Two Americas: Ferguson, Missouri Versus the Bundy Ranch, Nevada

As we notedbefore, we can’t help but to contrast law enforcement’s reaction to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri versus law enforcement’s reaction during the Bundy Ranch fiasco.

1) The Bundy Ranch: On one hand, a large group of armed white men marched in a line of battle while at least one civilian rifleman in a sniper’s perch trained his weapon at Bureau of Land Management officials. In reaction, the government didn’t fire a single round or canister of tear gas, and eventually retreated, conceding the disputed ground to the Bundy militias. It’s important to note that the protesters turned out in support of a man who refused to pay his taxes and grazed his cattle without paying the accompanying fees. This man, Cliven Bundy, and his supporters threatened secession and armed revolt against the United States goverment.

2) Ferguson, Missouri: On the other hand, unarmed African American protesters in Ferguson, enraged and grieving from the death of an (again) unarmed black man named Michael Brown who was shot in the back by a police officer, have been confronted for several days now by police in full military regalia. This time, the rifleman in the sniper’s perch is a police officer — his scope trained on the protesters.

In Ferguson, law enforcement is vastly overreacting in the face of peaceful protesters, while at the Bundy Ranch, law enforcement vastly underreacted in the face of armed secessionists and scofflaws.

What’s wrong with this picture? Better yet, what’s wrong with the following pictures?

LAW ENFORCEMENT IN FERGUSON, MISSOURI:

LAW ENFORCEMENT AT THE BUNDY RANCH:

When some of us talk about “two Americas,” this is illustrates it — exactly.

(ht JM Ashby)

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Salon.com. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.