As I write this article, 150 “militia men” have captured a Federal Government building in Oregon to stage a protest – and they are armed from head to toe.
One Hundred. And fifty. Armed Gun-Men. Let that sink in first. Doesn’t it remind you of an ISIS-style anti-US-government battle? But, these people aren’t “terrorists”. How could they be? They are just a “few” harmless “farmers”, who could never shoot up a school, a movie theater, or … a government building!
Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, were convicted of arson three years ago and served time – the father three months, the son one year. But a judge ruled that their terms were too short under US federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each.
Meanwhile, Ammon Bundy took the opportunity to further his fight against his own federal government, and posted a video on his Facebook page asking for “militia” members from across the country to come to help him. He said “this is not a time to stand down. It’s a time to stand up and come to Harney County.”
Let’s be clear: If Muslims had seized a federal building, they’d all be dead by now. #whiteprivilege #OregonUnderAttack
— Cenk Uygur (@cenkuygur) January 3, 2016
White Terrorists? Meh… Boooooring!
But have YOU heard about this news from any source other than Facebook, Twitter, or Google News? I don’t think you did. Why? Because they aren’t brown, or Desi, or Muslims, or Arabs, or Sikhs. The terrorists aren’t of interest to anyone if they’re white, right? Think about a ‘fictitious’ headline, “White Terrorist organization guns down.. blah blah blah”… Meh, booooooooring! I fell asleep half way into that headline! (sarcasm intended)
#OregonUnderAttack described as family dispute, occupiers, militia men, armed protestors. In fact everything except terrorists. #Oregon — Calif (@MrKalif) January 4, 2016
As more and more brown people face discrimination, it feels awkward to think that we live in a generation where we are being persecuted everyday. Countless Sikh-Americans, Indian-Americans, Hindu-Americans, and Muslim-Americans wake up everyday and hope that they will not be the next victim of racism while on their way to work. Of course, no one needs to live in fear, that’s not the life that we want. But it’s a difficult reality that needs to be accepted by the majority.
This armed white militia 1) Seized federal property 2) Threatened violence 3) Posted “good-bye” vids wanting to “die free” Still not terror
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) January 3, 2016
In fact, Desi people aren’t looking for sympathy. We don’t want anyone to feel bad for us. We just want to be treated like everyone else.
Right now, as the siege is taking place in Oregon, I know for sure that no one will mistrust or mistreat other Caucasians due to the activities of the few in Oregon. And they shouldn’t. No one should treat nice innocent white folks who live in the middle of no where in Iowa, or Minnesota, or Texas, or California like they did something wrong.
And this is the exact treatment that brown people, or Muslim people, or any one of color would like to see happening all over.
With Daesh (ISIL) representing less than 0.01% of the Muslims around the world, I don’t think the rest of the 99.99% should have to live in fear, or should have to feel any discrimination due to the activities of the 0.01%. That just does not make sense!
Likewise, an African American boy with a toy gun should not be shot on the spot by a crazy fearful cop. Buuuut, we don’t live in that ideal world, do we?
If African Americans loaded up on guns and asked for the land we were promised, we’d be dead by noon… #OregonUnderAttack — Evan Cleaver (@EvanCleaver) January 4, 2016
The Power of Hip Hop : Speak Up!
So why are we talking about this in the first place?
In the ’80s when police brutality was at its peak in Los Angeles, NWA had the balls to record a track titled “F*ck the Police” to express themselves. They didn’t pick up weapons, or guns, they picked up a pen and paper and recorded it. Before their song, most of the nation was in denial about Police Brutality. As soon as their track got famous, the bubble burst and countless stories of police brutality by LAPD, NYPD, and many other branches surfaced. This is the power of Hip Hop!
A Call To Grab The Mic
In this day and age, there is an urgent need to speak up against racism, bigotry, and mistreatment of any human being. Hip Hop gives us the power to do that. As Desis around the world hear about these issues, one can’t imagine the impact of words. We don’t need to fight the good battle in any way other than through our words and expressions.
Words carry the power that nothing else can possess. Words can be expressive. Words can be poetic. Words can be influential. Words can change hearts and minds.
Using the power of Words, we should band together and make an impact that no one can ignore. With the rise of bigotry and Islamophobia around the world, it is time for Desi people to grab the mic and speak up! Hip Hop is peaceful, but Hip Hop is powerful! Use that power, and do what you do best… Now is the time.