of conspiring to impede federal workers from doing their job at the refuge! A revelation that caused a major outcry online, even federal officials are worried about the type of impact Ammon Bundy's acquittal will have on future events of this type.
What is clear now, to those who are mindful, is that the criminal justice system (which many often call the criminal injustice system) and many in this society at large have some very deeply embedded biases towards different groups of people so extensive that if you're a white right-wing extremist you can be given the benefit of the doubt even when it comes to murder. That is clear now. The Bundy family are extremist Mormons, but you'll never hear them described this way very often. Not as often as you'd hear extremist Muslim had the occupiers been named Muhammad or Ibrahim. Imagine the wall-to-wall coverage this would get if Islamic militants, not right-wing militants, took over the building and pledged allegiance to ISIS claiming they had the 1st amendment right to do so and saying they'd kill anyone who challenged them. You think they would've even SEEN trial?!? Much less gotten off?!? No, of course not...and that's the problem.
Everyone in power, especially in positions of major power, are guilty to some degree or another of reinforcing these gross and democratically-problematic double-standards in how the law is selectively applied and enforced. In this case, the Feds were on the right side and were trying to put the Bundy militia members in jail, it was the "jury of their peers" that let the militiamen off the proverbial hook. However whenever you see politicians silent on issues like the Bundy's, but are the first ones on television pushing Islamophobic rhetoric whenever it suites them...then they are reinforcing these double-standards. Many have already began to criticize the selective use of the word terrorism by the government.
We also can't forget though that numerous Republican politicians have come to the defense of the Bundy's and their anti-government antics. These are the same hypocrites screaming for "law and order" whenever they see Black people protesting state violence. The hubris and ethnic arrogance is on fleek with these folks!
As quiet as it's kept, while American politicians fear-monger about Muslims to justify the actions of the military-industrial complex abroad, the real threat at home appears to be coming from right-wing militias. Newsweek wrote a really good article back in February of this year stating that right-wing extremists were a bigger threat to America than ISIS. However you'd never know that based on who has been defined as being the face of terrorism in America and that face just isn't white and Mormon, or white and right-wing. That face of terrorism in America is black and brown and mostly Muslim. So the growing threat of right-wing fundamentalism is largely being ignored in America because people care more about protecting white privilege and giving Whites the benefit of the doubt than they do exposing this problem for what it really is.
Anti-government militias have surged under Obama and are the highest they've ever been in years. However the media, biased and corrupt politicians and the establishment in general wants you to fear Muslims instead. They want to ignore this problem because of the race of the antagonists, plain and simple.
The Dakota Access Pipeline
It gets worse however when you juxtapose the reaction from law enforcement in the Bundy case versus not only what's happened at anti-state violence protests in Charlotte, Baltimore and Ferguson, but also what's happening currently near Native American land in North Dakota. The protests to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has received major attention on social media, but very little coverage in the mainstream news. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have remained silent on the issue of the #NoDAPL protests as we already know they are inclined to side with corporate interests and they don't want to say the wrong thing and piss liberal progressives off even more so close to the election. They care more about not being on the wrong side of their donors than they do Americans fighting to make sure their environment remains clean sadly. That is the sad state of affairs within the Democratic Party.
One group has legitimate fears about their land being destroyed due to oil leaks, so they non-violently protest, the other group storm a federal building while armed and hold it for weeks and threaten to kill cops. One group is composed of Native Americans from the Sioux tribe, the other are right-wing fundamentalist conservatives. Guess which group was treated like they were enemy combatants in Iraq?
America's two-tiered system of justice is very dangerous. Not only in the amount of damage it can do when it is not equal, but it can lead to future destabilization when the wool is removed from over people's eyes.
These are all flaws within the system. How can we trust a jury of our peers if they share nothing in common with us, yet we think they have the ability to be impartial. Cases like this make you question the entire system and everything you've been told about how it's supposed to work.