Is the Oregon militia verdict another example of white privilege? | The Tylt
Charged with numerous felonies after their armed takeover of a federally owned wildlife sanctuary in Oregon last winter, anti-government crusaders Ammon and Ryan Bundy were found innocent of all charges. Is their acquittal the latest and most glaring example of white male privilege in our legal system? Or was justice served? Scroll down to read more perspectives and vote!
Is the Oregon militia verdict another example of white privilege?
Supporters of the Bundys and their armed takeover rejoiced at the verdict.
Many critics say the Bundy brothers were acquitted because they're white, and because it's acceptable and even heroic for white people to protest the government (even with guns). In this past year alone numerous protests by unarmed people of color ended in violence, shootings, and deaths.
The jury agreed with the Bundys' defense: that their act was legitimate political protest against an overreaching government. They were tried and found innocent.
"...the defense sought to make its case about a political protest—one about protesting the federal government’s ownership and management of public lands. 'The people have to insist that the government is not our master; they are our servants,' Ryan Bundy said during his closing statement to the jury. Bundy added the occupation had 'nothing to do with impeding and preventing the employees of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.'
Other legal experts are confounded by the verdict.
The Bundys and their cohort did $6 million worth of damage to the facility and lands during their 41-day standoff.
Others say the verdict was fair, and that the Bundys were persecuted for protesting unjust laws.
Some warn that this verdict sets a dangerous precedent that armed takeovers of federal lands will go unpunished.