Justice

Why Are Oregon's Protesters Called 'Militiamen,' Not Terrorists?

The first report I saw on this armed militia situation at the Oregon Wildlife Refuge started with “peaceful protesters.” To me that was shocking. I cannot understand how firearms and peace can coincide. Their unwarranted actions are peaceful, marching and planting flowers, but the silent reminder hanging on their belts contradicts their message. The armed militia should be dialing in their scopes on a more legitimate peaceful solution, rather than aiming for a course that creates chaos.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About the Crisis in Oregon

This led me to respond on Facebook about the serious hypocrisy happening — without any serious media attention or action by law enforcement:

#OregonUnderAttackEveryone needs to relax. It's just a bunch of white men practicing their second amendment right!...

Posted by Marwa Balkar on Sunday, January 3, 2016


The true issue I see with this is the difference in backlash, or lack thereof. Our country should be reporting these stories with the same convictions regardless of the participants’ backgrounds. If we imagined the same story being told, but the people involved were Black, would the reports still say “Armed Militia in Peaceful Protest?” In November 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed for simply holding a toy gun. What if there were 300 adult Tamirs with real guns? How would our country respond? If the story read “300 Armed Muslims Occupy Wildlife Refuge,” we would be in an uproar. Can we truthfully rule out the idea that it would not be labeled as a terrorist plot? Luckily for this group, there is no deeply negative stigma attached to them. They get to pass through without being labeled the right-winged extremists that they are.

Sad, but DEFINITELY true.

Posted by Occupy Democrats on Monday, January 4, 2016


Yes, I am fully aware that this armed militia is in fact acting in peaceful ways. I cannot, and do not, compare it to an actual attack. It is peaceful now, but we cannot dismiss the fact that this was the same family that was aiming snipers at federal officers during the Bundy standoff in April 2014. The Bundy standoff happened in Nevada where the father, Cliven Bundy, had a “peaceful” standoff with the feds when they came to collect the 20 years of unpaid taxes the Cliven owed the government. This is the same man who, with an interview with CNN, suggested that Black people were better off as slaves because they were kept in a better family environment. He quickly gained a lot of traction with high profiled supporters, including the GOP candidate Ted Cruz. The Bundy family, who are currently participating in the Oregon wildlife refuge takeover, said they would not rule out violence if needed. I am praying it stays as peaceful as they are portraying it to be and not resorting to extremes. After all, the Hammond Family, the ones who are jailed for their actions, have reported that they do not want the assistance from the Bundy family. If that is the case, this ruckus appears to be an unjustified response. The Bundy family seems to be making this incident as a platform for their own issues. So one can ask his or herself, what is the true motivation behind this movement that they are attempting to kick into action?

RELATED: People Are Furious Over Media Hypocrisy Toward Oregon's Militiamen