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Glen Ford – Why the Feds Punk Out When Confronting White Rightwing Insurgents

“How is it that the Superpower of Policing and Prosecution seems to fear a confrontation with groups with names like the Oregon Bearded Bastards?”

The armed right-wing activists that seized control of a federal wildlife sanctuary compound in eastern Oregon have already committed – and conspired to commit – enough serious criminal violations of U.S. law to land each of them in federal prison for the rest of lives. Of course, as Wajahat Ali points out in The Guardian newspaper, if the gunmen were Muslim or Black, they’d already be dead.

This is not a great revelation. Every Black child knows that white lives carry a premium value in the United States, while Blacks are casually killable. In a society where Walking While Black, Driving While Black or simply Breathing While Black is so often treated as a capital crime, the racial double standard is the norm. That’s why it’s insane to think that this society can be made worthy of Black habitation through tinkering with the system, piecemeal reforms, and appeals to the federal government for protection and relief. This is the same federal government that framed poor Black men from Miami and Newburgh, New York, on terrorist conspiracy charges, and that condones conspiracy indictments carrying life in prison for 100 Black youngsters from New York City housing projects based on their postings in Facebook. But the white, rightwing land grabbers who are in armed occupation of federal property can’t seem to buy a confrontation with President Obama’s FBI or any other armed federal agency. How is it, the people of the world must be wondering, that a country that runs by far the world’s biggest prison system, with the most heavily armed cops on the planet, equipped with the most advanced evidence gathering devices known to man – how is it that the Superpower of Policing and Prosecution seems to fear a confrontation with groups with names like the Oregon Bearded Bastards?

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