So I’ve finally decided to sit down and write in this blog again. I apologize for the little vacation there, new job and all.
I have a new job teaching at a charter school. One of the classes I taught was a 9/10th grade Language Arts: U.S. Seminal Documents. In this class we went over, in great detail, documents such as the Washington Farewell Address, The Constitution (Articles and all), Bill of Rights, Executive Order 9066, Emancipation Proclamation, etc. We went over these documents not for the historical sense but rather for the language sense, to help students develop a better understanding of what many of these mean. Obvious vernaculars change over the decades and we often times can lose things in translation, even from our own language.
With this, we have many great discussions both about such documents and also about current events and how they relate. This class is full of some extremely intelligent kids (who don’t give themselves as much credit as they deserve) that bring a lot of valid discussion points to the table, from both sides of the argument. Anything from Donald Trump, #BlackLivesMatter, even to the Bundy situation over in Oregon (and previously in Nevada) had been points of discussion.
Getting into the point of this post, however, with the Bundy Revolution that is happening I had a student bring up a great point to me: How is it we are allowing things such as Cliven Bundy and his supporters to point guns at federal agents, using women and children as human shields and now allowing his son, Ammon Bundy, to take over federal property and treat it as his own personal playground without making a single arrest? Now, yes, one arrest has been with with Ammon Bundy’s crew, merely for one of theirs driving a federal vehicle to get supplies in town. No arrests have been made, however, towards what is essentially treason of fighting against the government, and ‘violently’ taking over federal land.
One great point I heard, and absolutely agree with, is the point that if these were Muslim-Americans this would have been over in 48 hours or less after a full-scale assault on the wildlife refuge, with much bloodshed on both sides. If these were #BlackLivesMatter protesters who did this, we’d probably have had this shut down within a week, with minimal bloodshed, if any at all, but force would still be used by the Feds. Yet here we are, many weeks later, still allowing these rebels to turn this into their own personal circus, slowly destroying whatever they please within this complex. We had the local sheriff go in and greet Bundy with a warm handshake, not handcuffs. What is wrong with this picture?
Let’s rewind here now a bit. We had Ferguson and Baltimore full of #BlackLivesMatter protesters with peaceful demonstrations getting gassed and mistreated. Yes, I understand some people took advantage of the situation and took to looting but at the root of the true #BlackLivesMatter movement is peace. You cannot bundle some idiots who decide to hide under this banner for their own personal gain with this. I respect #BLM even with their protest at the Mall of America and various highways/airports. People say this is stupid and they’re just disrupting travel or the economy, but remember a certain Rosa Parks who disrupted this and sparked a true Civil Rights revolution? This is peaceful protest at it’s finest. True civil disobedience. Civil disobedience doesn’t involve a gun, or even the threat of violence. True civil disobedience has the potential only to harm the one who is protesting. What is Bundy doing? Arming himself to the teeth, threatening to shoot if the need arises. Where is the end game here? At what point does Bundy just think he can walk out of there?
The sad thing is, after what happened with his father and his supporters down in Nevada, it isn’t far-fetched to think that Bundy and his rebels will walk out of there just fine eventually. They saw how successful Nevada turned out, so why not Oregon? Where is this going to happen next? We have a domestic terrorist shoot up a Planned Parenthood and arrest him, but we allow this? The sad thing is that there are politicians, some of which are running for the highest office in the land, who have praised both of these guys. Why are we enabling this?
We enable these things, collectively as a society, by not calling for action to be taken. We sit idly by because we’re not in Oregon. We sit idly by because we don’t ranch in Nevada. We sit idly by because we don’t go to Planned Parenthood. We sit idly by because we sleep safe and warm at night. When do we start demanding change? Change starts with all of us. Change starts when we stop allowing guys such as Donald Trump to spew his hate all over the airwaves. Change starts when we hold Ted Cruz accountable for saying he’s going to make sand glow in the Middle East. We’re allowing hate to win because nobody is standing up for it because it doesn’t affect us yet.