Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bundy Ranch, Privilege, And Cattle

If you want to know what I mean by privilege, take a look at the Bundy Ranch incident in Nevada this weekend.

A Nevada cattle rancher appears to have won his week-long battle with the federal government over a controversial cattle roundup that had led to the arrest of several protesters.

Cliven Bundy went head to head with the Bureau of Land Management over the removal of hundreds of his cattle from federal land, where the government said they were grazing illegally.

Bundy claims his herd of roughly 900 cattle have grazed on the land along the riverbed near Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, since 1870 and threatened a "range war" against the BLM on the Bundy Ranch website after one of his sons was arrested while protesting the removal of the cattle.

"I have no contract with the United States government," Bundy said. "I was paying grazing fees for management and that's what BLM was supposed to be, land managers and they were managing my ranch out of business, so I refused to pay."

The federal government had countered that Bundy "owes the American people in excess of $1 million " in unpaid grazing fees and "refuses to abide by the law of land, despite many opportunities over the last 20 years to do so."

However, today the BLM said it would not enforce a court order to remove the cattle and was pulling out of the area.

"Based on information about conditions on the ground, and in consultation with law enforcement, we have made a decision to conclude the cattle gather because of our serious concern about the safety of employees and members of the public," BLM Director Neil Kornze said.

"We ask that all parties in the area remain peaceful and law-abiding as the Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service work to end the operation in an orderly manner," he said.

Guy grazes his herd on federal land for 20 years, doesn't pay a dime.  Feds show up to actually do something about the guy squatting on federal land for two decades, it triggers a showdown with dozens of armed militia types ready to put a few holes in some feds and start another Ruby Ridge.  Feds wisely figure this is exactly what these assholes want and leave for now.

Here's where the privilege comes in. 

Can you imagine what the reaction of America would be to a black cattle rancher grazing cattle on federal land, without paying the feds, for 20 years? Think about how that would be reported.  Cliven Bundy is considered a patriot and hero for resisting the awful mean ol' federal government, despite breaking the law for two decades plus.  If he was black, the calls from the same exact people now hailing him as a hero would be far, far different.

Furthermore,look who showed up to help Bundy.  What do you think FOX News's reaction of an armed group of black men showing up to defend that cattle rancher from the feds?  You'd be hearing about race wars and all kinds of crazy shit.  Worse, the white militia guys showing up now to defend Bundy would absolutely be on the scene hunting down the black ranchers.

It would be chaos.  And it sure wouldn't have ended peacefully, that's for damn sure.

ABC News calls Bundy a "defiant cattleman".  If he was black, he would be a "militant thug."

And then he'd be dead.


WAAngel said...

I have to wonder who they think the BLM is? They are OUR land managers, woring to protect and manage OUR land. This creep is stealing from all of us, even the gun toting asshats that showed up to "protect" his rights.

RepubAnon said...

The breathless media narrative is that the rancher "won" - it's a bit early to say that. If the BLM caves in and does not come back and clear the cattle from the land, then the rancher will indeed have "won".

However, this may be more of a wait-and-see game. The police let the Occupy Movement stay put for a while, and then swooped in suddenly and cleared them away from the areas where they were camped out. That may be the strategy here - wait for another shiny object to distract everyone, then return and continue moving the cattle off the land... after the fall elections.

Meanwhile, there's also the question of the drought. If there isn't enough water or food for the cattle, the problem may solve itself.

I do find it intriguing that right-wing militia advocates don't have to obey federal law. Compare and contrast with anyone seeking to protest a G-8 meeting.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

I like to think that the Feds are playing the long game here. After all, they did wait two decades before taking action (thanks a lot, Ralph, for boosting that moron into the White House for eight and giving us so much more to worry about) so they can plausibly lie low for a bit longer - to let the heavily armed anger management cases disperse, if nothing else - before swooping in to confiscate the illegal cattle and collecting on the bill for unpaid fees plus fines and interest. This could potentially be really sweet.

As an aside, here in Utah I am surrounded by entitled goobers who have convinced themselves that the sole proper function of the federal government is to maintain public lands - free of charge, naturally - until some one figures out a what to turn a quick buck, at which point the feds are morally obligated under Laws both Natural and Godly to turn the land - free of charge - over to those who covet it most enthusiastically.

It's, um, kind of weird out here.

rikyrah said...

he was a mooch. he was a leech.
Mofo doesn't pay for 20 years, and thinks he has a leg to stand on.
yeah, ok, whatever.

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