Ammon Bundy — the radical Mormon separatist who lead the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge back in 2016 as a sort-of protest against an admitted arsonist who had already agreed to serve prison time, but I digress — has pledged his solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Or at least, he's in favor of defunding the police, which perhaps makes more ideological sense. Bundy's friend and Malheur co-conspirator, Lavoy Finicum, was killed by FBI agents during that standoff. While those were radical different circumstances than the ones that lead to the deaths of George Floyd or Breonna Taylor or even Tamir Rice, it has apparently inspired Bundy to take a personal stake in the matter. He explains his reasoning in the video above, and also expanded on it in a Facebook post:
If you only see BLM people as the enemy, then you're getting played. And BLM people are getting played BIG TIME. The vast majority of BLM supporters don't want socialism and communism and all of that. Yes, I am not ignorant, I understand what the BLM organization represents, who runs it, who finances it, and what their goal is. I am fully aware of that. But the average person who wears a BLM shirt and comes to a rally just wants black people to be able to be safe and not have fear that police officers are going to abuse them. You have to be smart enough to make a distinction between the national organization of the BLM and the average BLM supporter who is ignorant to what the organization is really all about. If you can't make that distinction, then you're just as ignorant as they are.
Now, lets talk about the average BLM supporter for just a second. Whether their feelings are warranted or not is not the point at the moment. The point is that their desire to be free in America without being abused or tyrannized by a police force because of the color of their skin is something that I can agree with! I personally have been abused by police. My family has been abused by police. My brother was shot by police. My friend was killed by police. Thousands of Americans have been abused by police. And I'm talking about innocent people! Why is it so hard for us to unify around this cause?
I'll tell you why—because the POWERS THAT BE know that they can't control citizens who are united. I don't have to agree with everything that BLM supporters believe in for us to agree that police should not have the power to abuse citizens. Furthermore, I'm never going to start believing in socialism or communism or have my mind infected by liberals because I held up a sign for Lavoy Finicum at BLM rally. But, I just might set the foundation for unity with some of them on their side.
And if we can start to find common denominators—simple, yet important issues that we agree upon, then we can finally have a society that is not controlled like puppets. We can begin to restore real freedom, which includes the freedom to disagree.
Later in his statement, he does try to get ahead of headlines that would say that he explicitly supports BLM, but thinks that it's at least important to find some common ground:
I want to bring attention to the fact that our police agencies are giant, bloated bureaucracies, full of unimaginable waste and corruption. And it needs to be fixed. Saying that we need to eliminate waste and corruption in our police agencies is not the same as supporting the abolition of police.
But, I know that people will hear what they want to hear, and not what you actually say. And fake news and professional spinsters, who are just liars, will write false headlines to spread lies and say things like "Ammon Bundy aligns with the BLM in an effort to defund the police." And ignorant people will read those headlines and think that I hate cops and want to abolish the police of something like that. Like I already said, nothing can be further from the truth.
What I want is what most rational and free-thinking people want—I want freedom to live the life that I want without fear of my government oppressing me or physically assaulting me. Patriots want that. And guess what, many people within the BLM movement just want the same thing. They're not all communists
Broken clocks, etc etc.
Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC 2.0)