We worry for the worst. Wary gets scary. Relations grow reactionary. We're susceptible to this, but built for better. On the eve of the most…
Here in Oregon a group of armed men seized a remote federal wildlife refuge, some claiming they are patriots ready to kill and be killed protecting their freedom and land. How silly. They are angry because a father and son got longer prison sentences for arson, probably lit to cover up their poaching.
What are the guns for? Do they intend to shoot the sheriff, or maybe the receptionist at the BLM, or anyone daring to object to their rude and childish tactics? In the last election cycle, some conservatives put sniper rifle scope sights over images of liberals, “targeting” them for what – execution? intimidation? Do angry men with guns have the “right” to “defend” their “freedom” to be arrogant law-breakers? This is another example of what I call “attacking with defensiveness.”
The news media slanted the reports to make them out as “protesters” angry at governmental over-regulation. Reports describe the occupiers as brave patriots out to rescue us from our government. Contrast this to how various black boys and men have been gunned down on the flimsiest excuses of imagined self-defense. ABC News repeatedly showed a black 17 year old knife-holding boy walking away from a policeman who then shot him 16 times, only they don’t show the 16 shots into a hapless, grounded, incapacitated victim, nor do they unpack the Orwellian secret grand jury process that almost always protects the police no matter what they do or how they do it.
Should the FBI or Oregon’s National Guard surround and invade the seized site, shooting all these terror-primed insurrectionists like they would if any blacks were to ever attempt such an audacious take-over? No. These good ole’ boys are hyped on their own delusions of grandeur, but they don’t deserve to be killed for it. Charged with trespass and fined for costs? Yes. Waited out and laughed off? Yes. Just don’t make them into some sort of heroes for their shallow, selfish cause. They don’t own that land. They don’t have the right to poach animals and torch property. They should pay for what their big egos have inflicted on all of us.
Much of the “I’m agin’ the gvmnt” rhetoric looks like mid-brain fear and hate resenting any fore-brain self-restraint and thoughtfulness. It’s a national neurosis, a cultural brain imbalance, pumped up by conservatives mostly. Anxiety and anger become the cause de celebre, rationalized and glorified rather than reasoned and resolved. “The government is our enemy” is cynical and suicidal. We are our government taking care of ourselves and our lands – including refuges for wildlife. Two hundred years of effort towards an inclusive, fair society should not be turned over to these takers. When they wave their flags bolstered by guns, they defile those flags almost as badly as cops who kill blacks because they can. America is better than both.