Two stunningly depressing things happened in America on Thursday evening that demonstrate just how differently the country treats its citizens based on race – and they happened more or less at the same time.
In North Dakota, police driving armored vehicles (yes, like tanks) and armed with rifles, sound cannons, and shotguns loaded with “nonlethal” beanbags marched in formation to shut down peaceful protesters opposing an oil pipeline. A few states over in Oregon, a jury found that the violent militia group which led an armed occupation of a federal wildlife reserve was innocent of all charges and free to go. America is two countries with two different sets of rules, and Thursday evening highlighted that fact in stunning detail.
On Twitter, user @theshrillest put the juxtaposition in all its glory in a single screengrab. His twitter feed was a mixture of stories about the violent suppression of a peaceful protest led by a Native American tribe directly affected by the environmental impact of the oil pipeline and news of the release of the Bundy militia – a group of out-of-state rabblerousers who believe the federal government should be disbanded.
— a shrill of hope (@theshrillest) October 27, 2016
This is the second time the Bundy family threatened to kill federal agents and expressed a desire to lead a revolution only to see zero charges stick to them. The group will now get to return to Nevada, just in time for an election in which many conservatives are openly stating that they plan on taking up arms if Trump loses.
On November 8th, I'm voting for Trump.
On November 9th, if Trump loses, I'm grabbing my musket.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 26, 2016
In short, it’s a scary time to be a democracy. An Oregon jury just gave every white male in the country a not-so-subtle nod that violence against the government will be met with a look the other way when it comes time to a trial.
Featured image via Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office/Getty Images