Brian Tashman of Right Wing Watch makes an interesting observation about the totally opposite reaction conservatives are having to the death of Sandra Bland and the big standoff last year involving Cliven Bundy’s ranch in Nevada. He writes:
Last year, a Nevada rancher who boasts that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing” become a hero of Fox News pundits and other conservative commentators for refusing to pay grazing fees he owes the government.
The rancher, Cliven Bundy, worked with militia groups and other armed demonstrators to resist law enforcement officials who tried to prevent further grazing after several court rulings went against Bundy, resulting in an armed standoff.
Bundy’s stardom among Republican politicians and right-wing pundits, however, didn’t dissipate when his supporters pointed their weapons at law enforcement agents, but only after he made disparaging remarks about how “Negros” were “better off as slaves,” and even then he still had some defenders.
But when a black woman named Sandra Bland was forced out of her car and to the ground by a Texas police officer after she reportedly failed to signal during a lane switch and declined to put out a cigarette, Fox News thinks this is a time to lecture viewers on how to be respectful to law enforcement. Bland later died in police custody in what investigators ruled was a suicide.
A very good point. It just reminds me once again how much the right wing relies on special pleading rather than on principled, coherent positions. Criticize the United States for actually doing something reprehensible and you’re a traitor; criticize the country for finally treating gay people as human beings and you’re just a good God-fearing patriot. Be brutally mistreated by government officials and it’s all your fault, especially if you’re not white; throw a temper tantrum about having to pay for the right to graze on public property and you’re a hero.