Racism and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

28 Oct
Define Refuge

Define Refuge

I was more than just a little bit disturbed yesterday afternoon upon hearing that all seven of the white terrorists who were armed and held the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge hostage, destroying many ancient Native artifacts during their occupation, were found not guilty of conspiracy. Ammon Bundy and his gang of heavily armed white terrorists occupied the Wildlife Refuge for 41 days and were found not guilty on all counts.

Here were the charges brought: conspiring to impede federal employees at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge through intimidation, threat or force stemming from the 41-day occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Four of the seven defendants were charged with possessing guns in a federal facility. Two of the defendants faced an additional charge of theft of government and destruction of property. How is it that they were acquitted of all charges? In what universe does this make any sense? If this were a group of people of color, can we really believe they would have been treated the same way and accommodated in the same manner?

This is particularly difficult to understand juxtaposed what is currently happening in North Dakota, where unarmed Native protesters are being arrested as they protest the destruction of sacred burial grounds on Native land — land that was guaranteed to remain Native in an 1850 treaty. Protesters have been attacked and arrested by police with military tanks. Native unarmed and peaceful protesters were attacked with pepper spray and police dogs.

It is also difficult not to contrast the treatment of Bundy and his fellow whackadoodles with the treatment of unarmed black people in America being killed. I am thinking of the shooting of physical therapist, Charles Kinsey, who on his back waving his hands asking, “please don’t shoot me.” and the over 130 unarmed black men who have been killed this year.

I invite everyone to watch this great video by Dena Takruri who ask the question: “What if the Oregon Occupiers were Black, or Muslim?” Here is the link.

I wonder if we can all sit with some discomfort with the verdicts for Bundy and his accomplices. Can we look at ways we can create conversations  around the issues of race, gender, power, and equity?

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25 Responses to “Racism and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge”

  1. Dr. Rex October 28, 2016 at 7:36 am #

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    My thoughts exactly … excellent read!
    “How is it that they were acquitted of all charges? In what universe does this make any sense? If this were a group of people of color, can we really believe they would have been treated the same way and accommodated in the same manner?”

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 28, 2016 at 7:38 am #

      What another horrifically sad day! Thank you for reblogging this, Dr. Rex. Love and Peace, Michael.

      • Dr. Rex October 28, 2016 at 7:41 am #

        You are most welcome, my dear friend … this world is definitely going topsy-turvy …. I think the country …. sad!! 😦

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 28, 2016 at 7:45 am #

        I can only hope this is a call to action for us to stand in solidarity and become activist. This is a queer issue, this is women’s issue, this is an issue that impacts all of humanity.

  2. Central Oregon Coast NOW October 28, 2016 at 7:49 am #

    Reblogged this on Central Oregon Coast NOW.

  3. bevanyardleigh October 28, 2016 at 8:11 am #

    I wish I had time to comment, but my friends and I now realize that we can legally mount an armed occupation of the DMV until we get photos we like on our ID. So nice to know that violent and destructive trespass is legal on government property!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 28, 2016 at 8:13 am #

      Exactly! This is my great fear. We continue to sanction white violence. Peace, Michael.

  4. Mr. Militant Negro October 28, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  5. renxkyoko October 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    This is so frustrating… and disgusting. How the heck did they win , I wonder.

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Yes, it is exceedingly frustrating and sets a very ugly precedent! Thank you for reading and commenting! Peace, Michael.

  6. Susie Snyder October 29, 2016 at 3:22 am #

    Michael I am so glad to read this post. I have been seething and unsettled by this verdict and it is so helpful to read your well articulated concerns. As always, you are such a sustaining and intelligent voice for social justice. Hope you are well.
    Susie

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 29, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      Susie, thank you for commenting here! Thank you for being such an amazing and brilliant and lovely human being. Love and Peace, Michael.

  7. John Love October 29, 2016 at 3:59 am #

    Reblogged this on The Love Chronicles and commented:
    This is a must read. As you ponder this Reblog Post, ask yourself if the part of the country the jury pool came from answers any of the questions that start with the word “why”!

  8. John Love October 29, 2016 at 4:08 am #

    I reblogged and added a comment. “This is a must read. As you ponder this Reblog Post, ask yourself if the part of the country the jury pool came from answers any of the questions that start with the word “why”!” One of my life long friends is a Psychologist living and serving on a Rez in South Dakota. What you allude to in your post about racism does not begin to cover what goes on in and around a reservation! The pipeline is the least of it!

    • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 29, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      John, thank you for your comment here. Yes, my article only addresses and names the racism. They systemic abuse to people of color in this country is nothing less than unconscionable. Peace, Michael.

      • John Love October 30, 2016 at 4:20 am #

        It was a great article, I do not know how I managed to leave two comments, I thought that first one was a prelude to the reblog, but since it was my first I probably got confused somewhere along the line!

      • Michael Hulshof-Schmidt October 30, 2016 at 7:56 am #

        John, I appreciate you reading and commenting! Peace, Michael.

  9. Jera Jones Igo October 30, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    Very well expressed. I am posting a link to this on my Facebook page!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thoughts for today, #431 …. “The Bundy Takeover and the Standing Rock Tribe …. Can you see the double standards? | It Is What It Is - October 28, 2016

    […] Racism and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge […]

  2. Racism and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — Social Justice For All | The Love Chronicles - October 29, 2016

    […] via Racism and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge — Social Justice For All […]

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