Twitter users are pointing out blatant double standards as a militia occupies a US federal building
A militia has taken over a US government building, but people are wondering how different the situation would have been if they were Muslim. (Twitter)
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A protest in support of an Oregon family facing jail time for arson has led to a US government building being occupied by a militia in the state.The headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge were taken over by dozens of people, many of them carrying semi-automatic weapons.
The FBI has said that they are aware of the situation, however the reaction from authorities is being criticized by Twitter users who argue that had the perpetrators been Muslim, things would be very different.
Ammon Bundy, the man who appears to be leading the occupation, called on supporters to join him in order to make a stand against what he feels is government oppression.
“ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED,” he wrote on Facebook.
The situation began after a protest in support of Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven. The father and son had been ordered back to prison after a judge ruled their sentences for arson had been too short. They claim they lit fires in 2001 and 2006 in order to protect their property from wildfires and invasive plants.
Far right groups who dislike government interference rallied in support of them, saying that the federal legal process was flawed.
As the news rolled out early Sunday, it was at first unclear whether the militia occupying the building was armed, however the local sheriff Dave Ward told people at the time to stay away until authorities defuse the situation. Most mainstream news outlets have now confirmed that many protesters were armed, however, Twitter users argue that's exactly the problem—several news conglomerates such as CNN and ABC originally called the demonstration "peaceful" and were slow to describe the situation as a take-over.
Such reactions from authorities and media outlets has been criticized as being too tame, with many people suggesting that if Muslims or black Americans—instead of white militiamen—had occupied a federal property, then there would be accusations of terrorism, perhaps even a military response and almost certainly a lot more protester deaths.
See some thoughts below, via Twitter.
Anybody asked for their religion yet? I guess Muslims wouldn't have survived the night. #oregonunderattack— Laura (@LeopoldineLilli) January 3, 2016
If these were Muslims or black people, Fox News would be crying for full scale attack,no survivors #OregonUnderAttack— Austin Cole (@Penguin_Cole) January 3, 2016