Can We Talk About Oregon? In 3…2…1…

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So let’s say we ignore them and they slink back home after they run out of Gummy Worms and the batteries on their Nintendos die. Do people with their mentality ever actually learn a lesson from being ignored? Will they embark upon self-reflection and arrive at the conclusion that perhaps their stunt was misguided?

Ammon Bundy, from the primo genetic lineage of Cliven Bundy, has “taken” a building on a federally protected wildlife preserve near Burns, Oregon. Ammon and his little friends are angry that their fellow ranchers, the Hammonds, have to serve jail time for arson. Ammond says the Hammonds shouldn’t have to go to jail and THE GOVERNMENT IS CRUSHING US WITH ITS TYRANNY and WE ARE ARMED AND PREPARED TO DIE!

So many things to discuss – so many hilarious and infuriating and painful things. Here’s my list, and it is by no means exhaustive.

3 Hilarious things:

The truly, goddamn hilarious. The idiot nut jobs in Oregon who think they’re total badasses, defending the Constitution by staging the “takeover” of an empty building with a gift shop and bathrooms in the remotest region of the state are being eaten alive by the Internet. Here are my favorite three hilarious things so far, though the siege they planned to last for years is still only in its third day…

1. Apparently, they need snacks. The Internet responds. One wonders what kind of plea they’ll send out when the toilet paper is gone.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 11.28.09 AM

2. The Hashtags alone. #YallQaeda, #VanillaISIS, #Yeehawdists #YokelHarem. There are more, but you get the picture.

3. This goodbye video shot by one of the #Yeehawdists. Honestly, I was laughing before he even uttered a word:

I mean, can’t you just see him holed up on a pleather couch in the Visitor Center between the women’s restroom and the men’s, checking his phone to see how many views he’s gotten? One view = one lone tear that will roll slowly down his cheek. Help him out, man, he clearly needs validation … I mean, I don’t usually outright mock someone’s stupidity and bad acting, but dear god, if THIS is what he’s willing to die for? Even the people whose cause they seem to be “defending” are saying, “Stop. You don’t speak for me.” Please, somebody get this man something real to care about, or at least a Razzie and that Master Class in acting with Kevin Spacey I keep seeing advertised on my Facebook feed.

2 Infuriating things:

Okay, if not infuriating, at the very least they make me go:

via GIPHY*

1. Deflection. Oh, the deflection. In one case I was specifically invited into a conversation on a friend’s Facebook page, wherein a discussion of whether or not the way these morons are being treated in the press and by law enforcement constitutes evidence of White Privilege. I had, earlier in the day, taken issue with The New York Times on that front, inferring that had they not been White, media coverage and language would have been different:

Aliza FB Screenshot

Anywho, in this conversation on a friend’s page, instead of being able to discuss this double-standard of how White criminals were portrayed vs. their Not-Exactly-White* counterparts, I was informed that Muslims are White. A kindly Ph.D. in Genetics let me know that there are only three true races: Black, Asian and Caucasian. Most Muslims are Arab, who are genetically classified as Caucasian. When I say “White,” what I really mean is “multigenerational American male of largely Caucasian extraction.” The term “White” is too racially loaded, and my using it was making things worse. Do you see where she was going with this? Neither did I. My questioning whether she was intending to completely ignore the question of privilege, or was she just having trouble seeing the forest for the trees ended up being the last word. I wasn’t expecting it to be the last word, but the fact that it was sort of gave me my answer. Or maybe she was just off doing things with her multigenerational family of largely Caucasian extraction.

2. The argument that we should not give them the attention they seek in the media and elsewhere. There are only, like fifteen of them, maybe, and they’re kooks. So let’s say we ignore them and they slink back home after they run out of Gummy Worms and the batteries on their Nintendo 3DS die. Do people with their mentality ever actually learn a lesson from being ignored? Will they embark upon self-reflection and arrive at the conclusion that perhaps their stunt was misguided? Or will they be angry and frustrated and try for a target actually populated with humans instead of birds? It is not contradictory to fall over laughing at their choice of targeted “occupation” and their plea for snacks, and still feel that this group of armed men who seized a building on federal land should be dealt with swiftly, forcefully and publicly by law enforcement. For the love of Oregon’s parents’ SANITY, schools in this area are closed now for the week! That’s a pretty massive disturbance in the lives of many. If such a danger exists that schools are closed because of these yokels, I do believe it is worthy of media coverage. I mean, wasn’t it all over the news when Los Angeles closed all its schools in December because of a threat?

And finally…

1 Painful thing:

In Cleveland, a twelve-year-old black boy was killed by police for playing with a toy gun they mistook for real after taking not even ten seconds to assess the situation. The police involved will not even be indicted.

In Oregon, a bunch grown white men – with actual guns they are threatening to use – have seized a small building on federal land. They’re being treated like 12-year-old boys with toy guns, posting on social media inviting all their friends to crash the party and asking them to bring snacks.

Aliza Worthington grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Baltimore. She began writing in 2009 at the age of 40. Sometimes her writing follows The Seinfeld Model of “no learning, no hugging.” Other times it involves lots of both. She blogs about Life, Liberty and Happiness at “The Worthington Post.” Her work has also appeared in Purple CloverCatonsville Patch and Kveller and Daily Kos. She has won BlogHer Voice of the Year awards in 2013 and 2015. Follow her on Twitter at @AlizaWrites. She is proud to have an essay in the newly released anthology, Love Her, Love Her Not, The Hillary Paradox.

*I need to give credit to my friends who helped me with this piece unknowingly. I got that awesome GIPHY from Kelly, and the term, “Not-exactly-white” from Leslie. Thanks, gals.

Image via memes.com

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