Monday, October 20, 2014

Cliven Bundy in Bizarre Video for Black Candidate: ‘It’s Almost Like Black Folks Think White Folks Owe Them Something’

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Cliven Bundy, the defiant “Patriot” Nevada rancher who led an armed confrontation with federal agents in April – and who has still not faced any consequences in its aftermath – continued making the far-right political rounds in Nevada this week by appearing in a video promoting the candidacy of Independent American Party candidate Kamau Bakari.

This is somewhat remarkable, considering that Bakari is African-American. Rather than run away from Bundy’s reputation as a racist — well earned, after his widely publicized remarks about race in the immediate aftermath of Bundy’s showdown — the two of them went on the offensive, attacking his critics for their “political correctness,” which Bakari says is “bad for America.”

But none of it is as remarkable as the exchange between the two men, in which Bundy complains that “a man ought to be able to express himself without being called names”, and adds: “It’s almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.”

The ad opens with a clip of U.S. Attorney General Eric holder, commenting in 2009 on the state of race in America: “In things racial, we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”

The ad then segues to Bundy and Bakari in western cowboy garb with their horses at a hitching post, as spaghetti-western music plays in the background.


BUNDY: Did he just call me a coward?

BAKARI: No, he just called all white folks cowards.

BUNDY: He must not know me.

BAKARI: You mean if someone called you a racist, you wouldn’t drop your head and be all scared and sad and run around here apologizing like them billionaire ball team owners did a little while ago?

BUNDY: No, I wouldn’t, and I’m sick and tired of people that act like that.

BAKARI: Cliven, you know that political correctness, that’s bad for America. A man ought to be able to say whatever you want to say.

BUNDY: That’s exactly right. I know black folks have had a hard time with slavery and you know, the government was in on it. And the government’s in on it again. I worked my whole life without mistreating anybody. A man ought to be able to express himself without being called names.

BAKARI: I hear you, Cliven, I believe you. A brave white man like you might be just what we need to put an end to this political correctness in America today.

BUNDY: Don’t sell yourself short. You’re taking a chance just being in my company.

BAKARI: I know. I’m as sick as you are. I feel ashamed when I hear black folks whining about “white folks this,” “white folks that.” Always begging.
BUNDY: It’s almost like black folks think white folks owe them something.

BAKARI: I know, I’ve got an idea. Let’s call Eric Holder up.

BUNDY: What do you mean?

BAKARI: Tell him you’re a white man that’s not scared to talk to him about race. And you know a black man that will stand with you.

BUNDY: I like that idea. Mr. Eric Holder, this is one white man that’s not scared to talk about race. I dare you to come to Las Vegas and talk to us.
BAKARI: And don’t give us that “you’re too busy” stuff. You weren’t too busy to go to Ferguson, Missouri.
As the Washington Post notes, Bakari is a fringe candidate who has virtually no change of unseating the incumbent, Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, in Nevada’s 1st District.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Oin Oakstar, 43, Key Figure in Shawna Forde Trial, Found Dead in Homeless Encampment

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

The death of Oin Oakstar at the age of 43 was probably not a surprise to anyone familiar with the Arizona man’s drug-and-alcohol-fueled lifestyle.

What surprises many, however, is where he died: In a homeless encampment under a freeway overpass in Everett, Wash., more than a thousand miles from Arivaca, his longtime home near the border.

Police found Oakstar’s body on Wednesday in a tent near an area frequented by homeless people, on railroad property near Interstate 5. There were no obvious signs of how he died, though natural causes are suspected, and police say they are awaiting word on an autopsy, the Everett Herald reported.

Oakstar lived for many years in Arivaca, where he worked for a number of drug-smuggling operations and avidly partook in the products he sold, as he later testified in Pima County Superior Court. It was also in Arivaca that, in 2009, Oakstar met Shawna Forde, a self-proclaimed leader of a “Minuteman” border-watch operation in the Sonoran desert— Forde, as it happens, grew up and lived in Everett at the time she became involved in the Minuteman movement.

Forde, a 41-year-old former hairdresser and teen prostitute, who led a group of her “Minutemen”—aided by one of Oakstar’s employers, an Arivaca man named Albert Gaxiola—to the home of another local smuggler, a man named Raul “Junior” Flores, in the early-morning hours of May 30, 2009. There, Forde ordered her gunman, a Washington white supremacist named Jason Eugene Bush, to shoot Flores, his wife, Gina Gonzalez, and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia. Gonzalez survived, and, in a dramatic scene, eventually drove the invaders from her home with gunfire.

Oakstar was arrested the next day by Pima County Sheriff’s Office detectives on suspicion of involvement in the murders. Based in part on information that Oakstar gave them, detectives were able to arrest Forde, Bush, and Gaxiola within two weeks of the killings. Oakstar’s testimony in 2011, describing the events leading up to the killings, also helped put all three of those suspects away.
Forde and Bush are now on Arizona’s Death Row, and Gaxiola is serving a life sentence with no chance of parole.

As Oakstar described it, Forde wanted to raid a “drug house” in the smuggling corridor where Arivaca sits and steal the smugglers’ drugs and money, all part of her plan to buy a borderland ranch and convert it into a training compound for her outfit, the Minuteman American Defense. Gaxiola obligingly provided her with the name of Flores—a local rival—and told her that there were several million dollars in the house. (The home invaders came away with nothing but handfuls of Gonzalez’ jewelry.)

Oakstar, who had a long criminal history related to drug dealing, testified that he had driven Forde and her gang past the Flores’ home earlier in the day. But when they came by to pick him up at his home for the robbery, they found him incapacitated by alcohol. Oakstar said it was a way out, since he thought he smelled a setup in Forde’s invasion plan, and he wanted nothing to do with hitting a rival where his family lived.

“Women and children are not part of it,” he testified. “There’s no reason to bring them into it.”

According to the Herald, Oakstar had been in the Pacific Northwest since at least this spring. He had been arrested in April 2014 by Seattle police for investigation for burglary and listed his address then as a Seattle homeless shelter.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Border Militiamen Detaining Immigrants, Sowing Fear Among Camp’s Neighbors

The border warriors of Camp LoneStar, heading out on patrol. Credit: Facebook

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Border militiaman K.C. Massey III was slightly apologetic about detaining three border-crossing immigrants during one of his outfit’s vigilante patrols awhile back—handcuffing the men behind their backs with zip ties—along the Rio Grande in southern Texas.

“Sorry we had to ‘Detain’ them,” Massey, one of the leaders of the militiamen that began gathering several weeks ago in Texas, wrote in a Facebook comment after video of the detentions was posted online. “[B]ut they were wore out and just fell down and gave up while the other 7-8 ran like gazelles!”

As the post explained, the militiamen detained the people—described as Honduran, Guatemalan, and Mexican—after they encountered a group of about 11 border crossers, most of whom took off through the brush. The three men they kept were “ziptied, debriefed, and given water,” and U.S. Border Patrol officers eventually arrived and took them away.

“WE DO NOT AIM TO DETAIN, we would much rather send them back into the river into Mexico and dissuade them and the cartel from crossing on the property we patrol,” the post explained. “All encounters were conducted in a humanitarian, professional fashion. Stay vigilant. Thank you for your support.”

But behind the guise of humanitarian treatment was a not-so-subtle smirking contempt. “One of the guys pissed himself!” remarked Massey. Another chimed in, “Dude pissed himself bad.”

A couple of Camp LoneStar's finest. Credit: Facebook.
Welcome to Camp LoneStar, a border militia outpost on the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas where antigovernment “Patriots,” heavily armed and hunting for immigrants, have seemingly taken the law into their own hands in recent weeks and made residents near their operation increasingly fearful and resentful.

The camp, a makeshift encampment, lies on the 21-acre property of a longtime Brownsville-area rancher named Cuban “Rusty” Monsees. Most of the participants pitch tents or park their vehicles there, then go out on patrols at nighttime or afoot in groups, always loaded with a variety of weapon. During the day, they use all-terrain vehicles to prowl along the border fence line or drive to overlooks along the Rio Grande, where they can catch people swimming across the river.

Indeed–just as the detention video post described–another video, posted by Massey on his Facebook page, showed the militiamen forcing border crossers who swam to the American side of the river to retrieve their belongings and swim back to the Mexico side. The video has no audio, but similar previous video from Camp LoneStar included the verbal harassment the border watchers were shouting at the swimmers.

Since it began, there has been a rotating cast of characters at the encampment. Initially, the self-described “commanding officer” at Camp LoneStar was an Arizona militiaman named Joe O’Shaugnessy, but he was eventually replaced by the more strident K.C. Massey.

Nearly all of the reporting on supposed militia activity on the Mexico border in Texas has emanated from the Monsees property, it seems. That includes early reporting from radio host Pete Santilli, as well as stories from the San Antonio Express-News and from Reuters, whose report included a detailed video profile. More recently, reporters from the Texas Observer spent time at the camp and came away with a scathing profile of Massey and his border watchmen.

The portrait of Camp LoneStar that has emerged in recent weeks is not pretty, depicting a camp awash in paranoia and testosterone, with feuds among participants and conspiracy theories flitting about like moths.

Massey and his fellow border watchers––including Monsees—are particularly paranoid about the Mexican drug cartels they claim are responsible for most of the human trafficking they observe—a claim that remains unsubstantiated. They insist on maintaining their anonymity out of fear of retaliation from the cartels; Massey told the Observer reporters that even disclosing how many men were there could endanger them.

“We don’t want cartel operatives knowing about our operation,” he explained. “Let’s just say if there were 10 of us, then the cartel would send 20 hit men to take us out.”

Likewise, Monsees explained to Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers in a phone interview that he was “No. 5” on the cartels’ hit list, a dubious story he has repeated to most of the “Patriots” in the camp. Monsees and his campers also have been promoting the claim that the Border Patrol has been arresting a large number of Muslims—including terrorists on the Most Wanted List—and then keeping the matter hushed up. This story has gained wide circulation among Tea Party members nationally, though more recently the concern has turned to paranoid worries that members of the ISIS have appeared at the southern border.

Indeed, one of the former participants at the camp—a “Patriot” named Rob Chupp, an Indiana man who was a participant in one of Santilli’s multiple interviews in weeks ago—said that he and others decided to leave the camp when it became clear that the overseers were not particular about whether or not felons could participate in the camp, nor whether illegal weapons might be in use there. It was a Camp LoneStar participant, John Frederick Forrester, who drew gunfire from a Border Patrol officer in pursuit of a fugitive recently. Forrester, in fact, is a convicted felon.
Chupp, who was involved in organizing an ill-fated “Patriot” border-crossing, said he and a number of other border watchers pulled out because of concerns about the legality of the operation.

“After the whole shooting thing, we figured out that some of them were felons,” Chupp told Hatewatch, “We asked several of the guys to leave that we found out were felons. Because yeah, we have a Second Amendment to protect your right to bear arms, but we are also a nation of laws, and there’s a reason we don’t let felons own guns. … And it came to be a problem, and it was loud, and ‘We don’t care what the gun laws are,’ and ‘If we want to have this weapon even if it’s illegal, we’re gonna have it.’ It just turned south, and we pulled out.”

Their neighbors are concerned too. Maria Cordero, an ACLU attorney whose home is just down the road from Monsees’ property, told The Observer that everyone in the neighborhood is fearful about the men in camouflage patrolling near their homes. “We don’t know who they are,” Cordero said. “Do they have criminal records? People are afraid, but more than that they are confused.”

Cordero’s husband described a neighborhood full of fearful families, unable to distinguish between the cartels, the militiamen, and real law enforcement.

“We don’t know who these people are. They’re carrying high-powered weapons. It makes us feel less safe, not more safe to have them here,” he said. “I just hope they leave soon.”

Thursday, October 02, 2014

County Auctions Off Property of Washington ‘Sovereign Citizen’

David Darby. (The Columbian/Zachary Kaufman)

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

It may have taken three weeks, three auctions and a handful of headaches, but the Clark County, Wash., Treasurer’s Office was finally able to auction off antigovernment “sovereign citizen” David Darby’s property this week.

Trudy Rouse, a spokesperson for the treasurer’s office, told Hatewatch that the property had been successfully auctioned to a buyer from Richland for $52,445 on Tuesday.

“They’re kind of wondering, why would I jeopardize it for $22,000,” the amount in back taxes that he owes,” Darby told Hatewatch. “The reason is, I own the land. They did not even put a lien against my land. They just said that I owed money and then auctioned it off. Well, they can’t really do that. So I’m going to take it into court.”

He added: “I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t think I could win.”

Darby, an elderly man who has been active in far-right politics in Clark County since the 1990s, when he organized militias locally, says he believes filing the federal suit will entitle him to force his case into a “common law court.”

“That’s why they don’t want me to come in to court, because they know I will bring common law into the court,” he said. “Once we get into court, the judge is going to have to handle the court in the common law mode.”

Darby’s fight with Clark County dates back to 2009, when he stopped paying taxes after, he says, he discovered the “truth” about becoming a “sovereign citizen” and the supposed illegitimacy of both federal and state governments. Darby claims that Washington state’s original constitution, drafted in 1878 and containing clauses that negate state and local taxes, is the only legitimate ruling document for Washington, and not the 1889 constitution now observed by the state.

Darby’s property first was auctioned on Sept. 16, ending a long legal battle in which Darby’s claims were largely rebuked. However, that buyer turned out to be a friend of Darby’s, who attempted to pay for the property in cash, was refused, and then backed out when fees were added to his check payment.

That buyer, a Vancouver man named Richard Grady, told Hatewatch that he believed Darby had a legitimate claim. He said he had known Darby for several years because they both like to work on cars—Darby is a noted Jaguar collector—and “because he has been involved in the sovereign citizens movement.”

“He has a valid, legitimate claim based upon the original Washington constitution, and I agree with that argument because I’ve been involved in a similar case in Oregon,” Grady told Hatewatch.

A second auction was held on Sept. 23. Clark County Treasurer Doug Lasher said that the second buyers backed out after driving out from the Pasco area to view the property, telling him that the place reminded them of the horror film “Wrong Turn” (in which several young people become lost in a wooded area and area attacked by cannibals). “Their kids were crying because they didn’t want to be there,” he said.

Darby says that he is waiting for the new buyer’s title to become official, at which point he intends to sue Clark County for damages in federal court, which is what he claims to have wanted all along.

“I’ve got to get ahold of the new buyer, and I will sit down with him and show him that the county fraudulently sold the land,” he told Hatewatch. “They did not explain that there are two similar lawsuits over this, and he is going to have to prove that the deed of trust or anything in the color of law will actually trump a land patent.”

Land patents, a bogus legal technique once promoted by the Posse Comitatus as a way to erase farmers’ debts, are now widely used by the sovereign citizen’s movement.

In 2009, Darby filed a number of “sovereign citizen” documents with Clark County that he claims established his “land patent” on his property, something explicitly recognized under the 1878 Washington constitution that Darby claims is the state’s real ruling document.

What’s next? Darby earlier told Hatewatch that he would give up the property if he lost his case in federal court, and would not engage in armed action as other sovereign citizens have: “I’m not going to do anything radical,” he said. “I have no intention of anything like that.”

Friday, September 26, 2014

Organizer Behind ‘Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia’ Says It Was A Hoax

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

A self-described “militia” that supposedly was organizing to monitor polling places in Wisconsin to prevent felonious Democrats and African Americans from voting has turned out to be an apparent hoax.

The owner of the Facebook page that announced the “Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia” recently changed the name of the page to “You’ve Been Trolled By Journalists With Zero Credibility” and has filled the page with posts describing how he created the page as a way to “troll liberals.”

The appearance of the Facebook page last week prompted a report at PoliticsUSA describing their efforts to organize Wisconsin conservatives to monitor the political activities of supposed felons. That in turn prompted news stories in the Madison Capital Times and elsewhere describing the “militia” and its activities, which included a supposed training session last Saturday.

Early this week, however, the page—originally a “Justice for Wisconsin” Facebook site—changed its content to make clear there was no militia, though it still claimed to be organizing poll-watching activities directed at Democrats.

Several posts
made it clear that the “militia” was “fictional” and, indeed, just a one-person operation intended to spark liberal ire:
How to create a militia: start a facebook page

How to piss off a bunch of pathetic liberals: specifically name the page something to do with a militia and prey on them like the stooges they are.

You clowns are a joke and your “media” is a joke. Fact check? Why bother? Report fiction as news! Bloggers and idiotic fake journalists have ZERO CREDIBILITY these days.

To those people who do not realize they are easily manipulated, I hope this is a wake up call. You’re f’n morons!!!!
Earlier posts on the page described the “Wisconinsin Poll Watcher Militia” as “a group of individuals who are concerned about the amount of outstanding warrants and are going to take any opportunity available to get some of these people rounded up and thrown into jail.”

As the week went along, the person running the page announced that the group was changing its name to “the Wisconsin Association of Polling Place Monitors.” It described tactics for harassing people suspected of voting with felony convictions. “Do not hesitate to drop instigators like a sack of potatoes,” it advised.

And the page claimed that the organizers indeed had held a training session on Saturday: “We held the meeting at a member’s house and it was done through private invites only. You silly fools who thought we would go to a public restaurant so you weasels could harass us into punching your faces in…. didn’t happen!”

Written queries from Hatewatch to the page’s anonymous owner went unanswered.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Whitewashing History

The Sand Creek Massacre
I see that a claque of conservatives in charge of Jefferson County, Colorado's education board have decreed that learning about the complications and ugly side of American history will not be tolerated any longer:

The materials should not include selections or works that encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife, or disregard of the law. Violence, if it appears, should be treated in the context of its cause and consequence. It should not appear for reasons of unwholesome excitement or sensationalism.
(i) Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage.
This is probably the kind of history they are wanting to eliminate:


The same year the Yana were exterminated [1864], settlers in Colorado, where gold had been discovered in 1858, embarked on a similar program. In this case, the tribes against whom they were arrayed, particularly the Cheyenne and Sioux, were considerably larger and more warlike than the Yana. Thus the conflicts with whites were even more inevitable, and again, the pattern repeated: depredations by whites provoked violent, often murderous retaliation from Indians, which in turn sparked wanton slaughter of any Indian in the vicinity.

The Rocky Mountain News in Denver led the campaign to wipe out local Indians, editorializing in March 1863: "They are a dissolute, vagabondish, brutal, and ungrateful race, and ought to be wiped from the face of the earth." After a series of skirmishes and killings, the News, in August 1864 proclaimed that August 1864 settlers and troops must "go for them, their lodges, squaws and all."

Col. John Chivington
Enter John Chivington, a Methodist minister and self-proclaimed Indian hater, who helped Colorado Gov. John Evans organize a "volunteer militia" constituted once again of "concerned citizens" whose characters were formed more by saloons than by churches. As Dee Brown notes in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Chivington made a public speech in Denver while organizing this militia in which he "advocated the killing and scalping of all Indians, even infants: 'Nits make lice!' he declared."

With his volunteer army in place, Chivington set out "on the warpath," as he put it, ordering his men: "Kill all the Indians you come across." When Indians attempted to negotiate, he was implacable, saying that he was not instructed to make peace, but only war.

When Cheyenne chief Black Kettle's peaceful band (which included some Arapahoes) traveled through Colorado en route to their new reservation in Oklahoma, they reported to Army officials at Fort Lyon, intent on avoiding conflict. Encamped at a site along a stream called Sand Creek, Black Kettle himself traveled to the fort in mid-November in hopes of securing their safe passage. The fort's new commander, Major Scott J. Anthony, met with Black Kettle in what appeared to be a friendly exchange.

As Brown describes it, "Several officers who were present at the meeting between Black Kettle and Anthony testified afterward that Anthony assured the Cheyennes that if they returned to their camp at Sand Creek they would be under the protection of Fort Lyon."

Whether Anthony was aware of Chivington's intentions or not -- and the evidence suggests he was -- his assurance had the effect of making Black Kettle's band sitting ducks. So certain were they of their security that they did not even set out watchmen to guard the camp at night.

Geoffrey Ward, writing in The West, describes what happened next:
Chivington and some 700 volunteers arrived at Fort Lyon on November 26, 1864, eager for a fight before their hundred-day term of enlistment ran out. Some officers protested that to attack the peaceable encampment would betray the army's pledge of safety. "Damn any man that sympathized with Indians," Chivington said. "I have come to kill Indians and believe it right and honorable to use any means under God's heaven ..."

At dawn on November 29, 1864, Chivington and seven hundred men, many of them full of whiskey they had swallowed to keep them warm during the icy all-night ride, reached the edge of Black Kettle's sleeping camp. "Kill and scalp all," Chivington told his men, "big and little; nits make lice." His men needed little encouragement.

One of William Bent's sons, Robert, was riding with them, commandeered against his will to show the way to the Cheyenne camp. Three of Bent's other children -- Charles, Julia, and George -- were staying in it. George Bent watched the soldiers come:
From down the creek a large body of troops was advancing at a rapid trot ... more soldiers could be seen making for the Indian pony herds to the south of the camp; in the camps themselves all was confusion and noise -- men, women, and children rushing out of the lodges partly dressed; women and children screaming at the sight of the troops; men running back into the lodges for their arms ... Black Kettle had a large American flag tied to the end of a long lodgepole and was standing in front of his lodge, holding the pole, with the flag fluttering in the gray light of the winter dawn ...

All the time Black Kettle kept calling out not to be frightened; that the camp was under protection and there was no danger.

Robert Bent was watching it too:
I saw the American flag waving and heard Black Kettle tell the Indians to stand around the flag, and they were huddled -- men, women, and children. This was when we were within fifty yards of the Indians. I also saw a white flag raised. These flags were in so conspicuous a position that they must have been seen ... I think there were six hundred Indians in all ... [T]he rest of the men were away from camp hunting ...

The volunteers began firing into the lodges. Warriors did all they could to defend their families. "I never saw more bravery displayed by any set of people on the face of the earth than by these Indians," a regular soldier recalled. "They would charge on the whole company singly, detemined to kill someone before being killed themselves ... We, of course, took no prisoners."

"After the firing," Robert Bent remembered,
the warriors put the squaws and children together, and surrounded them to protect them. I saw five squaws under a bank for shelter. When the troops came up to them they ran out and showed their persons to let the soldiers know they were squaws and begged for mercy, but the soldiers shot them all. I saw one squaw lying on the bank whose leg had been broken by a shell; a soldier came up to her with a drawn saber; she raised her arm to protect herself, when he struck, breaking her arm; she rolled over and raised her other arm, when he struck, breaking it, and then he left her without killing her. There seemed to be indisriminate slaughter of men, women and children. There were some thirty or forty squaws collected in a hole for protection; they sent out a little girl about six years old with a white flag on a stick; she had not proceeded a few steps when she was shot and killed. All the squaws in that hole were killed. ...

"In going over the battleground the next day," a regular army lieutenant testified later,
I did not see a body of a man, women, or child but was scalped, and in many instances their bodies were mutilated in the most horrible manner. ... I heard one man say that he had cut out a woman's private parts and had them for exhibition on a stick; I heard another say that he had cut the fingers off an Indian to get the rings on his hand; according to the best of my knowledge and belief these atrocities that were committed were with the knowledge of J.M. Chivington, and I do not know of his taking any measures to prevent them; I heard of one instance of a child a few months old being thrown in a feedbox of a wagon, and after being carried some distance left on the ground to perish; I also heard numerous instances in which white men had cut out the private parts of females and stretched them over the saddle-bows and wore them over their hats while riding in ranks.

Chivington and his men returned to Denver in triumph, claiming to have killed five hundred warriors -- instead of ninety-eight women and children and a handful of mostly old men. The Rocky Mountain News pronounced it a "brilliant feat of arms." "All did nobly," Chivington said, and one evening during intermission at the Denver opera house, one hundred Cheyenne scalps were put on display while the orchestra played patriotic airs and the audience stood to applaud the men who had taken them.

As word of these atrocities got out, there was a perhaps predictable outcry from white Americans with some vestige of human decency; but their outrage, as always, had no effect. The killers were downright gleeful about their "victory." David E. Stannard, in American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World, notes that the Rocky Mountain News declared that "Cheyenne scalps are getting as thick here now as toads in Egypt. Everybody has got one and is anxious to get another to send east."

Still, there was an outcry in Congress, and a Senate report eventually declared Chivington's "battle" what it really was: "a foul and dastardly massacre which would have disgraced the veriest savage among those who were the victims of his cruelty." As Stannard notes [p. 134]:
One of them, a senator who visited the site of the massacre and "picked up the skulls of infants whose milk-teeth had not yet been shed," later reported that the concerned men of Congress had decided to confront Colorado's governor and Colonel Chivington openly on the matter, and so assembled their committee and the invited general public in the Denver Opera House. During the course of discussion and debate, someone raised a question: Would it be best, henceforward, to try to "civilize" the Indians or simply to exterminate them? Whereupon, the senator wrote in a letter to a friend, "there suddenly arose such a shout as is never heard unless upon some battlefield -- a shout almost loud enough to raise the roof of the opera house -- 'EXTERMINATE THEM! EXTERMINATE THEM!' "

The committee, apparently, was impressed. Nothing was ever done to Chivington, who took his fame and exploits on the road as an after-dinner speaker. After all, as President Theodore Roosevelt said later, the Sand Creek massacre was "as righteous and beneficial a deed as ever took place on the frontier."

Trusting the word of such men was obviously a foolhardy proposition, but the Indians had little choice if they chose not to fight. As Black Kettle had found, making peace and trusting the word of white men was a mistake with broadly fatal consequences.

Incredibly, Black Kettle managed to survive the Sand Creek massacre, and his wife managed to survive nine gunshot wounds. But four years later, in 1868, they did not manage to survive their encounter with General Custer.

The only reason that conservatives want to eliminate students from learning about episodes such as this is that they make clear that the white-bread narrative of valiant white pioneers forging a greater America is a farce. Learning about Sand Creek might make young white Coloradans uncomfortable, just as learning about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II -- another subject likely to be dropped -- does.

And then these same folks turn around and complain about how education is being degraded these days.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Antigovernment Protest to ‘Shut Down All Ports’ Fizzles, Leaving Law Enforcement Waiting

Sheriff Omar Lucio at the Veterans International Bridge border crossing on Saturday.
(Credit: Maricela Rodriguez/Valley Morning Star)

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

The most recent attempt to protest federal immigration policies by shutting down the nation’s ports of entry along the Mexico border has, to no one’s great surprise, turned out to be another fizzle.

Calling itself a coalition of antigovernment “Patriot” groups angry about immigration enforcement, “Shut Down All Ports of Entry” had attempted to organize a protest Saturday morning at a number of the United States’ border crossings wherein participants would drive up to the port, turn off their trucks and cars, and walk away from them.

But on Friday, the organization took down its Facebook page and removed all content from its website except for a notice announcing that the protest had been cancelled out of fears of retaliation by the drug cartels.

“There has been an unsubstantiated threat of mass violence to attendees, along with very suspicious activity on the Facebook site,” wrote organizer Satsyi Barth. “These two items are more than enough for me to immediately stop any protest that was going to occur. Your lives, and the lives of our law enforcement, are more important than any protest.”

According to one news report, however, a small group of six protesters comprising three small cars did arrive at the port of entry in Brownsville on Saturday.

Local law-enforcement officials, meanwhile, were less than happy about the whole affair. Omar Lucio, the sheriff of Cameron County, Texas, told the Valley Morning Star in Brownsville that he and state and federal law-enforcement officials had prepared a significant response on Saturday to the protest, all for naught.

“We paid people overtime,” Lucio said. “Yes, I hate to waste that kind of money. As law enforcement, you never know what’s going to come up. You use these resources and other resources. We take care of people in the U.S.”

Lucio said that about 30 sheriff’s deputies, including a 15-man SWAT team, and a number of Texas Rangers and FBI officers were present at the Veterans and Gateway bridge crossings on Saturday.

It is unclear whether actual threats against the protest were delivered by Mexican drug cartels, or there simply was not enough support for the protest. Though the organizers called themselves a “coalition” of “Patriot” groups, Hatewatch could not find any other groups aligning themselves with the protest or publicly supporting it. Organizers told Hatewatch that members of other “Patriot” groups planned to participate, but could not name them.

Barth told the right-wing Breitbart website that the protest shut down because of threats:
Cartel threatening mass blood shed. One of the guys in Texas was followed into a Walmart, on the freeway, then approached at his hotel. At the same time, I got a bunch of requests to join the [Facebook] page from Sonora Mexico. I grabbed as many as I could, but realized it was getting out of control fast and I didn’t want them to see who the attendees were. This is after it was requested that we avoid certain areas, because of the recent border threats, unrelated to us. The cartel has people at every port listed..waiting for us, so I was told.
Two previous “Patriot” attempts at shutting down key U.S.-Mexico border crossings–one led by radio host Pete Santilli in July, and another in August by the Santilli-led “Border Convoy”–ended as non-events with similarly dismal turnout.