A group of peaceful protestors took over a small section of uninhabited public land in the Pacific Northwest. They were conscientious objectors to federal policies they claimed were unconstitutional and discriminatory. No one was hurt and no weapons were preemptively drawn. Law enforcement asked their leaders to a parley to bring about a peaceful resolution, and they quickly agreed. While on the way to that meeting, they were subsequently ambushed and bullets riddled their vehicle. With his arms wide in the air, one of the leaders was ruthlessly gunned down as a helicopter looked from above.
Another group of protestors, this one violent, took over six city blocks of mostly private property also in the Pacific Northwest. They objected to local policies they claimed were discriminatory. Weapons were drawn and violence was prominently promised. Law enforcement asked their leader to a parley to bring about a peaceful resolution, but they quickly refused. The group stole private property, vandalized public property, and committed a litany of criminal offenses. So far, that group has been coddled, pampered, and catered to by local and federal authorities.
The first group, the protestors at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, were protesting the Bureau of Land Management and its treatment of ranchers. They were led by law-abiding activists, Ammon Bundy and LaVoy Finicum; the former was found innocent by two juries and the latter was murdered by law enforcement. Although the men and their cohort had guns, they kept them holstered (at least, so far as LaVoy is concerned, until fired upon). The “Bundy group” threatened no one. They let law enforcement come and go respectfully and always made time to talk in an attempt to work out their differences peacefully. And most importantly, they chose to make their stand in a decrepit and publicly-owned forest office where no innocent people would be hurt.
The second group, the Antifa and Black Lives Matter protestors in Seattle and the area known as the “Capitol Hill Free Zone” (CHAZ) were protesting the death of a petty criminal and drug addict who died in police custody while under arrest for counterfeiting. That man, George Floyd, pled guilty or was convicted by nearly half a dozen judges or juries for criminal offenses. The CHAZ protestors ran out police under the threat of violence as well as residents of the area. They have evicted hundreds of people and stolen property from hundreds more. They are run by a warlord named Raz Simone, who seems to lack any principled position on any social issue; he is addicted to violence and pillaging. This group chose to take hostage thousands of people.
Why was LaVoy Finicum murdered and the Bundy Family shot like fish in a barrel for occupying unused public property while Raz the Warlord and his Antifa henchmen hurt, threaten, steal, and vandalize private and public property? What could possibly be the reason for the disparity between how these two groups are treated?
The answer is bigotry. And the answer is privilege.
Chiefly, those groups that are perceived to be under-privileged, under-educated, and of poor moral character can get away with a high degree of criminal activity because our system is prejudiced in favor of the poor and ignorant.
Likewise, our government is systemically prejudiced against those perceived to be hard-working, self-reliant, moral people.
All that one must do to receive the double-standard, biased blessing of government is belong to a socio-economic class with high out-of-wedlock births, low employment, and low literacy. But if you are a member of another identity group, you might be gunned down like dogs or LaVoy Finicum.
America’s racial disparities and injustices cannot be healed or amended until we recognize this tragic and inequitable miscarriage of justice and begin to address it.
To not dispense justice because one side comes across as morally destitute and situationally pathetic is itself injustice.