Saturday Night Card Game: What matters to us is what is being fought for, not the skin color of the people doing the fighting.
I don’t think we’ve written here yet about the Bundy Ranch standoff, mostly because we didn’t have enough information about the situation to make a judgment about what really was going on. And I didn’t have enough time to figure it all out.
Was it, as some portrayed, a heroic struggle against an overbearing and overly aggressive federal government (in which case we might have taken the side of the underdog) or, as Harry Reid has portrayed it, a bunch of domestic terrorists looking for a shoot up? Or somewhere in between?
Which gets me to the title of this post, “What if Bundy Ranch Were Owned by a Bunch of Black People?,” which is the question posed by Jamelle Bouie at Slate.com:
A few things.
First, this entire incident speaks to the continued power of right-wing mythology. For many of the protesters, this isn’t about a rogue rancher as much as it’s a stand against “tyranny” personified in Barack Obama and his administration.
Second, it won’t happen, but right-wing media ought to be condemned for their role in fanning the flames of this standoff. After years of decrying Obama’s “lawlessness” and hyperventilating over faux scandals, it’s galling to watch conservatives applaud actual lawbreaking and violent threats to federal officials.
Finally, I can’t help but wonder how conservatives would react if these were black farmers—or black anyone—defending “their” land against federal officials. Would Fox News applaud black militiamen aiming their guns at white bureaucrats?
Somehow, given the degree to which right-wing media traffic in racial paranoia, I think we’d be looking at a different situation if the Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.
Needless to say, I disagree with most if not all of what Bouie says there, but particularly the notion that conservative reaction would be different if “Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.”
That reflects just how deeply liberal and left-wing writers don’t understand, or care, that what matters to us is what is being fought for, not the skin color of the people doing the fighting.
They are the ones obsessed with race, not us.
So to the extent the Bundy Ranch people deserve our backing (a decision, again, I have not resolved), such backing would be just as strong — if not stronger — if “Bundy Ranch belonged to a bunch of black people.”
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