The treatment of the Oregon occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon protesters and the Standing Rock protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) by the US government, again highlight the double standard when it comes to the treatment of colored folks and whites. But at the heart of the different responses to the protests (one is pandered to and the other is violently resisted) they share in common something equally sinister profiteering.
Oregon at bottom is about exploiting of public property for private profit and the DAPL is about exploiting the environment (no matter the cost to the environment, in this case the Standing Rock water supply) for private profit.
Ammon Bundy and his crew were found not guilty of federal conspiracy charges last week by a jury of their peers. In a move similar to the state of Florida’s thrown case against George Zimmerman, which allowed him to get away without answering for his killing of Trayvon Martin, the US government threw the case. Much like the Martin case the government overcharged the seven Oregon occupiers and put on a half-hearted prosecution. Half- hearted because the government’s heart wasn’t invested in convicting a group of mislead dupes who in affect are doing its bidding and that of its corporate and finance partners.
In other words it’s the Settlers vs the Indians all over again. The US ruling class won’t be satisfied until all Native and now federal land is in the hands of the profiteers, in this case the logging, coal, mineral and gas industries who simply see the environment as something to exploit for money making.
The Bundy’s and their ilk were protesting government control of Western land; period Initially they were said to be defending a rancher family the Hammonds who had been convicted of starting fires on federal land. But that was used as cover by Ammon Bundy and his brother and the assortment of right wing militia and patriot and White Supremacists who gathered with them at the reserve in Burn, Oregon.
The Bundy’s are playing the part of new Settlers who invade federal land and Indian protected lands, pick a fight with the government and try to gain sympathy for the cause which they hope will eventually effect government policy.
In this case they want the federal lands ceded to the States. The Bundy’s are part of the “Free the Lands” movement which is partly funded by the Koch brothers those notorious rich brothers who consistently work on changing public policy to fit their money making schemes. In this case they want to open federal lands so they can deforest them and make money logging with its new acquisition Georgia Pacific.
So far there has been little support for the idea. Westerners don’t support it and studies conducted by States examining the idea have found the costs of maintaining the lands prohibitive.
Ironically, the occupiers want the government to give them something which didn’t belong to the government in the first place, but was literally stolen by their ancestors and the US government from western Native tribes.
Bundy a devout Mormon alleges that “god” told him to take over the Muellar reserve, but in reality it was a Higher Power “corporate greed” that has been whispering in his ear.
And what’s the deal with White people who claim to be close to god but hate God’s people especially if they are colored? Bundy in a New York Times interview after his escapade in 2014 wondered out loud about “the Negro,” “are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”
So add to the mix White Supremacy, Manifest Destiny ( the religious inspired right of the settlers the White folks to take anything that belongs to Colored people’s hell even the Colored folks themselves) and the profit motive and it’s not difficult to understand why the Settlers were let go and the Indians were arrested and overcharged after being attacked by two legged dogs driving military vehicles wearing riot gear armed to the teeth who proceeded to mace, beat, fire rubber bullets, and sic four legged dogs on peaceful protestors, seeking to protect the Standing Rock water supply.
Incidentally, the original pipeline was re-routed to run adjacent to Indian land, water supply and sacred sites after the predominantly White city of Bismarck, ND complained that the it was being built too close to its water supply. Apparently when considering another route the same concern was not afforded the Indians. After all it’s okay to pollute colored folks water (think Flint)..
The disparate treatment of the two protests reveals that those who run this country after all this time still have no respect for Indians their culture or their land. They have but one god: money one motivating principle the profit motive. They won’t stop their drive to exploit and subdue the earth and all its resources until they are resisted, by words or blows or both.
justice then peace